Carrera Panamericana: Mike Hawthorne’s Ferrari 625 TF up for auction

You’ll need a spare £5m or so to buy this piece of motorsport history

Ferrari 625 TF
The Ferrari 625 TF was raced to victory by Umberto Maglioli at the 1954 Carrera Panamericana
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Many consider the 24-hour endurance races at the Nürburgring and Le Mans to be some of the toughest events in motorsport, with drivers pushed to the limits for hours on end.

But while these races separate the good drivers from the greats, they pale in comparison to the gruelling endurance events that took place in the 20th century.

One of the most challenging was the Carrera Panamericana, which saw sports cars racing more than 2,700 miles on Mexican public roads. The rally was first held in 1950, but seven fatalities in the 1954 race led to it being axed.

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Some of the most iconic sports cars of the 1950s competed in the Mexican rally - and now one of them is up for auction through Bonhams.

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The Ferrari 625 TF, due to go on sale at the Les Grandes Marques du Monde à Monaco auction on 11 May, is one of just three ever made.

The 625 name comes from the car’s engine capacity, a 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder unit, while the TF stands for Targa Florio - another endurance race similar to the Carrera Panamericana.

This particular model was driven by 1958 Formula 1 world champion Mike Hawthorn during the 1953 Grand Prix of Monza in Italy, where he finished fourth.

The car’s greatest success came at the last ever Carrera Panamericana road race, when Italian driver Umberto Maglioli claimed victory with a time of 17 hours, 40 minutes and 26 seconds.

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The car was later raced by five South African private owners, in events across Brazil and Argentina. The 625 TF was then sold in the mid-1960s to a collector in Italy, where it was left to rot in a scrapyard. It was then discovered in 1974 and has since undergone a complete restoration.

Bonhams expects the classic Ferrari to fetch between €4.5m and €6.5m (£4m to £5.5m).

A 1993 McLaren Mp4/8 that was driven by Ayrton Senna will also be available at the Monaco auction.

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