Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Michelotto
*Please note this car is sold on a bill of sale.
Ferrari of San Francisco, Mill Valley, California (acquired new in 2001)Shelton Ferrari, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (acquired circa 2007)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Following the 1973 racing season, Scuderia Ferrari abandoned sports car racing entirely to focus on the Formula One program, which had not realized a World Constructor’s Championship since 1964. As a result, the only Ferrari racing cars built between 1974 and 1993 were Grand Prix machines or production-based GT sports cars.
Throughout this period, many enthusiasts – Americans in particular – were keenly aware of Ferrari’s absence from the highest levels of sports car racing and saw few of the Italian cars race on US soil. It wasn’t until the early 1990s, perhaps only because of the urging of Giampiero Moretti, that Ferrari looked to the new IMSA prototype regulations in the US for the basis of a new sports racing car. This decision proved to be a significant turning point for the Ferrari racing department, which had not constructed a purpose-built sports racing prototype since the 312 PB, a model developed in the early 1970s.
Unveiled in late 1993, the 333 SP simultaneously revived American endurance racing following the demise of the popular IMSA GTP series, set new standards for sports racing prototypes, and heralded Ferrari’s return to international sports car racing after two decades.
Developed in partnership with Dallara, the 333 SP was a state-of-the-art design that featured an advanced, rigid carbon-fiber monocoque; F1-style suspension; a sequential gearbox; and a high-revving, four-liter engine mounted amidships. It was, in effect, a Grand Prix car of the period cloaked in fluid composite bodywork.
In classic Ferrari fashion, the heart of the sports racer was a glorious V-12, a variation of the contemporary Formula One engine. The five-valve per- cylinder, twin-overhead-camshaft engine produced a staggering 650 bhp, revved to 12,000 rpm and emitted a distinctive high-pitched howl that stood apart from everything else on the track. It has been said that at the 7 km Spa-Francochamps circuit, the 333 SP could be heard over the entire length of a lap.
During eight seasons of active racing, the 333 SPs were campaigned by a select group of private teams, and the program proved to be a runaway success. The 333 SPs claimed 56 outright wins; 69 poles; and multiple Team, Constructor, and Driver’s Championships in both the American IMSA GT and the European FIA Sportscar series. Along the way, the 333 SPs captured wins at both the 24 Hours of Daytona as well as the 12 Hours of Sebring, and set the fastest lap at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 333 SP presented here, chassis 041, is the very last example produced and one of only 25 Michelotto-built cars. Constructed in 2001, 041 was originally finished in the iconic Rosso Corsa livery and sold to Ferrari of San Francisco. Though the 333 SP was purchased with the intention of competing in the SRP category of the 2002 Grand Am season, it was never prepared for track use and was instead maintained in as-delivered condition. By 2007, 041 had been sold to Shelton Ferrari in Florida; and, from there, a prominent Texas collector acquired the car, and it has remained in his care.
Presented in its original livery and outfitted with its 17" Enkei Sport wheels and Pirelli P Zero slicks, this Ferrari sports racing prototype is a remarkable time capsule. It is understood that this 333 SP has never been publically displayed at a concours event nor put to use on a racetrack, neither in period competition nor during a private event.
Virtually a “brand-new” example of the legendary 333 SP, the presentation of 041 at auction represents an exciting opportunity for collectors to acquire what is arguably the most original and well-preserved example of a historically important, state-of-the-art Ferrari sports racing car.