If you're looking to buy a genuine Formula One race car this may be your chance. A Florida-based dealer has put up for sale a 1991 Ferrari F1 Scuderia Tipo 642 racer with chassis No. 126.
The seller claims that the car, which is powered by a 3.5-liter V12 engine linked to a seven-speed gearbox, was used in the 1991 Formula One season by French driver Jean Alesi who had then just signed for Williams Ferrari.
After being replaced by the Tipo 643, this car was rebuilt and prepared for private sale by the Ferrari factory at the end of the same season. Now it could be yours for a 'mere' US$700,000 or about €565,000 at today's exchange rates. More details and pictures after the jump.
From the Seller:
"The last of the "turbo-charged" Ferrari Formula One Cars
Herein offered is the rare opportunity to own the coveted Jean Alesi Ferrari Tipo 642 – one of enduring beauty and potency powered by a 3.5-litre 60-valve 4 cam turbo-charged V12-engined cars designed for the Maranello team by the acclaimed ex-McLaren engineer John Barnard.
These cars as driven by Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell had brought the Italian marque back to true competitiveness in Formula 1 after some seasons in the doldrums and they proved very effective against all but absolutely the strongest opposition.
French driver Jean Alesi looked a brilliant prospect when he first joined the Ferrari team in 1991, having established himself in the Formula 1 World Championship with some staggering drives in the advanced but under-powered Tyrrell cars during the previous season.
He shone in many of his Ferrari drives but was too often unlucky with their cars, yet he has passed into Ferrari's charismatic history as having been one of the most abidingly spectacular and phenomenally fast works drivers – joining the memory of other such French stars as Didier Pironi, Rene Arnoux, Patrick Tambay, Maurice Trintignant, Jean Behra – right back through the decades to the great Raymond Sommer who was a Ferrari Formula 1 team driver upon their debut in 1948.
This particular car – serial '126' – emerged as Jean Alesi's favored race chassis in the 1991 Monaco Grand Prix at Monte Carlo where after a troubled practice period – during which he spun, knocked off a wing against the barrier in the Casino Square and yet briefly held 2nd fastest qualifying time – he drove a fine race to finish third on the Sunday afternoon, on the same lap as the dueling first and second placed pair of winners Ayrton Senna's McLaren-Honda and Nigel Mansell's Williams-Renault.
Jean Alesi drove the same car in the Canadian Grand Prix on Montreal's lle Notre Dame circuit, where he qualified on the forth row and was put out of the race by engine trouble after 34 laps. In Mexico he actually qualified this car fourth fastest, alongside the incomparable Senna's McLaren-Honda, behind the dominant Williams-Renault V10's of Riccardo Patrese and Nigel Mansell, but in the race he was again dogged by wretched luck as the car's clutch failed at 42 laps.
Chassis '127' replaced this car within the race team from the British Grand Prix, and this Tipo 642 was then carefully rebuilt and prepared for private sale by the Ferrari factory at the end of that season. It has since been preserved and displayed in one the world's most prestigious private collections.
These Ferrari Tipo 642's were essentially a 1990 design, updated in detail for the 1991 season, with cosmetic changes to the overall aero-dynamic shape and structure. The top bodywork one-piece moulding was revised and reshaped, and wings were up rated while new under-tail diffusers floors were also adopted.
Larger front wings carried bigger endplates that hitherto and after the Imola Grand Prix had introduced a completely new aerodynamic package the model became known to the team as the Tipo 642/2.
This development introduced rather longer side pods which were less rounded then the original form, and also added a new airbox engine intake design and revised rear diffusers. While the front suspension system remained unchanged the front dampers were new.
The new replacement Tipo 643 design eventually made its debut in time for the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours that year, featuring an all-new molded composite monocoque chassis design, developed from the 642's.
This is truly one of the most desirable of all Formula 1 Ferrari models and this example is an immensely handsome, desirable and fitting reminder of a great era of World Championship-level, pinnacle standard Grand Prix racing in general – and of French star Jean Alesi in particular."