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*Please note this vehicle is sold on a Bill of Sale.
Nigel Mansell Portuguese Grand Prix WinnerScuderia Ferrari, Modena, Italy (assigned to Nigel Mansell)Michael Gabel, Berlin, Germany (acquired from the above November 1991)Dominique Balders, GermanyCurrent Owner
German Grand Prix, Hockenheim, Germany, July 29, 1990 (DNF)Portuguese Grand Prix, Estoril, Portugal, September 23, 1990 (1st)Spanish Grand Prix, Jerez, Spain, September 30, 1990 (2nd)Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, October 21, 1990 (DNF)Australian Grand Prix, Adelaide, Australia, November 4, 1990 (2nd)
For 1990, the second season of the “post-turbo” Formula 1 era, Scuderia Ferrari scored a major coup by enticing reigning 1989 World Champion Alain Prost away from McLaren, where his explosive rivalry with Ayrton Senna reached critical mass. British F1 veteran Nigel Mansell, who electrified the tifosi as “Il Leone” for his no-holds-barred driving style, was back at Ferrari for his second season with the team. Together in 1990, Mansell and Prost would go on to deliver Ferrari’s best season in years, with Ferrari securing the Manufacturer’ Championship and Prost the Drivers’ Championship. By 1992, Mansell’s virtually boundless courage and sheer prowess would ultimately earn him the World Championship with the Williams F1 team.
Ferrari’s 1990 F1 chassis, the 641/2, was an update of the existing Ferrari chassis by engineer Steve Nichols, who joined Ferrari from McLaren in November 1989 and thus inherited a John Barnard-designed car for the second time in his career. Since Nichols’ prior 1987 McLaren MP4/3 was itself a logical development of Barnard’s last car for that team, Nichols decided against making any drastic changes to the basic Ferrari 640 design. Nonetheless, a larger and more robust fuel tank and body updates, plus key advances with both the sequential gearbox and engine, made the Ferrari a force to be reckoned with. However, all eyes were on the infamous Prost-Senna battle.
The car offered here, Ferrari 641/2 chassis no. 120, is the seventh of the eight-car series built and was raced in 1990 by Nigel Mansell. According to the history compiled by Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, chassis 120 was racing no. 2 throughout the 1990 F1 racing season and served as Mansell’s spare car for the July 8th French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard and the July 15th British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Mansell first drove chassis 120 in competition at the July 29, 1990, German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, where it did not finish.
In advance of the next race at Portugal’s Estoril circuit on September 23rd, the paddock was buzzing with the news that Ferrari had signed a deal to replace Mansell with Jean Alesi. Undeterred, Mansell took pole position with chassis 120 and his performance on race day stands as one of his most thrilling drives ever. Despite nearly spinning at the start of the race, Mansell immediately clawed back to 3rd. Pit stop and tire changes re-ordered the field with Mansell back in the fray 2nd to Ayrton Senna, who eventually succumbed to Mansell’s relentless and heart-stopping attack on lap 50. Following a collision on lap 59, the race was stopped with Mansell victorious.
Mansell’s subsequent results with chassis 120 included a 2nd place podium at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez. Gearbox failure at the October 21st Japanese Grand Prix forced Mansell to retire there, but on November 4th, Mansell drove car 120 on its last outing for Scuderia Ferrari to a 2nd place finish at the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide.
In November 1991, chassis 120 was sold directly from Ferrari to Michael Gabel, a collector from Berlin who test drove it on May 11, 1992, at Italy’s Mugello circuit, during which he had a minor of-track incident. During 1992–1993, the car was repaired by Ferrari in Maranello. In early September 2002, chassis 120 was raced by Uwe Meissner on the Nürburgring during the Ferrari Racing Days event held there. In 2003, it was sold to Dominique Balders, a Belgian resident in Germany, who in 2006 sold the car to Meissner’s Modena Motorsport GmbH located in Lagenfeld, Germany near Düsseldorf. During its current ownership, Ferrari Classiche Certification was granted, with “Red Book” delivery pending. As now offered for sale, the Ferrari 641/2 stands as an outstanding part of Formula 1 racing history – one that is every bit as colorful and fierce as its legendary driver, Nigel Mansell.