1951 Ferrari 340 America Coupe Speciale by Vignale
Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 16, 2019
The 340 was the first in Ferrari’s line of America cars that sort of culminated in the ultra-rare 365 California. Produced between 1950 and 1952, the 340 was intended as a grand tourer, but, being Ferraris, that didn’t stop some from being pressed into racing duty. In 1951, a 340 America won the Mille Miglia.
Power is from a 4.1-liter V12 making 220 horsepower. The engine was actually derived from Ferrari’s Grand Prix motor. Only 23 examples of the 340 America were produced, with two of those actually being cars converted from earlier 275 S models. Eleven of them were bodied by Vignale.
Five of those 11 were coupes, including this one. At a cost of $25,000 when new, the car was kept around Southern California in its early years before being acquired by the current owning family in the late 1950s. It’s remarkably untouched after 60+ years, with chipping paint and great patina. If only all old Ferraris looked this authentic. No estimate is available, but you can read more here and see more from Bonhams here.
1952 Ferrari 340 America Spider Competizione by Vignale
Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
The Ferrari 340 America was the first model of the Ferrari “America” cars which would reach their pinnacle in the 1960s with the Ferrari 400 Superamerica. They all wore bodies by either Ghia, Vignale or Touring. Built from 1950 through 1952, the 340 America would be replaced by the exceedingly rare 342 America.
This car is powered by a 4.1-liter V-12 making 280 horsepower. It’s stout and a performer. It was raced in period and by the factory. Its competition history includes:
1952 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Piero Taruffi and Mario Vandelli)
1952 24 Hours of Le Mans – 42nd, DNF (with Louis Rosier and Maurice Trintignant)
Only 22 examples of the 340 America were built – eight of which were sold as decked-out luxury tourers for the street. Of the remaining 14, only three were spec’d as Competizione models from Ferrari. This, car #17, is one of those cars (and it is also one of only four bodied as a Vignale Spider).
The consignor acquired the car in 2011 after it had passed through countless other owners. The restoration dates to 2000, but it’s been lovingly cared for and lightly used on the historic circuit – namely the historic running of the Mille Miglia. This former factory racer will bring big money when it crosses the block in January. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
There were a number of Ferrari automobiles that wore a “340” badge. There was the 340 Mexico, the 340 MM, the 340 F1, and this, the 340 America. The America, obviously, was part of the Ferrari America line of cars that began in 1950 with this model. It would continue through 1966 with the 500 Superfast (and maybe through 1967 with the 365 California if you count that one).
The 340 America is powered by a 4.1-liter V-12 making 317 horsepower. That’s some serious get-up-and-go for 1951. It’s first owner was a Frenchman who drove his first 24 Hours of Le Mans 20 years prior. And with that, this car was entered in the 1951 24 Hours (just a week after its owner took delivery, no less). It’s competition history includes:
1951 24 Hours of Le Mans – 56th, DNF (with Louis Chiron and Pierre-Louis Dreyfus (the car’s owner)
1952 24 Hours of Le Mans – 45th, DNF (with Dreyfus and Rene Dreyfus)
It’s a quick car, too – able to hit 150 mph on the Mulsanne. It sports a recent restoration to 1951 Le Mans spec and has both competed in the historic Mille Miglia and has been shown at Villa d’Este. It is the third of 23 340 Americas built. Only eight were bodied by Touring (this is the second). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.