375 America

1954 Ferrari 375 America Coupe by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The first America model from Ferrari went on sale in 1950. Ferrari stuffed their largest V-12 engines into these big (for the day) GT cars. Many of them were coachbuilt. And very few were built. The third model in this line was the 375 America, built in 1953 and 1954 only.

A 4.5-liter V-12 provided power. Rated at 296 horsepower, it could propel the car to 160 mph. This particular car was bodied by Vignale and is finished in burgundy with a silver greenhouse, the original colors it came with.

It was purchased new by an American and spent many years in the U.S., making up part of the Blackhawk Collection at one point. It found itself in the Netherlands for a while, again coming stateside in 2009 before being refinished in its original paint scheme. Only 12 examples of the 375 America were built and this is the first up to come up for sale since 2011. It’s a big money Ferrari and you can find out more about it here. Click here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Not sold.

Fina Sport Convertible

1956 Fina Sport Convertible

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The Fina Sport was a dramatic and beautiful American-built, Italian-styled, 1950s dreamboat designed and constructed by automotive engineer Perry Fina. Fina gained a lot of knowledge working for Fiat and Isotta Fraschini – both in their early years – before returning home and setting up shop in New York to fine tune other people’s cars.

The first model he built under his own name was a coupe and then he opted for a convertible. Styled by Vignale in Italy, it clearly blends American and Italian lines. Power comes from a 5.4-liter Cadillac V-8 good for 250 horsepower.

Fina only built a few cars and this is the only restored example in existence. The restoration was completed earlier this year and it’s ready and eligible for all the major shows. A rare car from a manufacturer that barely got anything out the door, this convertible should bring between $750,000-$950,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $775,000.

Ferrari 625 TF

1953 Ferrari 625 TF by Vignale

Offered by Bonhams | Monaco | May 11, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

If you like ultra-rare early Ferrari factory race cars, then Bonhams has the car for you. This is a Ferrari 625 TF (for Targa Florio). Built in 1953 only, it was the first closed-wheel, four-cylinder race car from Ferrari.

A four-cylinder Ferrari? Of course! It’s the legendary 2.5-liter Lampredi straight-four and that Lampredi engine would go on to power Ferrari’s Monza line of racing cars. In this guise, it’s good for 220 horsepower… not a far cry from the 237 horsepower produced by the 250 MM’s V-12.

Only three examples of the 625 TF were built and each of them are markedly different, showing signs of evolution from chassis to chassis. This car features open body work from Vignale but in its earliest form carried a different body. Enzo didn’t like the original and so here we are.

This chassis spent its competitive days racing around Italy with the likes of Mike Hawthorn and Umberto Maglioli behind the wheel before being exported to a new owner in Argentina toward the end of 1953. It raced in Argentina and Brazil thereafter, competing into the early 1960s. In the mid-1970s it was discovered in a scrapyard in Naples, Italy, with a Lincoln V-12 stuffed under the hood. It was restored in the 1980s and again by its current owner in the 2000s.

Ferrari road racers from the golden era of sports car racing – and those that Enzo had a hand in – are just wonderful things. This sheer exclusivity of this the 625 TF makes it a great opportunity. It’ll be expensive though: this car carries an estimate of $5,500,000-$8,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

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.

Ferrari 330 GT Wagon

1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Shooting Brake by Vignale

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 19, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

I’m beginning to think Gooding & Company has a secret stash of one-off Ferrari wagons. It’s a great concept. Think about it: take a high-revving Italian exotic, add a big greenhouse out back and boom! Now you’ve got a grocery-getter that hauls the mail.

The Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 was a grand tourer built between 1964 and 1967. It was far and away the most common of the Ferrari 330 series, with 1,099 produced. But this does not look like the rest of them. It was sold new as a normal 330 GT 2+2 but when it came back to Chinetti Motors in 1967, Chinetti Jr. co-designed this “Shooting Brake” and had it built by Vignale. This is believed to be the final Ferrari bodied by the Carrozzeria.

It’s powered by a 4.0-liter V-12 making 300 horsepower. Chinetti sold the car in the 1970s and it was restored in the 1990s. At one point it was owned by Jamiroquai front man Jay Kay. It’s one-of-one and should bring between $700,000-$900,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update II: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Los Angeles 2018, $313,000.

Fiat 750 Vignale

1963 Fiat 750 Vignale Coupe

Offered by Coys | London, England | May 18, 2017

Photo – Coys

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.

Aurelia B52 by Vignale

1952 Lancia Aurelia B52 2000 Coupe by Vignale

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.

Update: Sold $313,152.

Cisitalia 202 SC

1947 Cisitalia 202 SC Cabriolet by Vignale

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.

Update: Sold $550,000.

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.

Cisitalia 202 CMM

1948 Cisitalia 202 CMM by Vignale

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

Photo - Gooding & Company

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.

Update: Not sold.