How Messi defeated Ronaldo – in the fight for the most expensive car in the world at that time
One of the highest paid athletes in the world, one of the most successful and titled players, the owner of an exclusive Ferrari. This description fits both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi . But if the football confrontation between the Portuguese and the Argentinean continues until the end of their sports career, then one battle CR7 has already lost to Bloch. An auction battle for one of the most expensive cars on the planet.
Today this Italian brand is associated exclusively with Formula 1, and in the 50s Ferrari was very successful in sports car racing. One of the iconic models of this discipline was the Ferrari 335 S, which appeared in 1957 – created by Scuderia to fight the mighty Maserati 450S, equipped with a 400-horsepower 4.5-liter V8.
To give battle to the opponent, the 320-horsepower Ferrari 290 MM with a 3.5-liter V12 was first turned into a 380-horsepower Ferrari 315 S with a 3.8-liter V12, and it evolved into a 390-horsepower Ferrari 335 S with a 4-liter V12. The car was put into the iconic Mille Miglia race, where the crew of the Spaniard Alfonso de Portago got into a serious accident – because of a bursting wheel, the sports car was on the sidelines. The tragic incident took the life of the pilot himself, his American navigator Edmund Nelson and 10 spectators … Such a disaster could not go unnoticed by the public and put an end to the cult race – numerous victims forced the Italian authorities to ban the competition on public roads.
Despite the deaths of de Portago and Nelson, the team did not abandon the new model – the British Peter Collins , Mike Hawthorne and Stirling Moss , the American Phil Hill , the Italian Luigi Musso , the Frenchman Maurice Trintignan , the German Wolfgang von Trips drove the 335 S.as well as a number of other pilots. In 1957, the novelty helped the Italian brand to take the title in the world sports car racing championship, but in the next season the 335 S was outlawed – after responding to the catastrophe during the Mille Miglia and a number of other accidents, the engine was limited to three liters in the championship, so Ferrari prepared a new one. model 250 TR, and four sports cars with a body designed by Carrozzeria Scaglietti continued to compete in races below the rank.
Of the quartet of Ferrari 335 S produced, only three were sports cars of this model at birth – one car was made by the factory team from the earlier Ferrari 315 S. Sebring “under the control of Peter Collins and Maurice Trintignant , then on the Mille Miglia it was in the hands of Wolfgang von Trips, and then, in preparation for the” 24 Hours of Le Mans “, the engine capacity was increased to 4.1 liters and the sports car was entrusted to Mike Hawthorne and Luigi Musso – the duo was in the lead from the start and became the first crew in the history of the race to complete a circle with an average speed of more than 200 km / h, but did not reach the finish line due to engine breakdown.
Then the same tandem competed in Sweden, and then the car was again sent to Maranello, where the sports car received a new front end of the body in the style of the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa – so the team improved the cooling of the brakes before the race in Venezuela. Hawthorne and Musso did not win there, although they still won the Ferrari 335 S driven by Peter Collins and Phil Hill , but the prize of Mike and Luigi helped the brand take the championship title.
Upon returning to Italy, the engine was changed again – since the 335 S could no longer participate in the world championship of the 1958 season, they used one of the remaining engines – and in this form the car was sold to Luigi Chinetti in the USA, where he performed in the blue and white livery of a private team North American Racing Team (NART) and even brought victory in the Cuban Grand Prix in Havana to the crew of Stirling Moss and American Masten Gregory. Then the sports car was rented by Mike Garber – under his leadership, the car was exhibited in races by the Swiss Gaston Andrei and the Briton Lance Reventlow. Despite the local successes, the sports car did not bring much fame to its pilots, and the last official race with the participation of a particular Ferrari 335 S took place at the Bahamian Speed Week in Nassau, where the car went off due to technical problems.
In 1960, a sports car with chassis number 0674 (it is interesting that in Le Mans in 1957 the car participated under number 0656 – Ferrari decided to save on customs duties and before sending the car to France with a new chassis marking, and returned the old number 0674 before the race to Sweden) was acquired by the architect from Pennsylvania Robert Dasek, who 10 years later resold the car to the famous French collector Ferrari Pierre Bardino. The collection of cars of this connoisseur of the Italian brand has no less than fifty copies stored in the estate (with its own private race track!) In the commune of Aubusson. In 1981, the model was restored, and in 2016 the owner decided to part with one of the pearls of his collection and put up a sports car for auction at the Artcurial auction house, which found a new owner – on February 5, during the Vente Retromobile 2016 by Artcurial Motorcars auction, it became known, that the 1957 Ferrari 335 S sold for € 32.1 million.
Long-standing rivals in football have come together here too, but history is silent as to why Bloch overtook his competitor – either the Portuguese spent money on buying other exclusive cars and did not have enough money (which is unlikely), or he simply thought that no car was worth something like that the amount. As a result, Messi became the winner of the auction. True, neither Lionel himself nor his representatives have yet officially confirmed this information, and the Proto Organization promptly deleted a press release with the words of its leader, who revealed the identity of the buyer of the Ferrari 335 S.
In 2016, the Italian sports car was the most expensive car in the world: in dollar terms, the Ferrari 355 S sold for $ 35,730,510 (complete with the original nose), and the previous record holder was another racing car – the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 with chassis 196 010 00006/54, which Bonhams auctioned in 2013 for $ 29.6 million. More expensive than the 355 S, only two other Ferraris – the 250 GTO coupe produced in 1962 – sold for $ 38,115,000 (chassis # 3851GT was sold at Bonhams 2014) and $ 48,405,000 (chassis # 3413GT was auctioned off at RM Sotheby’s in 2018).
So the Argentine footballer, the newly minted striker of the Paris Saint-Germain club and the captain of the Argentine national team, can be calm – while he is not only the top scorer in the history of the Spanish Championship, Barcelona and the Argentine national team, six-time Golden Ball and Golden boots ”, but also the owner of one of the most expensive cars in history. And let Cristiano Ronaldo have a Ferrari Monza SP2, but apart from the Juventus player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Milan has the same supercar , but neither the Portuguese nor the Swede has a Ferrari 355 S.