10 hot-shot Ferraris you can’t miss at Monterey 2019

Early Ferraris are for the most part known quantities. Their histories are well-known, the relative values of different models, body styles and coachbuilders are established. In many respects they are the grand classics of the postwar era, trafficked by well-informed collectors, dealers, brokers and historians and moving between known collections.

This lends some stability to values. In most cases there is no urgency to sell, and even less urgency to acquire. There is no fad or fashion element to drive prices. The sole element of urgency may come from limited supply, as in “all the others are in major long-term collections, and this may be the only chance for years to acquire one.”

Such maturity is in sharp contrast with the debacle of the late ’80s when speculators flooded the Ferrari market with liquidity, flipping cars for six-figure profits in weeks or months only to have them reappear immediately as the next speculator in the chain flipped it yet again. Until it all imploded.

Monterey Car Week 2019 gives a good opportunity to look at 10 of these cars, all 1962 or earlier (except for the 312T F1 car) in chronological order.

1951 Ferrari 340 America Coupe, body by Vignale, s/n 0132A

1951 Ferrari 340 America Coupe
1951 Ferrari 340 America Coupe Bonhams

Bonhams (Lot #152)

Pre-sale estimate: N/A

Ferrari’s 340 America was successful from its inception, winning the 1951 Mille Miglia with Luigi Villoresi and Piero Cassani. Twenty-two were eventually built using the 4102-cc, 220-hp Lampredi-designed V-12. 0132A was bought by Mr. James Walter in the late ’50s and it has remained in his family to the present, never fully restored and still powered by its original engine. Its age is apparent, but so is its preservation, highly prized by collectors today. It is fresh to the marketplace and will establish a benchmark price for a 340 America Coupe.

1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Spider, body by Vignale, s/n 0214ED 

1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Spider
1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Spider RM Sotheby's

RM Sotheby’s (Lot # 256)

Pre-sale estimate: $4,000,000 – $5,000,000

This 225 Sport Spider was raced in the U.K. with a class second place in the Daily Mail Trophy driven by Roy Salvadori among other placings, then sold to Argentina where it was raced by Carlos Lostaló. Discovered in the ’70s and restored, Luciano Bollaert participated in the Mille Miglia 1986-88, then by next owner Lynn Larson in 1989. It was again restored in the U.S. by Peter Markowski for Scott Rosen in the mid-90’s. It’s now powered by a 212 Inter engine (s/n 0225EL) but comes with its original engine block for the 2715-cc 210hp 225S configuration. In 1952 the Monaco GP was run for sports cars and Ferrari 225 Sports swept the podium. The Monaco GP Historique now commemorates that with a sports car race for which this Vignale Sport Spider is eligible. The pre-sale estimate of $4-5 million is fitting for such special Ferrari competition cars.

1952 212 Inter Coupe, body by Vignale, s/n 0221EL

1952 212 Inter Coupe
1952 212 Inter Coupe Gooding & Company

Gooding & Company (Lot #151)

Pre-sale estimate: $1,700,000 – $2,000,000

With 2562 cc and three Weber downdraft dual choke carburetors the 212 Inter made 170 hp at a lofty 6500 rpm. Production of these road cars was relatively prolific for Ferrari in the early ‘50s with some 80 being built. Coachwork came from Italy’s best but the best-known are the Vignale coupes like this. Built on a shorter 2500-mm wheelbase, the eggcrate grille and subtle fender peaks are highlighted by the two tone Grey over Beige colors and accented by imaginative fender side vents with a thin chrome spear that links with the outside door latches. The interior is accented with a 1952 concours plaque and a beautiful Jaeger chronograph on the console, thoughtfully preserved during its early 2000s restoration in Germany. It’s estimated at $1.7-2.0 million, consistent with similar 212 Inter Vignale Coupes sold at recent auction.

1954/1959 250 MM Spider, body by Scaglietti, s/n 0432M 

1954/1959 Ferrari 250 MM Spider
1954/1959 Ferrari 250 MM Spider Mecum

Mecum (Lot #F113)

Pre-sale estimate: N/A

“1954/1959”? That’s because this Ferrari was built in 1954 using the prototype 3.0-liter V-12 that would power later production and sports cars in the 250 series. The chassis is a Type 504 used in the 500 Mondial and 750 Monza which were powered by the Lampredi-designed four-cylinder engine. One of four similar cars, it was bodied by Pinin Farina as a spider and won its first race, the 12 Hours of Hyeres, driven by Maurice Trintignant and Luigi Piotti. Raced in Italy thereafter, it was traded back to Ferrari and in 1959 sent to Scaglietti to be rebodied with the Testa Rossa-style pontoon fender coachwork it wears today … and was then sold by Ferrari as a 1959. 

It is one of the first Ferraris to wear Scaglietti’s signature pontoon fender design and is offered from the personal collection of Dana and Patti Mecum after taking second in class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2014. No estimate is given but it was sold by RM at Monterey in 1999 to the preceding owner for $2,970,000. One of the sister cars, 0442M, was sold by RM at Monterey in 2002, needing abundant work, for $1,705,000 without the benefit of the pontoon fender coachwork. The market for multi-million dollar Ferrari race cars is small, but expect it to attract lots of attention nonetheless.

1955 375 MM Coupe Speciale, body by Ghia, s/n 0476AM 

1955 Ferrari 375 MM Coupe Speciale
1955 Ferrari 375 MM Coupe Speciale RM Sotheby's

RM Sotheby’s (Lot #263)

Pre-sale estimate: $5,000,000 – $7,000,000

This is the last Ferrari bodied by Ghia, built for Bob Wilkie, whose Leader Card Specials were always contenders, and three-time winners, at the Indianapolis 500. It is one of seven bespoke Ferraris commissioned by Wilkie and like the others it is fast, unique and flamboyant in Salmon and Anthracite Grey. 

It sits on an even-numbered competition car chassis with power from its original 4523-cc Lampredi V-12 with triple Weber carburetors that give something like 340 horsepower. It has been repainted in its original livery while it retains its original interior, has been Ferrari Classiche Red Book certified and was Ghia’s show car at the 1955 Torino Motor Show. The odometer reads under 14,000 kilometers and that is all it has covered even after being Bob Wilkie’s daily driver in Milwaukee. 

The estimate is $5-7 million. It crossed the block at Bonhams Gstaad auction in 2002 without selling. A sister berlinetta bodied by Pinin Farina (s/n 0416AM) was sold by RM at Monterey in 2010 for $4,620,000; this one is more expressive and highly original, appropriate to RM’s estimate range.

1958 250 GT Tour de France, body by Pinin Farina/Scaglietti, s/n 0903GT

1958 Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France Berlinetta
1958 Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France Berlinetta Gooding & Company

Gooding & Company (Lot #17) 

Pre-sale estimate: $5,500,000 – $6,000,000

As Gooding notes in its catalog description introduction, “Over the last six decades, the Tour de France has become one of the most sought-after and collectible of all the classic Ferraris.” Truer words were never spoken. 0903GT had less-than-stellar early competition history, first with Sture Nottorp, then with other Swedish drivers, and was eventually disassembled in the early ’70s. Discovered and acquired by Jean Guikas in 2006, it has been restored both in France and more recently by Motion Products, Inc. (with restoration invoices totaling $675,000 to pristine, show-ready condition, winning a class second at Pebble Beach in 2012, Platinum at Cavallino and first at Amelia Island. 

It retains its original engine and driveline and is Ferrari Classiche Red Book certified, one of only a handful of single sail panel vent TdFs with covered headlights. The pre-sale estimate is an unusually tight $5.5-6 million. Its serial number sibling s/n 0905GT, an open headlight car with a replacement engine, sold here at Gooding Pebble Beach last year for $6.6 million.

1961 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico, body by Pininfarina, s/n 2631SA 

1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico
1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico RM Sotheby's

RM Sotheby’s (Lot #220)

Pre-sale estimate: $2,900,000 – $3,500,000

With clients like Bob Wilkie, Ferrari had discovered a niche for limited production, bespoke specification, high-performance road cars, too lucrative to be overlooked. The 400 Superamerica was a product of that revelation. Powered by a 3967-cc Colombo (short-block) V-12 that was rated 340 hp, the 400 Superamerica was a high quality, luxurious, limited production car for captains of industry, finance and entertainment. All were bodied by Pininfarina in an instantly distinctive streamlined aerodynamic coupe form that has stood the test of time and is still arresting today. 

Only 17 short wheelbase versions were built, this one being delivered to Emanuele Rivetti but only a year later shipped to the U.S. where Bob Grossman sold it to John Mecom, Jr., but only after giving it to Car and Driver magazine for testing and feature on the April 1963 issue. Eventually it was bought by Tom Mittler from whose estate the present owner acquired it in 2014. Finished in its original livery of Blu Lancia with Blu Grigio leather, it is Ferrari Classiche certified. The estimate is $2.9-$3.5 million, consistent with RM’s sale of 400 Superamerica coupe Aerodinamico 2841SA at Arizona in 2017 for $3,080,000 all-in.

1962 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico, body by Pininfarina, s/n 3361SA 

1962 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico
1962 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico Gooding & Company

Gooding & Company (Lot #131) 

Pre-sale estimate: $2,800,000 – $3,400,000

One of the most rare and beautiful luxury Ferraris of the ’60s, it is unusual to see a 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe even at the Monterey auctions. Here there are two. Gooding’s is a later, but still short wheelbase, example. It is Ferrari Classiche Red Book certified and, like 2631SA, has open headlight coachwork. This was Pininfarina’s Geneva Motor Show display car and its early history is in Italy and it has never been restored, only carefully maintained while receiving attention as needed, resulting in its receiving the Vintage Preservation Cup award at Cavallino Classic earlier this year. The pre-sale estimate is $2.8-3.4 million, comparable with the estimate range for 2631SA and realistic prior auction transaction results.

1962 196SP Sports Prototype, body by Fantuzzi, s/n 0806 

1962 Ferrari 196SP Sports Prototype
1962 Ferrari 196SP Sports Prototype RM Sotheby's

RM Sotheby’s Lot (#244)

Pre-sale estimate: $8,000,000 – $10,000,000

Ferrari sports prototypes (a category defined more by FIA regulations than Ferrari) have a consistently complicated history, but 0806 occupies a particularly important and similarly convoluted place in Ferrari history. It is one of the first series of mid-engined Ferrari sports prototype. It has had many engines and drivers. Its low, shark nose twin-grille and ducktail spoiler bodywork is sleek and aggressive. There is no way to be indifferent about it. 

Beginning its life as a 2.4-liter V-8 248 SP at Sebring in 1962 it finished third in class driven by Buck Fulp and Peter Ryan. Reconfigured as a 2.6-liter 268 SP it did not finish the Nürburgring 1000km in the hands of the Rodriguez brothers. It was then reconfigured yet again with a 1983-cc Dino V-6 of 210 hp in its final and present form as a 196SP and sold through Luigi Chinetti to Doug Thiem who raced it with some success in SCCA and USRRC events. Bob Grossman bought it in 1963, scoring a class first in the Nassau Speed Weeks Governor’s Trophy and second in class in the Nassau Trophy. Eventually it went to Pierre Bardinon’s famed Mas du Clos collection. It was restored for Rob Walton in the early 2000s in its present configuration. 

It was sold for $1,285,000 at Brooks auction at Quail Lodge prior to its most recent restoration, a sharp contrast with RM Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate range of $8-10 million, but more congruent with RM’s no-sale of 268SP s/n 0798 (with Le Mans history) at Monterey in 2016 on a reported high bid of $12.5 million.

1975 312T F1, s/n 010 

1975 Ferrari 312T racing
Gooding & Company / Mike Maez

Gooding & Company (Lot #31)

Pre-sale estimate: $6,000,000 – $8,000,000

Fortuitous if unfortunate timing following the recent death of Niki Lauda makes this 312T with its 500-hp 2991-cc flat-12 engine one of the highest profile cars in the Monterey auctions. It’s going to be hard to separate its race history in Niki’s hands (two wins, a second, a third, a sixth and the 1975 Driver’s Championship) from Clay Regazzoni’s (a fifth) in the same car. 

It is beautiful, purposeful and largely analog right down to the Lucas mechanical fuel injection system. The image of Niki with all four wheels off the ground at the Flugplatz on the Nürburgring Nordschleife is indelible. Meticulously restored to its 1975 specification and appearance, represented to be track-ready, Gooding estimates it at $6-8 million, a significant increment over similar cars like 312 T3 s/n 033 at Bonhams Quail Lodge in 2014, a Gilles Villeneuve car, that sold for $2,310,000.

There are many more Ferraris in the Monterey auctions, including some that have bigger estimates—like California Spiders and 250 GT Series I Cabriolets—but these Ferraris bear closer inspection to see if bidders really are restraining their enthusiasm

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