Featured new in Road & Track, the Italian sports-racer is sure to be a leading star during Monterey Car Week alongside a rare Delahaye 135M and Ford GT
Los Angeles – A special sports-racing car has been added to the roster of the August 15-16 Quail Lodge Auction – a 1951 Ferrari 340 America Vignale Coupe Speciale.
Retaining its matching numbers chassis and engine, number 0132A was built in the year Ferrari clinched its first ever Formula One race.
The basis of the 340 is the now-famous engine design of young Ferrari engineer Aurelio Lampredi. The Lampredi V12 engine was larger than any previous Ferrari powerplant and eschewed forced induction in favor of the raw, brute power of increased displacement. At that time, bigger was better and with each race it would seem Ferrari’s confidence – and likelihood of success – increased.
The car’s nomenclature was a derived from a combination of mathematics and marketing. The “340” came from each cylinder’s displacement of 340cc (multiply this by 12 cylinders and the combined result is nearly 4,100cc or 4.1-liters). The “America” came from Ferrari’s target market. As the world’s only post-war economic superpower, the United States was the key to Ferrari’s financial success and the 340 America was a tremendously expensive automobile.
Only five of these cars were built and finished in custom coachwork by the Turin-based masters Vignale.
Originally designated as a race car, as evidenced by its even-number chassis and engine, 0132A was ordered new by rich Filipino playboy Johnny Ysmael – a pal of Tyrone Power, Porfirio Rubirosa and Ricardo Montalban. Ysmael drove the Ferrari in southern California where it was featured in the February 1952 issue of Road & Track and later sold it. Under new ownership, 0132A raced regionally, including at Willow Springs, and then remained in the same family for over 50 years.
Well documented and extensively researched by leading Ferrari expert Marcel Massini, this rare, early Ferrari will be offered for sale for the first time in half a century. Not only is it eligible for every conceivable motoring event of prestige, from concours to races, 0132A is a physical representation of young Enzo Ferrari’s ambition and an integral cog in the wheel of the Ferrari legend.
To be featured alongside the Ferrari are two other special sporting cars of note: A 1937 Delahaye 135M that comes from private ownership of more than 20 years, the Competition Court model is one of 30 built and one of the few remaining and wears what’s believed to be unique roadster coachwork from Guillore; And a 2017 Ford GT Heritage Edition that is one of just 138 first-year 2017 GTs produced and, in addition to being optioned as one of the exceedingly rare heritage editions, has covered only 116 miles from new.
This year’s expanded Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction will be held on two days – August 15th and 16th – during Monterey Peninsula Car Week and will include 222 cars. Information about this internationally attended event can be found at Bonhams.com/Quail.