Hugely rare opportunity to acquire one of only four surviving 340 MM Vignale Spiders, this is the chassis that brought the Lampredi-powered Ferrari to the attention of the US market.
Sold new to the famed American sportsman and sports car builder Sterling Edwards
Campaigned to great success between 1953 and 1955 including overall victory at the 1954 Pebble Beach and Palm Springs Road Races
An unbelievably rare opportunity: The first time such an example has come to auction in a decade
Fully matching-numbers engine, gearbox, and rear axle with a spare engine currently installed
Well documented provenance from new, including nearly 30 years in the noted Sherman Wolf collection and the last 10 years in a prominent American collection
To go under the hammer at Monaco sale on 14 May 2022
RM Sotheby’s has added what is surely one of the most significant of all ‘50s sports racing Ferraris to the Monaco sale lineup. The stunning 1953 Ferrari 340 MM Spider by Vignale is one of only four surviving 340 MM Vignale Spiders, and the Monaco sale will be the first time such a car has been publicly offered in a decade, making this a tantalisingly rare opportunity for collectors.
For the first 25 years of Ferrari’s life as a car manufacturer, they made a clear distinction for the true racing cars with their chassis numbers. Odd numbers were reserved for road-going or GT cars while even numbers were assigned to Ferrari’s special purpose-built race cars. The even numbered cars have always been the most sought after and collectible Ferraris, a trend which is likely to become more significant in the years to come.
It is among this elite class of Ferrari sports racers that chassis 0350 AM was born. This 1953 Ferrari 340 MM Spider boasts initial ownership by the famed American sportsman and sports car builder Sterling Edwards. Powered by the legendary Lampredi ‘long-block’ V-12 specifically developed for competition-intended Ferraris, the 340 MM is immensely powerful for its era with 300-horsepower at its disposal and is on par with 1950s racing legends such as the Mercedes-Benz SLR and Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa.
This car is one of the ten cars initially built, seven of which were campaigned by Scuderia Ferrari for the FIA’s new Sports Car Manufacturers’ Championship. Chassis 0350 AM was campaigned with great success between 1953 and 1955 in the USA, including overall victory at the 1954 Pebble Beach and Palm Springs Races amongst many other notable race finishes.
Augustin Sabatié-Garat, Head of Sales for Europe, says: ‘This is truly one of the most important and rarest of all 1950s Ferraris. The Vignale 340 MMs are beautiful and historically significant cars and are so rarely available to the market that chassis 0350 AM represents a once in a generation opportunity for any serious collector of important sports racing cars.’
Acquired by the consignor in 2012, the Ferrari was sympathetically freshened in 2013, after which it was presented at Pebble Beach in August 2015 where it won the Phil Hill Cup. Chassis number 0350 AM is currently fitted with what is believed to be the original engine block from chassis 0032MT, a very important 1950 Scuderia Ferrari Works sports racer, and is notably accompanied by its original Lampredi V-12 long-block engine, the same motor that captured Sterling Edwards four victories in eight racing appearances from 1953 to 1954. Boasting well documented provenance from new, including nearly 30 years in the noted Sherman Wolf collection and the last ten years in a prominent American collection, this 340 MM has an estimate of €6,000,000 - €8,000,000.
Image credit: Chassis 0350 wears the colour red and the race No 1 while being driven by Tom Bamford. RM Sothebys courtesy of Corse Research