1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta Competizione by Pinin Farina
Offered by RM Auctions | Lake Como, Italy | May 25, 2013
This Ferrari 375 MM was one of the first 375 MMs built by Ferrari. It was constructed early in 1953 to be ready in time for the 1953 World Sportscar Championship. The 375 road car was an evolution of the 340 but for the race cars, a special 340/375MM was built – meaning it had the proven, competitive chassis of the 340 with the new, more powerful 375 engine.
That engine is a 340 horsepower 4.5-liter V12 that came straight from Ferraris Formula One car (this car was originally fitted with a 4.1-liter V12 but had the engine switched by the factory prior to the 1953 Spa 24 Hours). The body was designed and built by Pinin Farina. Three of these such cars were built and the one you are looking at was driven and raced by legends. It’s competition history includes:
1953 24 Hours of Le Mans – 56th, disqualified even though it ran well (with Giuseppe Farina and Mike Hawthorn)
1953 Spa 24 Hours – 4th, not running at finish (with Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi)
1953 Carrera Panamericana – 6th (with Maglioli, Forese Salviati and Mario Ricci)
The car passed between owners, spending time in American and British collections before the current owner acquired it in 2004. It has been professionally restored to its 1953 Le Mans livery. No estimate was available as I wrote this as the lot description had yet to be published. The last one of these (of the three made) that came up for sale failed to meet its reserve in 2005 at $3.5 million. Expect more. Click here for more info and here for more from RM at Villa Erba.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Monterey, California | August 18, 2012
There are a few variants of the Ferrari 340 – the 340 America, the 340 Mexico, and the final version, the king-of-the-hill 340 MM. It had a 300 horsepower 4.1-liter V12. Only 10 were made and five of them were bodied by Vignale. This car was the last one made and it cost its American buyer an eye-watering $18,000 in 1953.
The car was bought new by Californian Sterling Edwards, who was, at about the same time he purchased this car, building cars under his own name. He picked this car up in Italy on his honeymoon, before shipping it home to San Francisco. He campaigned the car in SCCA events on the west coast, winning races and beating drivers like Masten Gregory in the process. Edwards sold the car in 1955 for $8,000.
The car passed through many hands and at one point someone repainted it red. Thankfully it has been restored to its original condition and color. This car competed in the Mille Miglia a number of times in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The current owner has owned the car for nearly 30 years and is being sold along with a number of his other significant Ferraris.
Ferrari 340 MMs are very rare – only 10 were made – so you don’t see them for sale too often. Expect this one to command a price between $4,500,000-$6,500,000. For more information, click here. And for the rest of Gooding’s Monterey lineup, click here.