1955 Ferrari 375 America Speciale
|Model History||Auction sales research||Specifications||Body styles and Chassis Data|
Gioacchino Colombo started out being the primary builder of Ferrari's engines in the late in 1940's and a major contributor to the success of Ferrari. Aurelio Lambredi became his assistant in 1947. Lambredi soon became convinced that a large engine that was naturally aspirated would have better fuel economy and provide more power. Colombo was of the belief that smaller engine compiled with a supercharger would produce the better results. Ferrari tested Lambredi's idea and proved it to be successful. Lambredi was promoted to chief design engineer and Colombo returned to Alfa Romeo. The Lambredi engines were used in the ladder part of the 1950's.
Power was provided by a 4.5-liter Lampredi designed V-12 engine with either three twin choke Weber 40 DCZ or DCF downdraughts, resulting in 300 horsepower. On all four corners were drum brakes, Borrani wire wheels accented the exterior of the vehicle, and a leaf spring suspension was used in the front and the rear. With the four-speed manual gearbox, the car could achieve a top speed of 150 mph and could race from zero to sixty in less than seven seconds.
Most Ferrari's were custom built cars. They were not mass-produced. Ferrari provided the engine and chassis while Italian coach builders provided the body. This meant the specifications varied. Engines also varied in horsepower rating, torque, and displacement.
In regards to the 375, Pinin Farina was tasked with building the bodywork for many of the models. The Pinin Farina design shared a similarity with the 250 Europa's. The dimensions of several automobiles were similar but their interiors, wings, bumpers and detailing were all unique.
The 375 MM was given its name after the famous 1000 mile race, the Mille Miglia. This limited production series was constructed in 1953 and 1954. The car was outfitted with a 4522 cc powerplant, a small increase in performance over the 4494 cc road-going version. The four-speed manual gearbox was fully synchronized and mounted to the engine. The front suspension was independent by parallel unequal length A-arms with a transverse leaf spring. The rear was sold with semi-elliptic springs and parallel trailing arms. This combination made the 375 MM perfect for high speed circuits and the open road. In total only 26 375 MM's had bodywork provided by Pinin Farina in either spyder or berlinetta configuration. One example received bodywork courteous of Ghia.
In 1954, a 375 Plus was entered in the grueling 24 Hours of LeMans. Powered by a 4.9 liter engine, it captured the overall victory.
Production of the 375 continued until 1955. Produced in limited numbers, their exclusivity in modern times is guaranteed. These wonderfully designed unique creations powered by the coveted Lampredi engines are a true time-tested testament of the work inspired by Enzo Ferrari and fostered by Italian ingenuity.
S/N 0355AL is a one-off, 1955 Turin show car by Pininfarina, and the last 375 America. It was sold to Giani Agnelli in 1955 and has won classes at Amelia Island, Pebble Beach and Cavallino.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007
The mechanical components, apart from the size of the engine, were identical to those of the 250 Europa model. As with the 250 Europa, the majority were fitted with either a Pinin Farina three or five window coupe body, whilst three examples had Vignale coupe bodies, and there was a single Vignale cabriolet.
The very last example produced had a special one-off Pinin Farina coupe body with a wrap around front screen, vertical radiator grille, and buttresses running from the roofline into the tail panel, which was built specially for Gianni Agnelli, the head of Fiat, and displayed at the 1954 Turin Salon. This car remained untouched for decades until the current owner embarked on an historic restoration. While there were 12 of the 375 America models built-each done by hand and built to order-this one is special.
This vehicle was built for Fiat chairman, Gianni Agnelli in a collaborative effort between Ferrari and Pininfarina, it was also the first custom Ferrari coachwork owned by Agnelli. There were only 375 America's built and this is clearly the most unique and important car of the limited group: The grille is vertical not horizontal, the A-pillar is tilted forward rather than rearward and this car is one of the few early Ferraris to have a sunroof. This car also has a unique flat rear window that partially opens, as well as being only the second Ferrari to exhibit the racy flying buttresses on the rear deck. These groundbreaking design elements would later be seen on production Ferraris such as the Dino, Boxer and 308. In addition, the list of notorious previous owners certainly make #0355 AL a very rare and unique Ferrari.
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