Concept Carz Home
 ManufacturersArrow PictureFerrariArrow Picture342 America (1952 - 1953)Arrow Picture1952 Ferrari 342 America 
1953 342 America Speciale Image Right
 

1952 Ferrari 342 America news, pictures, specifications, and information

The 342 America, a replacement for the 340, was debuted at the January 1951 Brussels show. The completed version of the 342 was shown at the Turin show during the spring of 1951. Production was from 1952 to 1953.

This version was a touring version. It did not have as much horsepower as the 340 even though it had the same engine. The transmission varied as well. The 342 had a fully-synchromesh four-speed transmission instead of the racing version which was a non-synchromesh five speed. Other variations from the 340 included a heavier rear-axle and larger track dimensions.

Unfortunately, only 6 of the 342 America's were ever produced.
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Pininfarina
Chassis Num: 0234AL
 
Ferrari built five 342 Americas with Pinin Farina coachwork, including this 342/375 America cabriolet (0234AL) for King Leopold III of Belgium. One of two cabriolets powered by the Lampredi V12 favored by Ferrari for Grand Prix racing, these 342 Americas were detuned for road use. Of special note are the original eight-day chronometer and altimeter, as specified by king Leopold.
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Pininfarina
Chassis Num: 0248AL
 
This Ferrari, chassis number 0248AL, is one of only six 342 Ferraris ever manufactured. It is also one of only two Pininfarina 342 Cabriolets. It was shown by Ferrari at the New York Auto Show in 1953 and was the first grand touring Ferrari to ever have the 4.5-liter Lampredi engine producing 300 horsepower, compared to only 200 horsepower in the earlier 4.1-liter engines supplied in the previous 342s.

This car is one of the most chronicled grand-touring Ferraris of all times. It is pictured in almost ever book that discusses Ferrari road cars of that era. It has also been featured in over 12 magazines and may be the only Ferrari to ever grace the cover of Cavallino on two separate occasions.

Ferrari 342 America with chassis number 0248AL was sent to the Pininfarina plant in early January of 1953. It may have been sent to the United States as a show car for the New York Auto Show in 1953. Since that time the car has been the property of several owners, which is typical for an automobile over fifty years old and of this pedigree. Carlo Bonomi purchased the car in 1987 after successfully bidding on the car at the Christies Auction in Monaco. Under his care, he brought the car to the International Ferrari Concours at Monterey in 1994, and to the Concorso Italiano at the Quail Lodge. The car was sold to Lorenzo Zambrano who was given the honor of showing the car at the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours.

In 2001 the car was sold to Jack Thomas who has continued to show the car at many prestigious events. In 2001 the car was shown at the Concorso Italian. In 2004 it was awarded the Platinum Award at the FCA International Concours in Monterey. Recently, it has been to the 2007 Cavallino Classic where it appeared in the upper concours section which is reserved for the special and most honored vehicles in attendance.

It is a beautiful Cabriolet, left-hand drive vehicle, finished in metallic Shell gray and has a green interior. It is the sixth of six constructed.

By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2011

The Ferrari

Ferrari quickly adapted to changing conditions, both on the race courses and on the highways. The first important indicator of its flexibility - and further bolstering its well-known drive to win races - was the development by Aurelio Lampredi of a larger version of the original Colombo-designed Ferrari V-12. The short-term objective was to take advantage of new Grand Prix regulations permitting naturally aspired engines of up to 4.5 liters to compete wîth supercharged 1.5-liter engines like Ferrari's original V-12 and the Alfa Rome 158 Alfettas. Larger displacement also had advantages in reliability and performance in sports-racing cars and gran turismos, leveraging additional competitive and economic benefits from the time and effort invested in designing, building and developing Lampredi's engine.

Designed wîth the basic parameters of Colombo's V-12 to fit wîth minimal changes in Ferrari's existing chassis design, wîth a 60-degree angle between the cylinder banks and a single overhead camshaft on each bank, Lampredi's engine was, of necessity, longer. Piston stroke grew from 58.8 mm to only 68 mm but the bore of the design-capacity 4.5-liter engine increased to 84 mm from the Colombo's 68 mm bore in the 212 necessitating a longer cylinder block wîth 108 mm between cylinders, up from the 90 mm in the original Colombo engine.

Designed from inception wîth individual intake ports in the cylinder heads, the Lampredi engine utilized hairpin valve springs similar to the Columbo V-12 but had roller cam followers. The other major design difference between the two was Lampredi's solution to sealing the cylinders to the head. Instead of removable heads wîth gaskets, the new 'long-block' engine employed cylinder liners that screwed into the heads and required only a low-pressure oil-water seal at the liners' seat in the cast aluminum cylinder block. Routine service was more difficult, but it resolved a long-standing reliability issue wîth the Colombo engine.

Lampredi's new engine was successful in taking the Grand Prix championship from Alfa Romeo and its superior power and torque were quickly and successfully employed by Ferrari in sports cars competition. The first sports car to appear wîth the Lampredi engine followed almost immediately after the appearance of the 375 Grand Prix, at the Paris Salon in October 1950. This was the 340 America and it was built in a bewildering array of styles and specifications ranging from lighter-weight berlinettas and spyders to luxury coupes and cabriolets.

The dual-purpose 340 America's successors became specialists. The 340 Mexico and Mille Miglia were refined and developed specifically for competition. The very limited-production 342 America satisfied Ferrari's most exclusive clients' desires for a luxury gran turismo.

The 342 America
The 342 America was Ferrari's most exclusive model of the period and represents the first series of Speciales designed by Pinin Farina. In the two years it was produced only six were built. Each example was unique and enjoyed a significant destiny. After King Leopold of Belgium and Enzo Ferrari each reserved one for himself, chassis 0246 AL became the Geneva Show Car. The first 342 America was bodied by Vignale and the remaining five by Pinin Farina wîth the entire series producing three cabriolets and three coupes. The 342 America employed a long 2,650 mm wheelbase because of the 'long block' Lampredi engine's length. It also served to fulfill the model's intended purpose as a comfortable, powerful, grand touring automobile wîth room for occupants and reasonable luggage capacity. With the 342 Americas and, simultaneously, the 250 MM Berlinettas, Ferrari and Pinin Farina began a solid working relationship that has continued unabated to this day, 53 years later.

In addition to the longer wheelbase Ferrari widened the 342 America's track dimensions by 47 mm (1.85') at the front and by 7 mm (2.75') at the rear. A reinforced live rear axle wîth a 4-speed, now synchronized, gearbox was used. Standard power was modest, rated by Ferrari at some 200 brake horsepower wîth a pump-fuel friendly 8:1 compression ratio. 342 Americas could be ordered wîth special factory tuning, producing up to 300 brake horsepower. King Leopold's 342 America was one such example.

In a departure from Ferrari's exclusive practice of reserving even chassis numbers for its competition cars, Ferrari acknowledged the competition heritage of the Lampredi V-12 powered 342 America by conferring even numbers of all six of them, a convention that was not followed by the succeeding 240 Europa and 375 America models. The 'AL' (America Lungo) suffix attached to these few cars signified the long wheelbase chassis and all were built wîth left-hand drive. Interestingly, the model designation, 342, is the individual cylinder capacity of the America's 4,101 cc engine. The Ferrari 340, wîth exactly the same dimensions as the 342, is an aberration from convetional Ferrari model numbers at the time and added further significance to Ferrari's first series of Speciales, later to be followed by the Superamerica and Superfast models.

Source - Gooding & Company
For more information and related vehicles, click here

Postwar Ferrari Named Best of Show at 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe Named 'Best of Show' PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (August 17, 2014) -- Excited cheers echoed across the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links Sunday when a 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe was named Best of Show at the 64th annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The car, owned by Jon Shirley of Medina, Washington, was the first postwar car to take the top award at the prestigious event in nearly five decades. It was also the first Ferrari to win. ...[Read more...]
120 years of motor sport at Mercedes-Benz take centre stage at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014
'Addicted to Winning': at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mercedes-Benz looks back on some fascinating racing victories of the last 120 years •The unique motor sport heritage of the Mercedes-Benz brand is being celebrated with an exclusive installation by sculptor Gerry Judah •Mercedes-Benz and Gran Turismo®6 jointly celebrate '120 years of motor sport' Stuttgart. – The thrilling victories of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows mark the peaks of the history of motor sport for...[Read more...]
The 32nd re-enactment STARTS IN California
• 'A special prize given at the 'Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance'
• A project has been announced for the recognition of outstanding participants
• Registration for the 2014 edition will begin at the end of September
• Important changes are expected for the race route
• New coefficients of merit will be assigned to the participating vehicles
The Mille Miglia's international popularity and the friendship thatbinds motor racing to 'Stars and Stripes...[Read more...]
63rd Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Names 1934 Packard 'Best of Show'
The competition showcased 248 cars, including 48 from abroad PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (August 18, 2013) -- A 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini III of West Orange, New Jersey, was named Best of Show at the 63rd Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, held Sunday on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links at Pebble Beach Resorts. The event showcased 248 cars from 36 states and 12 countries and raised $1,277,007 for charity. 'This Pack...[Read more...]
Italian thoroughbreds to feature prominently at Bonhams Quail Lodge auction
Numerous iconic and desirable models from Ferrari, Lancia, Lamborghini and more contribute to growing anticipation for this approaching sale San Francisco – Bonhams is delighted to announce its impressive assembly of Italian sports cars for its fast approaching 16th annual Carmel motorcar auction on August 16th. After announcing earlier this spring the consignment of some truly exceptional and noteworthy Italian cars – most notably the one-off 1954 New York Auto Show, 1953 Fe...[Read more...]
156
166
166 F2
195
196
212
246
250 GT
250 Monza
250 Testarossa
275
288
308
312
328
330
333 SP
335
342 America
348
360
365
375
400
410
410 S
456
458
500 F2
500 Superfast
500 TR
512
512 BB/LM
550
553
575
599
612 Scaglietti
625
California
Dino
Enzo
F12berlinetta
F355
F40
F430
F430 GTC
F50
FF
LaFerrari
Mondial
Mondial 500
Testarossa
Type 340

1953 342 America Speciale Image Right
© 1998-2014. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.