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						Ferrari 340 Mm Spider1
Ferrari 340 Vignale Spyder Tribute

Ferrari 340MM Vignale Spider 0280AM replica

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

Sheer horsepower was on the side of Giannino Marzotto as he pressed forward in the 1953 Mille Miglia with close competition from Juan Manuel Fangio for Alfa Romeo and Felice Bonetto for Scuderia Lancia. But 280 horsepower was not so easy to control in a car with transverse leaf spring suspension up front and a completed weight of right around 1,800 pounds. And that’s not even taking into account that Marzotto took delivery of the well-used 340MM Spider just hours before the race.

Designed as a road racing sports car around Aurelio Lampredi’s large-bore, tall-block 4.1-liter V12 engine, the Ferrari 340 was built in long wheelbase Mexico and short wheelbase MM versions. Of the 340MMs, just 4 Pininfarina Berlinettas, 2 Touring Spyders and 4 Vignale Spyders were built. It was one of these Vignale Spiders, chassis 0280AM, that was prepped for Giannino Marzotto for the 1953 Mille Miglia. Marzotto had a long relationship with Ferrari at this point, but it was a strained one, and Marzotto’s first choice for the event was actually Alfa Romeo’s new 6C 3000 CM. But upon finding their roster filled, he fell back on Ferrari and was directed to Luigi Villoresi's 340MM, which had not been touched since it won the Giro di Sicilia. The car was prepped, and delivered just before the ’53 Mille, meaning there would be no pre-race testing for Marzotto.

The heavier Lampredi V12 up front provided plenty of power in the 340MM, but it was not exactly for the faint of heart. Too liberal an application of the accelerator, and the car would swap ends and careen from the slender Mille Miglia circuit. Marzotto’s drive was not without further challenges as well.

Students of Ferrari history will recall that Marzotto realized his mechanics failed to change the oil in the 340 after leaving a pit stop near Siena. Marzotto returned to the pits just to find that the mechanics could not get the hood of the car open, and they ended up cutting a hole in the hood so they could top off the oil level. Furthermore, it’s said that Marzotto had a couple small crashes during the race, but was able to keep the 340 Spider in the contest. He eventually caught up to Fangio’s Alfa Romeo, who had taken the lead during the Siena pit stop. Passing Fangio’s wounded Alfa, Marzotto was able to secure the win with an elapsed time of 10 hours 37:19, and also set a new speed record for the event at an average of 88 mph.

Chassis No. 0280AM continued to be campaigned through the 1950s and sparingly in the years since. It’s allegedly remained in Italy with its current owners since 1964, undoubtedly faithful custodians to its storied history. It’s this significance in Ferrari Mille Miglia history, and also its rarity, that inspired this faithful 340MM Vignale Spider tribute car seen here on eBay.

The 340MM Vignale Spider’s unique bodywork was painstakingly recreated by hand in aluminum over a wooden buck with all the same vents and louvers as the original 0280AM. Paintwork also reflects the original with rosso corsa over a silver lower. The interior is sparse with a pair of leather buckets, a Ferrari wood-rimmed wheel and a few authentic dials.

But a car like this needs Ferrari-type soul, only available from the genuine article. And for that reason, the car is based on real Ferrari underpinnings — a 1977 tube chassis with a 1977 4.8-liter four-cam Colombo V12 with six 38DCOE Weber carburetors. With 340 hp to the rear wheels at 6,500 rpm, the next owner of this car is sure to feel the same excitement Giannino Marzotto felt at the Mille Miglia all those years ago.

Of the handful of original Ferrari 340s out there, it’s rare to see one for sale. Gooding & Company sold a 340 MM Vignale Spider chassis No. 0350AM at Pebble Beach in 2012 for a whopping $4,730,000, and the car would probably worth considerably more today. This 340MM Spider on eBay asks $255,500 — no small chunk of change — but it’s most likely worth it. Remember, this a coachbuilt classic built from a bona fide Ferrari V12 donor.

Check the 340MM Vignale Spider tribute car here on eBay.

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