Films: 1952 Ferrari 340 Spider America by Vignale

1952 Ferrari 340 Spider America by Vignale

Editor’s Note: We are proud to partner with Bonhams to celebrate the history of this very special Ferrari 340 America Vignale Spider which is going to be the keystone of their Scottsdale Car Week Auction in January. We encourage you to learn more about this upcoming sale by keeping in touch with them on Instagram, @BonhamsMotoring, and by following the auction online at Bonhams.com

“I searched for a car to compete in the Mille Miglia. It was quite a long process to find the right car…so I searched, but there was one problem, how to convince my wife?” says Michael Stehle. “I convinced her to come with me…I showed her the car…‘Wait, wait, let’s start the engine’— ‘OK, you can start the engine’,” she said back. Once this ex-Works 1952 Ferrari 340 Spider by Vignale had cleared its throat, the verdict was in: “OK, you can buy this car,” his wife said.

In the early 1950s, this was Ferrari’s supercar. This very car drove the Mille Miglia in 1952, with Enzo Ferrari appointing his top driver Piero Taruffi to race it—leading for much of the race before being felled by transmission troubles. Still, it would race in a number of other period events, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Targa Florio, always placing well against other top machines.

“This car, you can like it or you can love it; but in my opinion, it’s a pure racing design, it’s reduced to a minimum,” Stehle says. “In comparison to Pininfarina, this coachbuilder tried to make the car more beautiful, maybe, but Vignale was just functional—I fell in love with the shape, it’s the minimum of design.”

His first time driving the car was at the Mille Miglia, and that at first, it wasn’t easy to drive—with 280 horsepower and a very lightweight body made him cautious until he grew more familiar with the car and, eventually, began to overtake his fellow drivers. But when the car was stopped during his first Mille Miglia, it was the Italian people’s unmatched respect for Ferrari that was perhaps most surprising.

“They kiss the body, they want to see inside, because they appreciate the car so much,” Stehle says. “In 1952, this was the most important car for Ferrari at that time, they didn’t make too many cars; they didn’t have too much money. So they invested time, money, and all the effort in this car.”

“For me, it’s an honor to drive this car because it’s part of this fantastic history of Ferrari.”

Drive Tastefully®

Join the Conversation
Related

Leave a Reply

13 Comments on "1952 Ferrari 340 Spider America by Vignale"

avatar
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Sotirios Bakaimis
Sotirios Bakaimis

1) film: a true masterpiece of scenery-photography. Congratulations to the director.

2) The car: a) mint condition, b) what a sound!!!, c) I like the color, “aristocracy wine red” I would have called it.

3) About the wife’s permission: None of our business. We only care about ….the ferrari!!!!!

4) Doesn’t matter if he wants to sell it and petrolicious helps him to do so. Personally, though, I would never have sold it.

bobby
bobby

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Petrolicious! I love these 50’s Ferraris. I would love to see some of the coachbuilt 250’s too!

Lars Jönlid
Lars Jönlid

Lovley car!

Sean Whelan
Sean Whelan
Beautiful video with stunning scenery and a deft touch on the color correction. With that being said I have to go into full curmudgeon mode. I’m sick to the eye teeth of this “get my wife’s permission garbage”. It may have been cute the first 20 or 30 thousand times but its wearing thin. I was standing around a klatch of guys at a car show recently when one inevitably uttered that threadbare catch phrase. Imprudence got the better of me and I retorted, “Sack-up man and take charge of your household.” There followed a stunned silence and the man… Read more »
Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo
I don’t know about you, Sean, but I’ll be really ticked off if my wife came home with a toy that cost as much as the house without first mentioning it before doing it. Come to think of it, maybe I wouldn’t ticked off because it means I can do the same without talking about it. It seems to me that the issue for you is the way people say it: “get my wife’s permission…” In reality I think it’s more a discussion before doing something that is for the most part, unreasonable, unless you happen to have so much… Read more »
Sean Whelan
Sean Whelan

It is in the way it’s said because saying my wife and I would have to agree on a purchase that big is different than saying something like, “My wife would never let me have that!”
Think of the Facebook firestorm that would result if your wife said, “I’d have to ask my husband’s permission first.” Her friends would think you the biggest chauvinist in the world and probably try to spirit her away to a battered woman’s shelter.

Brian Benefield
Brian Benefield

Great video, as usual. Given the owner’s passion for the car, I’m a little surprised he’s parting with it. Sure he stands to make a bloody fortune, but he likely paid something close to that to bring it home.

Valor007
Valor007

Another spectacular film by the folks at Petrolicious! Thank you!

Stephen Stuart
Stephen Stuart

so is this film just an extended advert for the car when it is sold at Scottsdale?

Gonzalo
Gonzalo

ja ja:
“but there was one problem, how to convince my wife?”

always was a problem!

Gonzalo
http://www.renault4cv.blogspot.com

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
Ahem .. from the Dept. of Corrections . 340 applies to the engines size not the horsepower . In reality at their very best best the Lampredi designed V12’s have 220 horsepower . That being the ‘ official ‘ Ferrari stat .. knowing full well Ferrari did and still does over state / exaggerate their horsepower and torque numbers . On a positive note … nice car … nice story .. but you’d thing the owner’ed know a little more about the car he paid a small fortune for in order to drive in the Mille Miglia historica FYI I’d… Read more »
T. Daniel
T. Daniel

Actually the 340 designation refers to the cc volume of one cylinder. Ferrari 250 12cylinder 3000cc
Ferrari 340 12 cylinder 4080cc.
Ferrari 500 4 cylinder 2000cc

280 HP from 4 liters is easy with modern pump fuel and cams. Should be bit of beast on 5.50×16 tires.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
wpDiscuz