1953 Ferrari 340 MM Touring SpyderSOLD

RM Auction: Ferrari - Legenda e Passione - Sunday, May 20, 2007

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Estimate: 1,900,000€-2,400,000€

2,310,000 € Sold

Specifications: 300 bhp 4101 cc single overhead camshaft V-12 with three four-barrel Weber 40DCF/3 carburetors, single-plug ignition with dual Marelli magnetos, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with transverse leaf springs and lever action shocks with rear live axle, twin lever shocks and twin leaf springs and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,500mm (98.4")

The Lampredi Engine Aurelio Lampredi had joined Ferrari in 1947, effectively succeeding Gioacchino Colombo at the head of Ferrari ’ s design team in 1949. A consummate engine designer, Lampredi ’ s first assignment was to design a large displacement version of Colombo ’ s original Ferrari V-12 with the intent of meeting the needs of the 4.5-litre naturally aspirated formula then in effect for Grands Prix. For some reason, the initial version of the engine was much smaller, at just 3.3 litres.

His engine was a work of art. It respected Colombo ’ s pioneering work on Ferrari ’ s first SOHC V-12, while incorporating a host of improvements – one of the most important of which was his use of screw-in cylinder liners to prevent the head gasket failures that had been experienced by high compression and supercharged Colombo engines.

The 4.5-litre 375s appeared late in the 1950 GP season and were the team cars for 1951. When the FIA adopted Formula 2 for the 1952 World Championship the Lampredi long block engine quickly faded from Grand Prix racing, but equally quickly found its home in Ferrari ’ s legendary sports cars.

The 340 Ferraris

The first of these Lampredi-engined Ferraris were 3.3-litre sports cars built in 1950. Two of these 275 S models entered the 1950 Mille Miglia driven by Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi but dropped out with driveline failures. It was a classic problem – the new engine ’ s outstanding power and torque simply overwhelmed the existing gearbox and axle.

Rather than reduce the output of the engine, Ferrari raised it by increasing displacement to 4.1 litres, mating it to a new chassis and driveline designed for the horsepower and torque of the Lampredi engines. The new models were called 340s, and they would become one of Ferrari ’ s most successful and famous early models.


Series production consisted of a total of 37 cars with a chassis number range from 0082A to 0350 AM. 23 were 340 Americas with distributor ignition 220bhp engines, and four were 280bhp 340 Mexicos, also with distributor ignition.

The ultimate evolution of the model, and the most powerful road car built by Ferrari to that point, was the magneto-equipped 300bhp 340 Mille Miglia – of which just ten were built. They established an outstanding competition record both for the factory and their many private owners, including Giannino Marzotto ’ s 1953 Mille Miglia victory. Of the ten 340 MMs built, five were spyders bodied by Vignale, three were berlinettas by Pininfarina, and finally, two carried spyder coachwork by Touring.

As a factory team car, the Ferrari 340 MM had a brilliant yet relatively short career. The cars were successful from the start, winning the Tour of Sicily with Luigi Villoresi and the Mille Miglia with Count Giannino Marzotto in April 1953 plus the Daily Express Trophy race at Silverstone in May. The 340 MMs were then sold to private clients and entered in a number of races, scoring many successes, particularly in America where the large displacement cars were in strong demand.

Carrozzeria Touring – Masters of Lightweight Beauty

One of the best known names in Italian coachbuilding, Carrozzeria Touring was founded by Felice Bianchi Anderloni in 1926 in Milan. Their proximity to both Alfa Romeo and Isotta-Fraschini lead to commissions from both legendary marques, and they created some of the most startlingly beautiful cars of all time – including the Isotta-Fraschini Flying Star and the legendary Alfa Romeo 8C-2900 Touring Spyder.

Touring ’ s talents led to production aircraft work, which allowed them to learn about lightweight construction – which in turn led directly to the firm ’ s patented Superleggera – or ultra light weight system for constructing automobile bodies. It was both simple and elegant, utilizing a network of lightweight alloy tubing to support equally light alloy panelwork.

Anderloni died just after the war, which left the company in the very capable hands of his son, Carlo. Touring quickly became the favored coachbuilder for Ferrari, no doubt at least partly as a result of Enzo Ferrari ’ s familiarity with their work during his prewar days racing Touring-bodied Alfa Romeos for his beloved Scuderia Ferrari.

Carlo proved as talented in design as his father was, and his association with Ferrari produced some of the greatest automobiles of all time including the iconic Touring Barchetta.

A Singular Example - 0268 AM

The design of 0268 AM – a superlative example of Touring ’ s “ Superleggera ” construction - is quite graceful, with long flowing lines and an aggressive stance that combine to lend a lean, purposeful look to the car. A low Perspex windscreen and external fuel filler attest to the car ’ s competition bloodlines. All the 340 MMs were top shelf racing cars, although sadly, few have survived in their original configuration.

0268 AM is the first of these legendary cars, and the only surviving example of Carrozzeria Touring ’ s exceptionally handsome competition spyder coachwork on the 340 MM chassis. It, along with its sister car, 0294 AM, debuted as factory cars for Scuderia Ferrari at the 1953 Mille Miglia in Brescia. No fewer than twenty-seven Ferraris contested this 20th edition of the grueling race from Brescia to Rome and back to Brescia. Nineteen started in the over two-litre sports car class, and another eight cars in the under two-litre class.

The factory raced four 4.1-litre engined 340 MMs: two Vignale Spyders for Giannino Marzotto and Tom Cole, and the two Touring Spyders for Giuseppe Farina and Luigi Villoresi. Support came from various 250 Mille Miglias and numerous other Ferraris. S/N 0268 AM was given race number 615, indicating the starting time at Brescia at 6:15 AM. It was driven by Farina who partnered with Luigi Parenti, but the race was a short one, ending as a dnf with a broken rear axle.

The damage was quickly repaired, and 0268 AM was sold to Frenchman Pierre Boncompagni, who raced under the alias of Pagnibon. He raced it on May 24, 1953 at the 3-hour race of Algiers, which he won. One week later, on May 31, 1953, he won the Coupes de Paris at Montlhéry, France. For this race a French blue nose band was added. The following weekend, on the 7th of June 1953, Boncompagni raced it at the Hyères 12 hour race in the South of France. The Frenchman lost control and crashed. Tragically, Boncompagni was killed. 0268 AM was returned to Italy where the damage – primarily to the front end – was fully repaired.

When the work was completed, 0268 AM was sold to Luigi Chinetti in the U.S. In 1959 it was raced several times in California, including by Jack and Gary Brumby in Vacaville, by Bill Krause at Santa Barbara, and finally by Stuart Aldhouse at Del Mar. In the 1960s the car passed through the hands of several owners – one of whom was president of the Ferrari Owners Club at the time, who used it for street racing in Southern California. In the 1970s it spent several years on display in the famous Briggs Cunningham Museum in Costa Mesa, California.

In the meantime, the sister car, 0294 AM, was badly crashed and subsequently rebodied by Carrozzeria Scaglietti in Modena in the style of a 750 Monza, leaving 0268 AM as the only 340 MM Touring Spyder surviving in its original configuration.

By the early 1990s, the car had joined the collection of Swiss enthusiast Erich Traber, who used the car in several events, including the 1994 Monterey Historics. In 1995 the vendor acquired the car and continued to campaign it, including stints at both the Colorado Grand and the Mille Miglia – which was documented in an article in Forza magazine. The vendor reports that several items accompany the car, including an original oil painting and a framed original poster from the 1953 Mille Miglia.

For many years now, 0268 AM has been carefully maintained by renowned Ferrari specialist Patrick Ottis of Berkeley, California.

Summary

These wonderful Lampredi-engined cars are highly sought after by collectors today as they retain much of the delightful balance and handling of the Colombo powered cars, but with the addition of seemingly endless power and a unique, intoxicating and unmistakable song under full throttle. They are, today, in many ways the quintessential event car.

With its award-winning restoration, authentic period livery, Lampredi “ long block ” power, charismatic – and original - Touring coachwork and outstanding competition history, 0268 AM is a remarkable example of the Ferrari 340 MM, one of Ferrari ’ s most exceptional and highly prized models. Perhaps most importantly, this exceptionally important Ferrari is not only the first but also the sole survivor of its kind – and one of the most original 340 MMs remaining today.

Reference Number 8007

as of 3/18/2007

Overview
Car 1953 Ferrari 340 MM Touring Spyder
VIN 0268AM 
Exterior / Interior Color      Red /      Beige 
Configuration Right Hand Drive (RHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
Options Exterior: Wire wheels
Interior: Leather interior, Wooden steering wheel 
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