375 America Vignale Cabriolet

1954 Ferrari 375 America Cabriolet by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 375 was the third in Ferrari’s limited-production “America” line of cars. It was produced in 1953 and 1954, with just 12 built, two of which were actually converted to 375 spec from existing 250 Europas.

So what was the difference between a 375 America and a 250 Europa? A bigger engine, for one. The 375 had a 4.5-liter V12 rated at 296 horsepower. This was a 160-mph road car… in the early 1950s. They were also very expensive. Most were Pinin Farina-bodied, however, Vignale produced three coupes and this, the lone convertible.

This car, which is one of the two Europas that became Americas, was a triple-black example when new and was first sold in Rome. A removable hardtop was optioned (not very common for Ferraris of any era). It was refinished most recently after the current owner’s purchase in 1998. This was nearly 20 years after it was initially restored.

No sales estimate yet, but you can read more about this car here.

Update: Sold $7,595,000.

3500 GTI Vignale

1962 Maserati 3500 GTI Spyder by Vignale

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Northamptonshire, U.K. | May 28, 2022

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The 3500 GT was Maserati’s big grand tourer of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Both 2+2 coupes and two-seat convertibles were offered, with styling by a select few Italian carrozzeria, including Vignale, who bodied this example and most of the model’s convertibles.

In 1960, Maserati introduced the GTI variant, making it Italy’s first fuel-injected production car. The 3.5-liter inline-six got Lucas fuel injection and a power bump to 232 horsepower. Because fuel injection was still relatively new, it could be somewhat troublesome, and more than a few GTI examples were converted back to Weber carburetors later in life. Not this one.

This car was delivered new in London, and from the 80s onward, it spent time in France and Italy before returning within the last decade to London with its current owner. Only 245 Vignale convertibles were built out of a total 3500 production run of 2,226 examples between 1957 and 1964. The pre-sale estimate here is $470,000-$550,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $523,210.

Cunningham C-3 Cabriolet

1953 Cunningham C-3 Cabriolet by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There aren’t too many Vignale-bodied American cars, but the Cunningham C-3 is one. But there aren’t too many Cunningham C-3s, either. Only about 24 C-3s were built, all Vignale-bodied. Apparently another dozen or so chassis were built, and some of those were completed individually later on with bodywork limited only by their builders’ imaginations.

Power is from a 5.4-liter Chrysler Hemi V8 that made 220 horsepower when new. C-3 coupes are more common, and just five cabriolets were built. It’s definitely Vignale styling, and it’s another example of American muscle with a sleek Italian body – a common theme of performance cars of the 1950s and 60s.

This was a New York car when new and was shown at Pebble Beach as early as 1956, appearing there most recently in 2015. It was even owned by Briggs Cunningham’s daughter at one point. The pre-sale estimate is $900,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,215,000.

Fiat 600 Rendez Vous

1959 Fiat 600 Rendez Vous by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 13, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Fiat 600 was introduced in 1955 and would remain in production until 1969. It was the basis for Fiat’s 500 and was available as a two-door fastback and a mini-MPV called the Multipla. They built over 2.5 million of them. But this example is no ordinary, somewhat-dumpy Fiat 600.

The famed Italian coachbuilder Vignale decided that they wanted to take this near-microcar and make it look like a fancy, two-door coupe. Its classy looks make it look a lot bigger than it is, and it isn’t made clear if this car has a 633cc inline-four or the 767cc version. In either case, the engine is mounted out back.

Fewer than 20 of these “Rendez Vous” cars are thought to have been produced, and this one was restored less than 300 miles ago. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Not sold.

Fiat 1100 Charmant Coupe

1954 Fiat 1100/103 TV Charmant Coupe by Vignale

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 21, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

The Fiat 1100 was a small family car built between 1953 and 1969. At the 1953 Paris Motor Show, they introduced the TV, or Turismo Veloce, variant (and for some reason, Bonhams insists on spelling it out, even though it was called the TV. I guess it sounds sexier spelled out like it’s some rare sports car… which it isn’t).

The TV did receive an upgraded engine: a sporty 1.1-liter inline-four good for 57 horsepower. There were also styling tweaks that were done in-house. This car, however, is one of 12 bodied by Vignale as a “Charmant Coupe.” Styling was actually penned by Michelotti.

The standard 1100, or even the TV, did not have fastback styling, Borrani wire wheels, or an Abarth intake manifold. This one was stored for a long time and supposedly has very few miles on it. No estimate is available yet, but you can read more about it here. Check out more from Bonhams here.

Update: Sold $190,400.

Vignale Wonderful Coupe

1958 Fiat 1200 Wonderful Coupe by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | August 14-15, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Well get to this car’s name in a second, but first: the 1950s were kind of a weird time, as it turns out. American car companies wanted their cars to look Italian, and Italian car companies, apparently, wanted their cars to look American. Look at this car’s styling. It’s like they bolted a Fiat front clip onto a Packard Hawk.

The Fiat 1200 was built in sedan and convertible form between 1957 and 1961. Power is from a 1.2-liter inline-four that made 54 horsepower. This car was styled by Michelotti, and, sure enough, it says “Wonderful” on the fenders. Kind of amusing. The coolest part is that it’s a targa. The roof panel pops off, like so:

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It’s thought that as few as three of these were made. You can read more about this restored example here, and see more from RM Sotheby’s here.

Update: Sold $181,500.

Fiat 8V by Vignale

1954 Fiat 8V Coupe by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Can you believe that Fiat didn’t built a V8 until they introduced the 8V in 1952? They didn’t produce any eight-cylinder engines until that time, and the only reason the model is called the “8V” is because they didn’t want to get in a tussle with Ford over the use of “V8.”

Between 1952 and 1954, Fiat produced just 114 examples of its 2.0-liter V8-powered 8V. Power was rated between 104 and 125 horsepower depending on which iteration of the engine the car received, although the catalog is short on that detail.

This is the 80th example produced, and it features dramatic bodywork from Vignale. It was produced as a follow up to a Michelotti-penned show car called the Demon Rouge. 8Vs are never cheap, and short of a Supersonic, this is about the best-looking example I’ve seen. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Ferrari 225 S

1952 Ferrari 225 S Berlinetta ‘Tuboscocca’ by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | May 1-2, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Well if you’re wondering what the biggest dollar car from RM’s Elkhart Collection sale is, you’re looking at it. Selling at no reserve, this car is one of just 21 examples of the 225 S produced by Ferrari in 1952.

The 225 S could be had with two different chassis types: a spaceframe or a tubular semi-monocoque, aka the Tuboscocca. This car has the latter and is one of just four Berlinettas produced on that chassis (of 12 total Tuboscocca cars). It is the fifth of the 21 cars produced, and power is from a 210 horsepower, 2.7-liter V12.

Because the Tuboscocca was a competition-geared chassis, it’s no surprise that this car has some racing history, including:

  • 1952 Mille Miglia – 10th, 2nd in class (with Franco Bordoni-Bisleri and a Mr. Geronimo)
  • 1952 12 Hours of Casablanca – 2nd (with Jean Lucas and Jacques Peron)

There were some other successes before the car was repaired by Ferrari and sold to an SCCA privateer in Ohio through Luigi Chinetti Motors. The current owner purchased it in 2012 and has used it extensively in historic events. You can see more about the car here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $2,810,000.

Vignale Aurelia B52 Spider

1953 Lancia Aurelia B52 Spider by Vignale

For sale by Girardo & Co.

Photo – Girardo & Co.

The Aurelia is a very historic nameplate in Lancia’s past, yet it was produced in fairly limited numbers between 1950 and 1958. Only 18,201 were built in total across all body styles. They revised the chassis over the years during the various series of Aurelias built.

The B50 was the less-pedestrian version, and they make up a very small percentage of Aurelia production. Offered as a bare chassis to coachbuilders, B50s would turn up with some fantastic coachwork. In 1952, Lancia updated the chassis to B52 specification, and they built 98 examples through 1953.

Power is provided by a 1.8-liter V6 – the Aurelia was the first mass-produced car with a V6. This example was bodied by Vignale and debuted at the Brussels Motor Show, where it may have caught the eye of the Belgian royal family…

It remained in Belgium through 2007 and was later restored to its motor show stand-livery. It was shown at Villa d’Este in 2016 where let’s be honest, a car like this absolutely belongs. This right-hand drive example is one of 12 B52s built in 1953. You can read more about it here.

340 America Vignale Coupe

1951 Ferrari 340 America Coupe Speciale by Vignale

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 16, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

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.

Update: Sold $3,635,000.