Fiat never built a car called the “750” but they did build one called the 600. Produced from 1955 through 1969, it was visually similar to the classic 500, but with a larger engine. There was also the van-like Multipla version, which was the basis for some wild designs. The normal 600 was also used as the basis for some cool coachbuilt cars. Fun fact, there was a version of the 600 called the “750” – but it was only produced by Zastava in Yugoslavia.
Vignale took the sort of tiny, round 600 and enlarged the engine to 750cc. In this guise, the straight-four probably made more power than the original 633cc engine. The body is the star here, though. It’s very stylish, sort of a mini-coupe that doesn’t resemble the base car at all. Vignale also built a two-door sedan and a convertible.
As far as production numbers go, there may have been as many as 40,000 750 Vignales built. That seems like quite a few, but then again Fiat built 2,695,197 600s in total, so it’s kind of a drop in the bucket. This one shows nice and it is completely usable. It should bring between $13,000-$15,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
What time period do you define as the “golden age” of coachbuilding? Is it the 1930s? If so, I would be inclined to agree, but at the same time, I’d be doing a great disservice to the 1950s because there were some really fantastic coachbuilt cars built during that decade. The Lancia Aurelia alone had some great designs.
The Aurelia was Lancia’s luxury car (which was also available as a coupe and convertible in addition to the standard sedan) between 1950 and 1958. It featured the first production V-6 engine and this car carries a 2.0-liter V-6 making 90 horsepower. It rides on a B52 chassis, which was the slightly lengthened B21 chassis that Lancia offered to coachbuilders.
This one went to Vignale and it was fitted with this body that resembled nothing else that Lancia built. The company only sold 98 B52 Aurelias between 1952 and 1953 (with 86 of those being from ’52). It’s a cool car that will stand out anywhere it goes. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2017
Photo – Gooding & Company
From 25 feet (or, you know, in photos), this Cisitalia might look like any number of postwar sports cars. But it’s coachbuilt – by Vignale, no less – and the details on this car are fantastic.
The 202 was Cisitalia’s main road car, introduced in 1947 and produced through 1952. There were some pretty exotic versions of it, including the CMM and the famed SMM Spider Nuvolari. It’s borderline blasphemous to call any Cisitalia “pedestrian” but I think the attractive yet subdued styling on this Cabriolet, coupled with the fact that it lacks any real racing pretensions, is what makes it special.
This car is powered by a 63 horsepower, 1.1-liter straight-four. Coupes came first, but the Cabriolet is rarer, with only about 60 built (of a total 202 production run of 170 cars). This example was discovered in Argentina before coming stateside in 2003. The restoration dates all the way back to 2016 and the chassis number is an early one. It is expected to bring between $525,000-$625,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Gooding’s Amelia Island lineup.
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.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016
Photo – Gooding & Company
Cisitalia’s first cars were single-seat, open-wheel race cars built by Piero Dusio’s company in 1946. The 202 was introduced in 1947 and has become Cisitalia’s most famous and legendary car. And the CMM coupe you see here is among the most dramatically styled post-war automobiles.
This car is the second two-seat Cisitalia built and was bodied by Vignale. It features big fins out back and a two-piece windshield. You should really check out more photos of the car on Gooding’s site, here, because it’s amazing. This car is powered by a 60 horsepower 1.2-liter straight-four. With the aerodynamic bodywork in play, this car was able to hit 125 mph in testing.
Cisitalia used this car in the 1948 Mille Miglia, where it DNF’d with Piero Taruffi driving. It competed in other events, both in Europe and Argentina (where the car ended up when Dusio moved there in 1949). This car was discovered in Uruguay in 1974 and has had multiple Argentinian and Japanese owners since. It has been restored and is one of two 202 CMMs ever built. With that said, it should sell for between $2,000,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | December 10, 2015
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
This is a very stylish car, but we probably don’t need to tell you that. It looks like something you’d see parked at Villa d’Este (Good news: just read the lot description and this car has not been shown there – so here’s your very hard-to-get ticket to that show).
The 212 Inter was one of Ferrari’s earliest road cars. Only 82 were built between 1951 and 1952 and only six of those were Vignale Coupes. This was the first. The car is powered by a 2.6-liter Colombo V-12 making 170 horsepower.
This car was shown by a Ferrari dealer at the 1954 San Remo Concours d’Elegance before being returned to Ferrari and shipped to Luigi Chinetti in the U.S. (who sold it to a guy in Milwaukee). He ruined the engine and swapped it out. Fast forward to 2009 when the car was owned by an Indiana man who had it restored – and the original engine was located and put back in the car. Now the car is just about perfect – including that beautiful color combination. It can now be yours. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.
Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 14, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
Another high-dollar Ferrari – but recently, aren’t they all? Even Ferrari 308s are commanding sums into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Is there a Prancing Horse bubble? Well if there is, this is the kind of Ferrari to have your money in. These early, Colombo V-12 cars are the roots of Ferrari.
The 212 Inter (not to be confused with the race-bred 212 Export) was a grand touring car built between 1951 and 1952 only. The bodies were all by the leading Italian coachbuilders of the day, with this car sporting a distinctive Vignale drop-top body. The car looks sort of Aston Martin and Maserati-ish.
The engine is a 2.6-liter V-12 making 170 horsepower. This was car #16 of 78 Inters built and one of only four with this Vignale coachwork. This car spent most of its life in Switzerland and has known ownership history from new. The restoration was completed last year and it’s being offered fresh off an award-winning debut at Pebble Beach in 2014. It should bring between $2,400,000-$2,800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 16, 2013
The Ferrari 250 Europa was the first road car variant of the Ferrari 250 – the model line that pushed Ferrari over the edge from race car builder who built road cars to road car builder who builds race cars.
This particular Europa was bodied with a one-off body by Vignale and shown at the 1954 New York Auto Show. It was purchased from Ferrari by Luigi Chinetti – the longtime U.S. importer for Ferrari and the man responsible for introducing the brand to America. He had the car painted red for the auto show. Chinetti owned the car for about five years before selling it. It bounced around and ended up in California – where it was painted purple and a Chevy V8 was installed.
A model-correct, 200 horsepower 3.0-liter V12 is in the car now. The car was bought in unrestored, original and slightly modified/damaged repaired condition in 2004-ish by Tom Shaughnessy, renowned Ferrari rescuer.
In 2009, the car went to its current owner in Switzerland, who painstakingly restored it to the exact look it had on the Auto Show stand in 1954. Only 20 250 Europas were built (not to be confused with the 250 Europa GT). Only one of them has a body that looks like this. It is expected to sell for between $2,800,000-$3,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Auction.
Update: Sold $2,805,000.
Update II: Sold, RM Sotheby’s “Driven by Disruption,” December 2015 $3,300,000.
The Fiat 125 was Fiat’s large family car that replaced the 1500 and was introduced for 1967. It was available as a four-door sedan and five-door station wagon. But some Italian coachbuilders got a hold of it and built some two-door variants as well.
Vignale built the “Samantha” – a sporty-looking two-door coupe. It is said that the car was designed for Alfredo Vignale himself – as he wanted a luxurious ride to drive around. Underneath, the engine has been upgraded from the 125’s original 1.6-liter: it’s a 2.0-liter straight-four making around 112 horsepower. Performance is described as “spritely.”
It comes with a set of spares, but it is in fantastic condition. Vignale ended up building a few more – 100 in total, making this a very rare coachbuilt Italian sports car. It is expected to sell for between $23,500-$32,500. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys in Greece.
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.