Fifty years ago, a Ferrari was the toast of Le Mans – but not the one most expected.
The 1965 edition of the famous 24-hour race was expected to be a battle of factory Ferrari and Ford teams, but a privately entered year-old Ferrari model shocked the racing world in winning.
Owner Luigi Chinetti and his North American Racing Team entered a 1964 3.3 liter V-12 Ferrari 250 LM with drivers Masten Gregory of the U.S. and Jochen Rindt of Austria, and the team won with an average speed of 120.944 mph for the 24 hours.
A half-century later, the car is still winning.
The ’64 Ferrari, now part of the extensive collection at the IMS Hall of Fame Museum, won “Best of Show” in the Sport category last month at the prestigious Santa Fe Concorso in New Mexico.
The car would bring untold millions at auction if it ever went on the block with its pedigree (no Ferrari has won the overall title at Le Mans since) and the fact that it sits today essentially in the same condition as when it last ran in 1970, at the 24 Hours of Daytona. But it’s not going anywhere except back on the show floor soon at the Museum, where you can check it out on your next visit to the Racing Capital of the World.