Affordable Ferrari! 1956 Sila Bimbo Racer – SOLD!
December 20, 2021 Update – We received a call from the buyer confirming the listing for this unique 1956 Sila “Bimbo” racer has just sold. Congrats to the buyer especially one week before Christmas!
Finally, a Ferrari we can all afford! This vintage open-top Ferrari benefits from an extensive restoration with no details spared in terms of maintaining adherence to factory specifications. The only oversight was limiting passengers to those under five feet tall and weighing no more than 60 pounds. Sadly, this is not a Ferrari most of us can drive, but it’s one hell of a piece of garage art: it’s a 1956 Sila “Bimbo” Racer, originally listed in December 2021 on Craigslist with a lengthy description explaining its recent overhaul.
The world of pedal cars, electric toys, and other vintage automobilia used as promotional items at car dealerships have been hot for some time. Examples like the Sila are perhaps the earliest applications of high-end pedal cars and go-carts used to draw customers into showrooms. According to the seller, the Silas were made in Italy and shipped worldwide to dealerships but in very limited numbers. His research indicates only dealerships in California and Rhode Island received the pedal cars for use in their outreach to customers; as a current resident of the Ocean State, the small footprint seems like an unusual place to show favoritism to dealerships, but then again, Rhode Island’s Italian population in the 1960s and 1970s was a force to be reckoned with. Regardless of distribution, the Silas were clearly crafted to a very high level and an appropriate mechanism to reward the children of loyal customers.
In this famous episode of Chasing Classic Cars, Wyne Carini purchases a vintage Ferrari pedal car from a collector:
As the seller’s electric kiddy car goes to show us, there’s no limit to what can be restored and to what level. He has clearly swung for the proverbial fences in terms of making this Sila as correct as possible, from the electric drivetrain to the re-upholstered seat. The Sila is said to be original in every way, and even though the seat is a replacement, the original is included with the sale. The details are right with this one, including a child’s racing helmet and a custom stand to mount it on in your fully finished basement hideout or Italian car garage stable. The seller is open to entertaining trades for the Sila, and I can’t imagine how much you must adore your children to swap vintage muscle car or old truck (per the seller’s request) for what amounts to a toy that shouldn’t actually be used. Regardless, if you want the best Sila “Bimbo” Ferrari on the market today, this seller thinks he has what you’re looking for.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“I have a meticulously restored 1956 Sila “Ferrari” Bimbo Racer child’s electric car for sale. I’ll try listing it here for a little while to hopefully find a local Ferrari enthusiast/collector who wants the ultimate Ferrari collectible child’s electric car. If it doesn’t sell here I’ll end up consigning it with one of the large auction companies. My car is serial #818 which is one of under 1000 ever made. In the late 1950s, Sila was authorized by Ferrari to build these child’s cars that were to be sold at select Ferrari dealerships around the world. Only a few of these cars ever made it to the US and were sold at either a dealership in RI or CA. Nobody knows the exact numbers, but they are very rare and sought after by Ferrari and child’s car collectors worldwide.
This has been a year-long restoration with great attention to detail. All of the major components of this car including the drive train are original and the car runs and drives as it should. I can cover in-depth with any interested party the few bolt-on cosmetic items that were reproduced to make this baby perfect. Everything is logged in a great picture album showing the restoration. The car is shown with a new seat and with the original seat which is in pretty good shape but I didn’t feel that it matched the level of perfection in the rest of the car. Both seats go with the car as well as the child’s helmet and the custom-made stand to which the car is mounted but is easily removed if you are brave enough to actually let a child drive it. I wouldn’t, but I guess it would be your car at that point, haha.
And YES, it runs, steers, and stops as it should. The original horn even works along with all the lights. There are only 5 sales that I could find of high-quality restored examples of these cars over the last 12 years.
Do you have a vintage electric car story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!