A 1952 Ferrari 340 America Vignale Spider is poised to become one of the biggest sellers at Bonhams' Scottsdale auction, which takes place on 19 January at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Arizona.
The sublime racer was campaigned extensively in period, including being entered by the factory in the 1952 Mille Miglia, where it was driven by Piero Taruffi before retiring with transmission problems.
One month later the Ferrari raced at Le Mans, this time driven by Louis Rosier and Formula One ace Maurice Trintignant under the Ecurie Rosier banner. It lasted six hours before clutch failure forced its retirement. The car’s transmission again caused problems at that year’s Targa Florio, where it carried Giovanni Bracco for a solitary lap of the race. It was also campaigned at the Grand Prix of Bern, Pescara 12 Hours, Maloja-Saint Moritz Hill Climb and the Grand Prix of Bari in the 1950s.
One of just five examples built by Carozzeria Vignale, chassis 0196A – along with two of its sister cars – enjoyed a 40bhp advantage over its siblings after being uprated to factory team specification. In addition to its 340MM performance upgrades, the car retains its specially integrated air intakes, portholes and brake vents on the body.
Once the curtain fell on its racing career, the car was returned to the Vignale factory, where it was fitted with a bespoke coupé body prior to being delivered to its first private owner. It was later returned to its racing form and enjoyed a busy historic racing career.
In addition to competing at the very top of international motorsport in period, the car has been entered in the Mille Miglia Storica, Monterey Historic Races and Monterey Historic Grand Prix.