Three Late Ferraris

1952 Ferrari 342 America Cabriolet by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s really packed their Monterey catalog this year, so much so in fact that I thought they were finished adding cars to it so I mapped out which cars to feature over the three weeks prior to the Pebble Beach Weekend. And then they added these three rare Ferraris. Time is tight, so they are being combined into one post. Enjoy the Ferrari overflow!

The 342 America was the second car in the Ferrari America line, produced in 1952 only. It’s powered by a 4.1-liter V-12 making 200 horsepower. This particular car is the only 342 America bodied by Vignale and it totally has that early-1950s Ferrari appeal.

The amazing thing about the 342 America is that Ferrari only built six examples (with this being the first). Six! That’s it. It’s one of the rarest road-going Ferraris ever made. Only three of them were drop tops and this car was delivered new to Switzerland. The current owners acquired it in 2007 and had it restored to the spec you see here. The estimate on this car is $2,250,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $2,255,000.


1954 Ferrari 500/735 Mondial Spider by Pinin Farina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The car in this photograph definitely has the look of a child’s car. But it is not, as it is a true Ferrari race car. It started life as a 500 Mondial, the third car in Ferrari’s Monza line of sports racers. Bodied by Pinin Farina, it doesn’t quite resemble other 500 Mondial Spiders by the same coachbuilder.

Before it left the factory, Ferrari installed an engine from the slightly-earlier 735 S race car. That means this 500 Mondial is powered by a 2.9-liter straight-four that puts out 225 horsepower. That’s actually quite an upgrade over the Mondial’s comparatively weak 170 horsepower, 2.0-liter unit. To this day, no one knows why Ferrari built this car this way.

Sold new to a man in California, it spent its early days tearing around tracks on the West Coast in regional sports car races. The current owner has had the car since 1999, meaning it is being offered from relatively long-term ownership. It’s one of only 13 Pinin Farina Spider-bodied 500 Mondials. And possibly the only one with a 735 S engine. It should bring between $4,000,000-$5,500,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,850,000.


1955 Ferrari 121 LM Spider by Scaglietti

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is one of the more obscure Ferraris. But because it’s a sports racer from the 1950s, that means it’s worth a huge amount of money. Ferrari’s chief competition during the 1955 World Sportscar Championship were cars like the Jaguar D-Type. So Ferrari went head-to-head, developing a monster six-cylinder engine to take down the English.

This car is powered by a 360 horsepower 4.4-liter straight-six. This chassis began life as a 118 LM and was one of two examples of that model to be upgraded by the factory to 121 LM specification. In this new spec the cars were unbelievably fast: capable of over 180 mph! The race history for this car includes:

  • 1955 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Paolo Marzotto as a 118 LM)
  • 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans – DNF (with Maurice Trintignant and Harry Shell as a 121 LM)

After that, Ferrari sold it and it entered service as a privateer car in California road races. Unfortunately, driver Ernie McAfee was killed while racing this car in Northern California. The then-owner rebuilt it and the present owner acquired it in 1997. This is a rare chance to acquire a factory Ferrari Le Mans racer. One of just four 121 LMs built, it should bring between $6,500,000-$7,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $5,720,000.

Indra Spider

1972 Intermeccanica Indra Spider

Offered by Coys | Essen, Germany | April 8, 2017

Photo – Coys

Construzione Automobili Intermeccanica was a tiny car manufacturer that only built original models from 1966 through 1974. It’s a relatively short amount of time (even though they’ve been building replicas since) and yet, we’ve featured quite the array of their vehicles.

The Indra was the final non-replica Intermeccanica built and it lasted from 1971 through 1974. It was offered as a Convertible or in the form of two slightly different Coupes. Most of them were powered by V-8s from Chevrolet. When GM pulled their support, the Indra went out of production.

This example, with funky bucktoothed rally-style lights, is one of just 60 convertible Indras produced – 125 were built in total. This one should bring between $80,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

340 America Competizione

1952 Ferrari 340 America Spider Competizione by Vignale

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2017

Photo - Bonhams

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.

Update: Sold $6,380,000.

Alfa 8C 2900B Lungo Spider

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Alfa Romeo 8C was Alfa’s largest, most powerful, pre-war road car. It was available from 1931 through 1939 and came in a few different models, beginning with the 8C 2300 and culminating in the 8C 2900B. They were powerful, fast, and sporty. In fact, RM says that it was sportiest car money could buy in 1939 – on par or above the Bugatti Atlantic.

This car is powered by a 180 horsepower, supercharged 2.9-liter straight-eight – enough to allow this car to cruise along at over 100 mph all day long. The Carrozzeria Touring-built body is aluminium and it is beautiful. This is a “Lungo” 8C, meaning it has the longer of the two wheelbases offered.

The earliest known history of this car goes back to 1949, when it was racing in Brazil. The body was separated from the chassis and for the next few decades they remained apart in hands of separate owners. By some miracle, they were reunited in Switzerland in the early 1990s. The restoration was completed by the end of 1997 and, remarkably, the current owners have driven more than 12,000 miles in this car – which is a huge number for a car this rare and valuable.

Only 32 8C 2900 chassis were built and twelve of those are Touring Spiders. Of the 12, only seven are on the long-wheelbase chassis. This is where it gets even more mind-blowing: the pre-sale estimate is between $20,000,000-$25,000,000. Incredible all around. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $19,800,000.

Maserati Ghibli SS

1971 Maserati Ghibli SS Spider

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

There have been three Maserati Ghiblis: the current sedan, a largely forgotten coupe of the 1990s, and this, a beautiful Ghia-styled Grand Tourer from the 1960s and 70s. A Coupe and Spider were available and in 1969, to partner with the base Ghibli, an SS was released.

The difference was that the SS came with a 4.9-liter V-8 making 335 horsepower. Think of what was going on in America at the time – this engine put it smack dab in the middle of muscle car territory. The difference is in the gearing: this car tops out at 170 mph (while most muscle cars were geared for the ¼ mile). This example was restored in 2009 and is noted in the lot description as “the best Ghibli out there.”

Only 128 Ghibli Spiders were built and only 30 of those were of the 4.9-liter SS variety. The estimate on this car is between $1,750,000-$2,250,000. You get what you pay for. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,500,000.

Maseratis in Monterey

1957 Maserati A6G/54 Spider by Frua

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

It seems like each year there is a theme among auction houses as to a certain type of car that is, for whatever reason, more prevalent at the Pebble Beach sales than usual. Two years ago it was open-wheeled race cars. This year it’s Maseratis. Both Gooding & Company and RM Sotheby’s are offering difference collections of Maseratis. The car you see here is probably the best one available.

The A6G/54 was introduced in 1954 (and built through 1956) and was the final version of the A6G, a car that dated back to 1947. It is powered by a 160 horsepower 2.0-liter straight-six and four body styles were offered, though none were built by Maserati themselves. Frua offered a Coupe and Spider, while Zagato and Allemano also offered a style each.

This is the fifth of 10 Frua Spiders and one of only 60 A6G/54s built in total. It was sold new in the U.S. and has spent a majority of its life on the west coast. Restored in the 1990s, this beautiful car does not come with a pre-sale estimate, which should tell you what you need to know regarding affordability. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,300,000.


1951 Maserati A6G 2000 Coupe by Pinin Farina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016

Photo Courtesty of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesty of RM Sotheby’s

The A6G 2000 was the second iteration of the Maserati A6. Produced in 1950 and 1951 only, the cars saw increased displacement in the straight-six engine (to 2.0-liters) which makes 100 horsepower.

This example was sold new in Italy and has been in the U.S. since 1970. The handsome Pinin Farina body is the sort of typical body you could expect to see on one of these chassis. Except that you should never expect to see one as this is the second of just nine built by Pinin Farina (of about 15 cars built in total). It has been restored twice since 2000 and should bring between $400,000-$500,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1971 Maserati Ghibli SS Spider

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

There have been three Maserati Ghiblis: the current sedan, a largely forgotten coupe of the 1990s, and this, a beautiful Ghia-styled Grand Tourer from the 1960s and 70s. A Coupe and Spider were available and in 1969, to partner with the base Ghibli, an SS was released.

The difference was that the SS came with a 4.9-liter V-8 making 335 horsepower. Think of what was going on in America at the time – this engine put it smack dab in the middle of muscle car territory. The difference is in the gearing: this car tops out at 170 mph (while most muscle cars were geared for the ¼ mile). This example was restored in 2009 and is noted in the lot description as “the best Ghibli out there.”

Only 128 Ghibli Spiders were built and only 30 of those were of the 4.9-liter SS variety. The estimate on this car is between $1,750,000-$2,250,000. You get what you pay for. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,500,000.


1971 Maserati Quattroporte Prototipo by Frua

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The original Maserati Quattroporte was a sedan built between 1963 and 1969. Maserati was out of the sedan game until 1976. But in those years between, something strange occurred. And it resulted in two amazing cars.

The story is that Frua designed this prototype Quattroporte sedan and showed it at the 1971 Paris Auto Salon. A second was built for Aga Khan IV and that was it. This is one of the rarest Maseratis outside of cars like the Boomerang. It is powered by a 4.7-liter V-8 making 290 horsepower (from the Maserati Indy). This car is rumored to have been owned and used by the Spanish royal family. Most recently, it’s been in the Riverside Automotive Museum and should sell for between $175,000-$225,000, which seems like a steal. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $88,000.


1948 Maserati A6/1500 Coupe by Pinin Farina

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Remember when we said that Pinin Farina’s Coupe on the A6G 2000 was sort of the prototypical design for this car? Well here’s proof we aren’t crazy. This car is a little earlier, as the A6 1500 was the predecessor of the A6G 2000 having been built between 1947 and 1950. Believe it or not, it was Maserati’s first production road car.

The engine is a 1.5-liter straight-six making 85 horsepower. Only 61 were built and 59 of those carry Pinin Farina coachwork. This example, a long time Texas resident, was restored in 1998 and the engine was redone in 2005. It’s never been shown, but was raced back in 1949 and 1950. As an important piece of Maserati history, it could bring between $800,000-$1,100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company in Pebble Beach.

Update: Sold $852,500.

Maserati A6G/54 Spider by Frua

1957 Maserati A6G/54 Spider by Frua

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

It seems like each year there is a theme among auction houses as to a certain type of car that is, for whatever reason, more prevalent at the Pebble Beach sales than usual. Two years ago it was open-wheeled race cars. This year it’s Maseratis. Both Gooding & Company and RM Sotheby’s are offering difference collections of Maseratis. The car you see here is probably the best one available.

The A6G/54 was introduced in 1954 (and built through 1956) and was the final version of the A6G, a car that dated back to 1947. It is powered by a 160 horsepower 2.0-liter straight-six and four body styles were offered, though none were built by Maserati themselves. Frua offered a Coupe and Spider, while Zagato and Allemano also offered a style each.

This is the fifth of 10 Frua Spiders and one of only 60 A6G/54s built in total. It was sold new in the U.S. and has spent a majority of its life on the west coast. Restored in the 1990s, this beautiful car does not come with a pre-sale estimate, which should tell you what you need to know regarding affordability. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,300,000.

The Real Testarossa Spider

1986 Ferrari Testarossa Spider by Pininfarina

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 5-6, 2016

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The 1980s were a weird time. Cars from that era are just now beginning to be looked upon fondly… because nostalgia can tint things. For instance, Ferrari built a rear-mid-engined sports car (12 cylinders, no less) with zero intentions of ever taking it on a track. It was boxy and angular – the style of the day. And they built a lot of them – 7,177 to be exact.

The Testarossa appeared on Miami Vice and its popularity took off. It was a car that all of the rich people in the 80s wanted. A lot of them wanted convertibles, too, after they saw this car. But Ferrari said no.

So what’s the story here? Commissioned by Ferrari, Pininfarina designed and built this lone authentic Spider and gifted it to Gianni Agnelli, then head of Fiat. Other companies would offer “conversions” where they’d basically hack apart a Testarossa to make it into a convertible, but only one – this one – has a factory history.

The engine is a 4.9-liter flat-12 making 390 horsepower, which doesn’t seem outrageous, but the top speed was still 180 mph. This might be the first time that this car has ever come up for public sale. It is iconic and will likely remain the most valuable Testarossa in the world. Artcurial estimates a sale price between $750,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,355,870.

Siata 208S

1954 Siata 208S Spider by Motto

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | December 10, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Siata began life in Turn in 1926 when Giorgio Ambrosini began selling aftermarket performance bits for Fiats (so yes, there was a tuner scene in the 1920s). The company’s first original model was introduced in 1948 and they continued to build cars up through 1970. This is their finest work.

Sure, it may look a little AC Ace-ish but they were contemporaries from different parts of Europe. The 208S was produced in 1953 and 1954 only. It is powered by a 125 horsepower 2.0-liter alloy V-8 engine from Fiat (the famous “8V’ engine).

Only 56 examples of the 208S were built and this is the final of 33 Motto Spiders. This car has known ownership since 1956 and has been the recipient of two restorations, the most recent of which occurred in 2011. Since then it has appeared at some major Concours shows around the world (Pebble Beach, Kuwait, Villa d’Este), taking awards home in the process. It could be the nicest example anywhere. And it can be yours for between $1,500,000-$1,900,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s New York lineup.

Update: Sold $1,650,000.

Abarth Spider Tubolare

1962 Abarth 1000 Sport 131-MC Spider Tubolare

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | September 13, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Abarth cars are some of the hardest to find information on. They tuned some cars and they built their own race cars – and the records are only in the hands of marque specialists (if they exist at all). This Spider Tubolare is a race car, and one I’d honestly never heard of until now.

There was a new wave of sports prototype car building going on in the late-1950s and early-1960s. Tubular spaceframe chassis construction offered a stiff, lightweight alternative to traditional chassis design. And it allowed a company like Abarth to swap engines in and out of the mid-engined layout depending on what races they wanted to enter. This car uses a 1.0-liter straight-four that was installed in period to compete in the European Hill Climb Championship.

This car has been owned by Fabrizio Violati since the 1970s and has been a part of his Maranello Rosso collection for nearly 40 years. As it’s been on display for a while, it needs a complete refreshening to be usable. In any case, it should sell for between $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $198,786.