FERRARI TR59/60 REPLICA
Chassis No. 5005
Red with tan leather interior
Engine: V12, single overhead camshafts, six 2-barrel Weber downdraft carburettors, 3967cc, c330bhp at 6,600rpm; Gearbox: 4-speed manual; Suspension: front, independent with coil springs and tubular shocks, rear with live axle and semi-elliptic leaf springs and shocks; Brakes: four wheel disc. Left hand drive.
Truitt Helmsman extensively raced his Ferrari 250 America in SCCA club events in the 1960s. The 250 America was a decidely more healthy 1963 evolution of the 250 GTE, powered by the Type 209 330 V12 engine displacing four litres and responded well to tuning techniques developed by Ferrari for the four litre racing cars. Unfortunately a racing accident that subsequently altered the rear structure of Helmsman's 250 America also caused a fire that prematurely ended its racing career. The remains were acquired by Mr. Lee and in 1981 taken to Norwood Autocraft, an experienced Ferrari race car builder preparer, along with a series of photographs of the #5 Ferrari TR59 driven by Dan Gurney and Cliff Allison at Nurburgring in 1959. That car, chassis number 0770, also appeared at Le Mans in 1959 driven by Alison and Hernan da Silva Ramos. It was then modified by the factory to TR59/60 specifications, and finished second at Argentina (Von Trips/Ginther), third at Nurburgring (Allison/Mairesse/Hill) and was the first of two Ferraris to experience the effects of the taller Appendix J windscreens required at Le Mans on fuel consumption. Von Trips, while leading the race, suffered a panne de carburant during his first stint (he ran out of gas).
The re-creation was completed over a period of several years, drawing upon the Ferrari factory for documentation and a set of layout drawings to ensure its appearance and, particularly, the evocative elements of a V12 powered racing Ferrari. The proper competition 10,000rpm tachometer was obtained and the gearbox was modified with the tall shank shift chamber. The beautiful aluminum coachwork was built by Robin Officer of New Zealand. The most difficult task was duplicating the six Weber intake on the 330 engine for proper function and appearance under the TR's signature plexiglass reversed hood scoop. The Violatti collection in Italy had one of the original six Weber setups and graciously removed and loaned it to Mr. Lee so the proper patterns could be made to cast the intake system fitted to this car.
Completed about ten years ago, this careful re-creation of one of the most rare and exciting Ferrari sports racers is, with its four litre engine, a reliable and very strong runner and has been used extensively for Ferrari Club and other track events including the Road Atlanta Ferrari Reunion, the Ferrari Nationals at Monterey and the Ferrari Reunion at Monterey. It has received a shelf full of ribbons and trophies and is widely appreciated by both spectators and event participants. At a time when Testa Rossas of the period are almost too valuable to be driven, this car, meticulously re-created and assiduously maintained by Bob Smith, with its extra strong four litre engine, is a thrilling car to use in the most discriminating company or on the highway for an exhilerating Sunday drive. It is impossible to see, hear or drive it without visualizing Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Richie Ginther, Taffy Von Trips or Pedro Rodriguez at the Targa Florio, Nuburgring, Le Mans or Nassau. Owners of real TR 59/60s don't have it any better, they just have thinner billfolds.