Lot 3066

Open Roads, Fall

Ferrari 180 Testa Rossa Children's Car


$90,000 USD | Sold

United States | Pontiac, Michigan



  • A 250 Testa Rossa for the young enthusiast
  • Built in period and sold new by famed Luigi Chinetti Motors
  • Believed to be one of six examples remaining
  • Formerly owned by noted collectors Kirk F. White and Mark Smith

80 × 30 × 23 in.

Everything about the 250 Testa Rossa is flowing and sensuous, from the stylish and purposeful “pontoon-fendered” body to the rip-snorting notes emanating from the world-class, race-winning V-12 engine under the hood. Consider the results: the 250 Testa Rossa’s 1958 season included clinching the Constructor’s Title in the World Sportscar Championship that year, headlined by an overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it was driven by Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it is the sound and fury, signifying everything, and it has made the “Red Head” one of the most iconic and perpetually desirable sports-racing cars in the world.

Produced by Modena Ferrarina Italia, the car offered here has all of the character and good looks of the 250 Testa Rossa, but it is only a fraction of the size. Its lightweight body is powered by a capable 0.3-horsepower, 180-watt, 12-volt electric motor, which is surely enough power for a pint-sized Ferrarista. It was hand-assembled with handmade steel bodywork and the finest available drivetrain and chassis components, and it was exclusively distributed by Luigi Chinetti Motors, of New York, Ferrari’s sole importer to the United States at the time. Having Ferrarina’s product distributed by Chinetti, to the same customers who were buying race-ready Testa Rossas from the same showroom, was certainly the ultimate endorsement. It is believed that twenty-five 180 Testa Rossas were built, with only six known to exist worldwide.

This example was once owned by renowned Ferrari enthusiast and prolific collector Kirk F. White, who had it restored to his usual high-quality standards. White gave the car the same treatment that a full-grown Testa Rossa would receive, with only the best craftsmen—all of them masters at restoring automobiles—sourced to restore all components. Mr. White sold the 180 Testa Rossa in 1986 to Mark Smith, another well-respected collector, who would go onto own the car until 2013 at which point it entered current ownership, joining a highly regarded private collection.

Few children’s cars were built to this standard, and fewer still received the blessing of such a figure as Luigi Chinetti.