Ferrari 375 Plus

1954 Ferrari 375 Plus Spider Competizione by Pinin Farina

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | June 27, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Ferrari 375 MM was a very exclusive car built by Ferrari between 1953 and 1955. It was a big-engined car – but Enzo wanted an even bigger engine – a faster race car that he could sell to his customers. So he commissioned a run of racing barchettas that used a bored and stroked Formula 1 V-12 engine. The 4,954 cc V-12 was initially underrated at 330 horsepower (later it would be listed as 347 with a top speed of 186 mph).

This car was a factory racer – campaigned by Ferrari’s favorite drivers. The competition history includes:

  • 1954 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Umberto Maglioli)
  • 1954 Silverstone Grand Prix Formula 1 support race – 1st (with Jose Froilan Gonzalez)
  • 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans – 37th, DNF (with Maglioli and Paolo Marzotto)

Ferrari more or less retired the 375 Pluses thereafter (Jose Froilan Gonzalez and Maurice Trintignant won the ’54 race in their 375 Plus). This car was sold to the head of the Kleenex company who later traded it to his friend. The competition history continues:

  • 1955 12 Hours of Sebring – DNF (with Jim Kimberly & Ed Lunken)
  • 1955 Road America 500 – 6th (with Howard Hively)
  • 1956 12 Hours of Sebring – DNF (with Troy Ruttman & Hively)

The car was more or less abandoned in Cincinnati after its racing career ended. In 1989, someone removed it from the land it sat on and it was sold to a French buyer. The guy in Cincy reported it stolen and Belgian authorities impounded the car. A lawsuit ensued but the car was gloriously restored and the suit eventually settled. More litigation followed by heirs over car parts – but thankfully everything has been settled and this car is ready to race in the hands of its new owner.

This was the best Ferrari the company produced up to 1954. The fastest, most dominant prancing horse there was. It is one of five built and could bring a record amount for a Ferrari of this vintage at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams’ Goodwood sale.

Update: Sold $18,315,846.

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