Monterey

18-19 August 2017

Previous Next

Lot 142

1952 Ferrari 342 America Cabriolet by Vignale

  • Chassis no. 0232 AL
  • Engine no. 0232 AL
  • Gearbox no. 3L

$2,250,000 - $3,000,000

To be auctioned on Friday, August 18, 2017


Please note that Internet bidding is not available for this lot. Interested parties that are unable to attend the sale may register to bid by telephone or place a commission bid online at rmsothebys.com.

  • The first of six examples produced; among the rarest road-going Ferraris
  • The only 342 America bodied by Vignale
  • Exceptional open coachwork with special design features
  • Equipped with its original numbers-matching engine
  • Rarely seen in public since the 1970s


Among the earliest “ultra-Ferraris” to wear the now-famous America nameplate, the 342 America was intended as an especially luxurious and powerful custom road car for the factory’s best clients. Built with an extended 2,650-mm wheelbase to accommodate the enlarged 200-hp Lampredi V-12, it saw a total production run of only six examples, for such clients as King Leopold of Belgium and Enzo Ferrari himself. It is unusual among road-going Ferraris in that each car was delivered with an even chassis number, carrying the suffix “AL” for “America Lungo,” and all had left-hand drive.

Records indicate that 0232 AL was the very first 342 America built, and the first of three completed with cabriolet coachwork, in this case by Vignale, with the unique feature of slotted taillights recessed into the fenders. It was test-driven by the factory on 27 October 1952, and delivered to its first owner on 14 January 1953. Odofranco “Otto” Wild of Muri, Switzerland, was an early good customer of Ferrari, as well as an avid purchaser of other unusual coachbuilt European cars in this period. It is interesting to note that the car’s radiator bears a tag from a Zurich supplier, indicating that it may have been installed during this original ownership.

The car was subsequently exported to the United States in the late 1950s or early 1960s, and acquired by T. Dan Smith of Los Angeles. In 1971, Smith sold the 342 America to longtime enthusiast Norman Snart of Hayward, California, for which it was registered in California as ‘NMB 316.’ By this time the car had been refinished in metallic silver and its bumpers had been removed. While Mr. Snart would own the car for the next two decades, it was very infrequently shown or displayed. One of the rarest exceptions was the FCA Pacific Region Ferrari Concours d’Elegance at Quail Lodge in 1992. He finally parted with the Ferrari in 2004, selling the car to Paul Forbes.

The car was purchased later in 2007 by its current owners, and was restored in California in the current color scheme of metallic green and white, with a complementary white and green leather interior. At this time the dashboard was engine-turned and a front bumper with overriders fitted. Registering only 210 miles since its restoration, it has continued to remain largely hidden away, aside from infrequent exhibitions at various West Coast shows and museums. It has been featured in Marcel Massini’s book, Ferrari by Vignale, as well as in Cavallino no. 117 (p. 10), as part of recollections by Mr. Snart. Accompanying it are a correct spare wheel and tire, as well as a rear-view mirror.

The opportunity to acquire a 342 America is necessarily extraordinarily rare, as only six examples were produced; to buy one with open coachwork is virtually impossible. Thus, the opportunity here is as rare as the car itself, and may be the only time for a dedicated tifosi to acquire a 342 America in his lifetime.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

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 911. Barney l... 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. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... 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

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

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

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... 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. ... 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