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The Amazing Ferrari Travels From Italy to the US
From:
Jim Ciardella Jim Ciardella
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Los Altos , CA
Monday, October 08, 2018

 

A month after its win at Spa, Luigi Chinetti, Sr. and Lord Selsdon of England placed their barchetta eighth in the Grand Prix of the Auto Club of Paris at Monthlhéry, which turned out to be its last race on European soil. But by no means was s/n 0010 M done racing. In early 1950, the car was sold through Chinetti to Jim Kimberly of Chicago, Illinois, heir to the Kimberly Clark industrial empire.

This blog post is a reprint of a story written by Alan Boe that appeared in VeloceToday.com as well as Cavallino magazine.

Kimberly in 0010 M leads Cunningham in the Healey Silverstone and Jim Pauley in the nerdy-Danese up the hill at the Glenn in 1950. He finished 4th over all in the Grand Prix and first in class F.

Kimberly raced the barchetta successfully in 1950 and 1951, posting wins at the Studebaker Proving Grounds in Indiana on June 17 and at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on July 23, 1950, and placing second on the index and first in class (with his mechanic, Marshall Lewis) on New Year’s Eve at Sebring, Florida, in the Six Hour Sam Collier Memorial Race.

Several Ferraris completed at Sebring’s first race in December, 1950. One was number 55, the Jim Kimberly-Marshall Lewis 166MM which placed second.

Lewis at Palm Springs, April 1, 1951 with 0010 M. Jim Air was there. “It was terribly exciting when he brought the 166 M to California. No one at the race would ever forget that SOUND! Marsh Lewis towed the car to to California from Chicago behind a Buick station wagon. With all of our fancy cars in California, we had to wait for Kimberly to bring a Ferrari out from the Midwest.”

The following year, Lewis, who had extensive racing experience, rode the red barchetta to a win at Palm Springs, California, on April 1 when Kimberly was called home suddenly due to his father’s illness. Not only did this make s/n 0010 M the first Ferrari to race in California, but it was also the first to win there. Kimberly’s last competition drives in s/n 0010 M came on the weekend of May 26 and 27, 1951, on California’s Monterey Peninsula.

In the Saturday Del Monte handicap race, the barchetta finished sixth and then on Sunday, while running third in the Pebble Beach Cup Race, Kimberly spun on lap twenty on oil laid down by a blown MG engine. The barchetta rotated to the inside of the track, dug in, and flipped, landing on top of Kimberly who was held inside by his World War II surplus seatbelts! The damaged barchetta was returned to Chicago for repairs and then sold to Jim Simpson. Repainted yellow, Simpson campaigned the car in SCCA races in 1952 and 1953.

Kimberly at Pebble Beach, May 27, 1951.

Recalls Sitz, “Every time I saw Kimberly he always had a beautiful lady with him-Ginger Rogers at Pebble Beach to console him after flipping the 166 and then Esther Williams at March Field later on.”

Completely Restored, the Ferrari Receives a Second Life

No longer competitive, 0010 M began a twenty-six-year odyssey, which saw it go through a series of owners in the US until, in 1980, Warren Sanke of San Francisco acquired it and oversaw a much-needed rebuild. As it turned out, this was the first of two full-scale restorations given to the barchetta.

Renewed, the car began its second life with Sanke who used it for vintage racing and as a show car – the barchetta won several major west coast concours awards, including a First Place in the Ferrari Competition Class at Pebble Beach in 1984 and the Hans Tanner Trophy given to the best Ferrari at Pebble Beach that year. In 1985 Sanke sold the car to George Jewett of San Mateo, California. In Jewett’s care the 0010 M captured several more concours ribbons, was vintage raced, and participated in the 1987 historic Mille Miglia Rally in Italy. In June of 1990, s/n 0010 M was sold to a Swiss collector, but six years later it was back in the U.S. where it was found by Jon Shirley of Medina, Washington, via the 1996 Christie’s Auction at Pebble Beach.

In August of 1997, all cleaned up but still awaiting its ultimate restoration, the barchetta was invited to the Meadow Brook Concours in Michigan which that year was honoring Ferrari on its 50th anniversary. Not only did s/n 0010 M come away with the trophy for the Best Ferrari in the show, but it also took the award for the best Race Car in the Concours. And then a month later owners Jon and Mary Shirley completed a very wet Colorado Grand in the now appropriately named ‘little boat.’

Amazing Ferrari Restored to 1949 Configuration

At this point, the car was turned over to Pete Lovely Racing in Puyallup, Washington, where, under the skilled hands of Butch Dennison, the barchetta was returned to its 1949 Spa, Belgium, configuration. This restoration included the number board on the rear deck, the screen covered headlights, white trim around the grille, its Spa racing numbers, and the pair of driving lights that had been installed for Le Mans in 1949.

For the 1997/98 restoration, the barchetta was completely disassembled down to the last nut and bolt and entirely rebuilt over a two-year period. Lots of interesting things reveal themselves during restorations of this sort. For example, when the engine was torn down it was discovered that the thrust bearing for the crankshaft was basically worn away, such that the crank would run on the block when the clutch pedal was depressed. Hard to explain how the car managed to finish the Colorado Grand. In addition to restoring the barchetta to its Spa livery, the car had to be made fully race worthy as it was going to be campaigned in vintage events, so great care was given to the rebuilding of the suspension, brakes, gearbox, and motor. The engine was disassembled by Dennison, Shirley and David Lewontin of Vintage Racing Motors in Redmond, Washington, and rebuilt by Lewontin, while the task of researching the barchetta’s Spa aesthetics and technical details was undertaken by Jon Shirley.

0010 M at Pebble Beach where it won three awards in 1999.

How successful was the second restoration? Its first rebuild appearance came at the 1999 Ferrari Club of America national Concours in Georgia, where the barchetta hit the trifecta coming away with a Platinum Concours award, the trophy for the Best Competition Car, and the prestigious Coppa GT Award. Then came Pebble Beach and a First in the Ferrari Competition Class, plus the Luigi Chinetti Trophy given to the Best Ferrari on the 18th fairway. A month later it was a First in Class at the Louis Vuitton Concours in New York City, and then the barchetta again became a driver. The New England Forza Mille Rally was next. Here s/n 0010 M won its Rally Class, participated in all the track events, and came away with the Vintage Spirit Award because, in addition to slogging through heavy rain, all necessary mechanical work on the car was done on the spot by the owner/driver. And then it was on to the Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach, Florida. Following a Third in Class finish in the Ferrari Historic Challenge Race for drum braked cars at nearby Moroso, the barchetta, all cleaned up and looking fresh, came through with a Platinum Concorso Award, and the Cavallino Cup presented to the Best Ferrari in the Cavallino Classis Concorso.

Denny Cornett Missed the Race Season but has Fond Memories

Back in late 1953, 0010 M found it’s fifth owner when Ebby Lunken of Cincinnati, Ohio, sold it to Denver (Denny) Cornett of Bagdad, Kentucky. Intending to race the barchetta in 1954, Cornett got it on the circuit at Camp Atterbury in Indiana for an SCCA event, but all he took out of the race was a blistered hand from trying to hold the car in gear – it would pop out of any cog under acceleration. Cornett contacted Luigi Chinetti for new gearbox parts and was told they would not be available until that fall. “There went the racing season,." Cornett’s words. Besides a hill climb in French Lick, Indiana, it was the only racing the barchetta did in 1954.

Denver Cornett behind the wheel of an MG, Otto Linton at right. Photo taken in 2005 by John Wright and used with permission.

But Cornett still fondly remembers the barchetta many years later – it’s a hard car to forget. “The body was very thin, and the fender tops were kinda flat from all the people leaning on them and the numerous crash repairs,” he recalled. At the end of the 1954 season, Cornett traded the car to Bob Fergus of Columbus, Ohio, for an Arnolt Bristol but he kept a few parts such as the under cowl oil tank, a pair of conrods from number ten, eleven pistons, and the transmission cover. The parts went to Jon Shirley for the 1997/98 restoration. The oil tank is interesting. It has two taps, which dispense one liter of oil each to the engine, a necessity for long distance races.

Denny Cornett is a one of a kind. A charter life member of the SCCA, he owned and raced the silver and black MG TC that he drove to a seventh-place finish in the inaugural race at Watkins Glen in 1948. Although his first Ferrari was 0010 M, he also owned a 340 Mexico Vignale berlinetta, s/n 0222 AT that later belonged to David Sydorick. He remembers having to open a door to let the water out after getting caught in a downpour in the car and what a handful it was to drive on the street, but he says it was exactly the opposite on the racetrack.

This story originally appeared in Cavallino #117 and is published with permission.

Thank you to Editor Pete Vack of VeloceToday.com and author Alan Boe for allowing us to reprint From Italy to Kimberly to Cornett, Part 2 of Alan Boe’s History of 0010M.

If you have any questions or know of a Ferrari or other classic car with a story, please share it in the comment section below.

Photo:  John Wright Photo / VeloceToday.com
Photo:  Alan Boe Photo / VeloceToday.com
Photo:  Alan Boe Photo / VeloceToday.com
Photo:  Bob Caanan Photo / VeloceToday.com
Photo:  Bob Caanan Photo / VeloceToday.com
Photo:  Frank Campanale Photo / VeloceToday.com
Photo:  Bob Temple Photo / Courtesy Dale LaFollette / VeloceToday.com
Photo:  Alan Boe Photo / VeloceToday.com
 
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