Villa Erba

25 May 2013

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Lot 130

1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta 'Competizione' by Pinin Farina

  • Chassis no. 0320AM
  • Engine no. 0320AM

Sold for €9.856.000


340 bhp, 4,494 cc overhead camshaft V-12 engine with triple Weber 40 IF/4C carburettors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with transverse leaf springs, live axle with parallel trailing arms and semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel drum brakes, and tubular steel frame. Wheelbase: 2,500 mm (102 in.)

  • One of three works 375 MM competition cars entered at the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • Integral part of Ferrari’s 1953 Manufacturer’s Championship
  • Well-known racing history, including participation at the 24 Hour of Spa, the Carrera Panamericana, and winning the 12 Hours of Pescara
  • Only works race car to have been driven in the World Sports Car Championship by three World Champions: Hawthorn, Ascari, and Farina
  • Presented and awarded at numerous concours d’elegance, including Pebble Beach, the Louis Vuitton Classic, and the Goodwood Revival


Combining rarity, powerful mechanical specifications, important racing history, and ravishing coachwork, 0320AM is one of three 340/375 MM works race cars that Ferrari entered at the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans in its efforts to counter mount competition from Jaguar, Maserati, and Lancia. All three cars featured a brand new Pinin Farina body derived from the 250 MM design.

Both 0320AM and 0322AM were built on a late 340 MM chassis with a 2,500-millimetre wheelbase Tipo 340/MM/53, each carrying a 4.1-liter V-12 engine, whilst 0318AM rode on the same chassis type, but it was powered by a 4,494-cubic centimetre long-block Lampredi V-12 derived from the 375 Formula One cars.

Wearing number 14 at the 13th June Sarthe race, and piloted by Mike Hawthorn and Nino Farina, 0320AM advanced to 2nd place after 12 laps, before being disqualified for adding brake fluid during a pit stop, violating an obscure and old rule that prohibited the addition of any fluids before the 28th lap.

The following month, 0320AM underwent a number of factory upgrades. The original engine, internal number 70M, was disassembled, and the capacity was increased to 4.5 litres. The car also received body modifications during this time. A more-streamlined nose with recessed covered headlamps was added at the request of the drivers to improve the down-force at high speeds, and the wraparound rear glass was also replaced with a smaller glass pane abutted by larger sheet metal sections to reduce headlight glare during night-time racing.

Following a DNF, due to rear-axle issues, at the 24 Hours of Spa on 25th July, 0320AM contributed to the 375 MM’s competitive distinction on 15th August with a 1st overall finish at the 12 Hours of Pescara, with Mike Hawthorn and Umberto Maglioli behind the wheel. Chassis 0320AM was then delivered by the factory to its first private owner, Tullio Pacini, of Rome, Italy, on 9th October.

In late November of 1953, this 375 was one of five Ferraris entered in the legendary Carrera Panamericana, where Enzo Ferrari showcased his cars to the North American market. With all five 375 MMs competing under the private banner of Franco Cornacchia’s Scuderia della Guastalla, 0320AM began the race driven by Mario Ricci. During the fifth stage of the Carrera, Umberto Maglioli’s 375 MM, chassis number 0358AM, lost a rear wheel, and he then got behind the wheel of Ricci’s 0320AM. He advanced the car from 8th place to a respectable 6th-place finish. Averaging an unbelievable 138 mph for 223 miles, Maglioli and 0320AM set a public road stage record that has yet to be broken. In combination with Guido Mancini’s 4th-place effort in 0322AM, Maglioli’s finish garnered enough points to propel Ferrari to the 1953 Manufacturer’s Championship. Chassis 0320AM appropriately finished the 1953 campaign with a 1st-place finish at the Circuit of Guadeloupe in December, once again driven by Maglioli.

In 1954, 0320AM was purchased by Luigi Chinetti Motors and was imported to the United States. Initially purchased by Walter Luftman, of Rye, New York, this important Ferrari was sold in late 1955 to Mark and Louise Schellenberg, of Denver, Colorado. Following a minor collision to the front-end, the nose was modified by Charlie Lyon, of Denver. At this time, the opportunity was also taken to return the rear glass to the large wraparound style originally designed by Pinin Farina.

Soon thereafter, 0320AM was acquired by Richard F. Merritt and William Rhodes in 1958. They in turn sold the Ferrari to William de Creeft, of Santa Barbara, California. He enjoyed the car for 12 years, until it was purchased by Gene Curtis, of Manhattan Beach (notable as Ernie McAfee Engineering’s head mechanic during the Southern California Scuderia’s mid-1950s heyday). Chassis 0320AM was restored in 1974 by Steve Griswold, of Berkeley, California, and two years later, it was purchased by Robert Sutherland, of Denver. Campaigned in August 1976 at the 3rd annual Monterey Historic Races, 0320AM was concurrently presented at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, winning Best in Class. The car was exhibited and shown by Mr Sutherland several times over the next 17 years, also running at Watkins Glen, Elkhart Lake, and the 1989 Mille Miglia.

In March 1993, 0320AM was sold to Jerome Sullivan, of Hartland, Wisconsin, and it was soon refurbished by the region’s premier Ferrari restorer, the renowned Wayne Obry. The 375 MM was displayed at several Cavallino Classic meets over the next few years, before being acquired in 1999, by Sir Anthony Bamford, of Stoke-on-Trent, England, who presented it on 4 June 2000, at the Louis Vuitton Concours d’Elegance, winning the Best of Show and the TAG Heuer “Cheating the Wind” trophy. Exhibited at several discerning European events during this period, 0320AM was also featured in the December 2000 issue of Classic & Sports Car magazine.

Acquired by the consignor in July 2006, this breath-taking example of the legendary 375 MM was treated to exacting body restoration work in August 2006, care of Shapecraft Ltd. in England. This work entailed enlarging the rear-wheel arch intakes and reshaping the nose to its original style with non-recessed headlamps. Currently, 0320AM is finished in its correct livery, as it appeared at the 1953 Le Mans.

Exhibited at the press days for the 2008 and 2010 Goodwood Festivals of Speed, this sensational Ferrari offers exceptional racing provenance that is equalled by very few sports cars of its era. It is a beautifully restored and well-documented example, and it is one of the three original factory competizione cars that ran at the 1953 Le Mans. Most notably, it is the only known Ferrari works race car to have been driven by three world champions: Alberto Ascari, Dr Nino Farina, and Mike Hawthorn. It would constitute a crowning acquisition for any significant automobile collection.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

jonathan@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more