1954 Ferrari 750 Monza Earns Best of the Best Honor

Hong Kong — The Peninsula Classics announced Tuesday that a 1954 Ferrari 750 Monza with coachwork by Scaglietti was chosen as its Best of the Best award winner for the sixth annual classic car showcase. The Ferrari has achieved distinction for both its impressive racing history and its exacting restoration.

Photo: Peninsula Classics

It became eligible as a Best of the Best Award contender after winning Best of Show at the 2020 Palm Beach Cavallino Classic.

Other concours-winning finalists included: a 1969 Porsche 917 KH Coupé, coachwork by the Factory (2020 Concours of Elegance Hampton Court Palace); a 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza Spider, coachwork by Zagato (2020 Salon Privé); and a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Town Limousine, coachwork by Murphy (2020 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance).

The 750 Monza made its original debut with a 2-liter motor at the Inaugural Grand Prix of the Imola Autodrome in June 1954. After driver Umberto Maglioli secured 1st place for Scuderia Ferrari with the car, it was subsequently fitted with a 3-liter engine and went on to compete in several other major races that year, including the Monsanto Grand Prix (where it won), and Nassau Race Week — where it was driven by its original owner, Alfonso de Portago, and secured a 1st and two 2nd places.

The car’s next owner, Sterling Edwards, raced the 750 Monza over the next two years mainly in California, including the Pebble Beach Road Races (an event he founded) in 1955 and 1956 — garnering four 1st-place and two first-in-class wins in the car. After the tragic death of his friend Ernie McAfee prompted Edwards to stop racing altogether, he sold the car to his engineer Bob Whitmer, who replaced its engine with a Chevy V8 and continued to successfully race it through the early 1960s.

The car spent most of the ensuing 50 years disassembled, though its chassis, body, engine, and gearbox were all carefully preserved in a small San Francisco-area warehouse. In 2016, a complete restoration of the car was initiated under the direction of Bob Smith Coachworks, a process that took new owners Tom and Jill Peck of southern California over two years to complete.

Once fully restored, the 750 Monza won the Enzo Ferrari Award at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and 2020 Best of Show at the Cavallino Classic.