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.

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.

212 Inter by Vignale

1953 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe by Vignale

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

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.

Update: Not sold.

212 Inter Cabriolet

1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet by Vignale

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 14, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

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.

Update: Sold $2,200,000.

One-Off Ferrari 250 Europa by Vignale

1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Vignale

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 16, 2013

1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Vignale

Photo – Bonhams

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.

Update III: Sold, RM Sotheby’s “Leggenda e Passione,” September 2017, $3,440,850.