Ferrari Tipo 500, MovoSprint 52 Tether Racer
This delightful miniature (approx 18in long) Ferrari is a 'tether' racer - with a small two-stroke engine driving the rear wheels, these models were 'tethered' via a cable to a post and raced on banked circuits, quite a spectacle! Very popular in the US there was even an American Miniature Racing Car Association (AMRCA).
The inspiration for the MovoSprint 52 came from the Italian racing driver, Alberto Ascari, who met with the owner of the MOVO hobby shop in Milano, Gustavo Clerici, in early 1952. Ascari proposed that Clerici produce a scale model of the Ferrari Tipo 500 grand prix racing car in which he would contest the 1952 World’s Driving Championship.
Clerici accepted the challenge and the first car, which Clerici called a “MovoSprint 52 Ferrari”, was completed in early 1953. By that time, Ascari had already captured the 1952 World’s Driving Championship in a Tipo 500 and was well on his way to capturing a second championship in 1953.
However, when Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team, and subsequently of the Ferrari automobile marque, became aware of the project, he expressed concern that Ferrari had not been contacted regarding the project and had not given permission to produce the car and use the name Ferrari. But, as the 1953 grand prix season progressed and Ascari wrapped up his second consecutive World’s Driving Championship for Ferrari, “il Commendatore” relented and agreed to let the car continue to be produced, but would not permit the Ferrari name to be used. Enzo Ferrari was presented with a MovoSprint 52 at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the final race in the 1953 season and the final race for the Tipo 500. Alberto Ascari subsequently appeared in advertisements for the MovoSprint 52.
This particular Ferrari 500 is in superb condition, probably having undergone a restoration in it's past to bring it to the exceptional finish presented, it sports the larger 'sport' engine (not tested, but showing all the correct signs that in the right hands it probably would run), the internals appear lightly used and complete. The wheels and paint are in excellent order, and of course this is a very rare piece.
(History of the 52 text credit and reference photos to John Lorenz, Mite-Cars).
This item is offered from the estate of the late Christine Mills MBE, who in partnership with her late husband David, forged a successful career within motorsport spanning more than thirty years. Following David’s untimely death from cancer in 2002, Christine established Hope for Tomorrow, a Gloucestershire based charity dedicated to bringing cancer care closer to the homes of patients throughout England.
With charity patron Sir Stirling Moss OBE by her side to ‘cut the ribbon’, Christine launched the world’s first Mobile Cancer Care Unit on 14 February 2007. Cancer patients are by the very definition and nature of the disease from which they suffer, perpetually vulnerable and never has the provision of mobile treatment on board what is now a fleet of 12 units, each funded and supplied to NHS Trusts by the charity, been of greater importance than it is during the Coronavirus pandemic. In support of their pioneering work, monies generated from the sale of this print, will be donated to Hope for Tomorrow.
Registered charity number: 1094677