Sold for $4,730,000 at 2012 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auction. Spyder
Chassis #: 0350 AM
Engine # 0350 AM
The 340 America and 340 Mexico were followed by the ultimate 340 variant - the MM. Fitted with a magneto ignition, four-choke Weber carburetors, a four-speed synchromesh gearbox and a ZF limited-slip differential, the 340 MM was designed specifically to dominate long-distance road events like the Mille Miglia. Scuderia Ferrari won the 1953 Mille Miglia with 340 MMs dominating the 575-car field, finishing, 1st, 4th and 9th. Villoresi won the Tour of Sicily, Hawthorn won at Silverstone and Ascari won at the Nurburgring 1,000 km with a specially prepared 4.5-liter version.
In total, Ferrari built just 10 examples of the 340 MM before it was replaced by the 4.5-liter 375 MM.
Californian Sterling Edwards had been inspired by a Pinin farina-designed Cisitalia while skiing in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Upon returning to the states, he began work on his own sprots car. By 1950, he had created the Edwards R-26. It had a tubular chassis designed by Phil Remington, lightwegiht bodywork built by Emil Diedt and powered by a Ford V-8. By the close of the 1952 racing season, Edwards realized that his custom made special was in need of a replacement. For the 1953 season, he purchased a Jaguar C-Type. He later went seeking a Ferrari. He approached North American distributor Luigi Chinetta and ordered a 340 MM, the most powerful Ferrari available. The price for the 340 MM, including transportation to San Francisco, was a staggering $18,000, three times the asking price of a new C-Type.
The example Edwards purchased was 0350MM, the last of the ten 340 MM chassis. The car was constructed in June of 1953 and incorporated subtle suspension and driveline improvements developed from experiences at endurance events such as Spa 24 Hours and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Upon completion, the Ferrari chassis was sent to Torino, Italy where it became the fifth and last 340 MM to be clothed by Carrozzeria Vignale.
Though the five 340 MM Vignale Spiders shared general design cues and form, each example was uniquely different. 0350MM share many similarities with 0324 AM, including a gaping egg-crate grille, three ovoid portholes, triangular cutaway extractors in the rear fenders, outboard headlamps and a closed hood blister. (Chassis 0324 AM had been delivered to American racer Bill Spear).
As 0350MM was nearing completion, Edwards married Marian miller and began making arrangements for their honeymoon. Those plans seemed to center more on the Ferrari than on the new bride. Soon after the wedding, the newlyweds travelled to Europe with plans to explore the Italian countryside from the cockpit of the new Ferrari. Arriving in Europe, and being driven to Modena by Chinetti, Edwards was informed that his 340 MM was unavailable, as it was still being completed at Vignale.
Edwards traveled to Torino in time to witness the craftsmen putting the finishing touches on his 340 MM. In honor of Edward's nationality, the coachwork was finished in American racing colors, with dark blue flanks and fenders highlighted by white trim on top and bottom.
Upon completion, Edwards took the car to the nearby Aerautodroma di Modena where the car was put through its paces. Edwards was less than pleased with the ride of the stiffly sprung 340 MM, pointing out that it had a tendency to jump and buck at speed.
The Edwardses completed a 10-day, 1000-mile tour in their new purchase, roughly following the route of the Mille Miglia circuit. They shared a suitcase, but since the trunk was filled with a spare tire and a large 48-gallon fuel tank, the deck lid was propped open and secured by bungee cords.
After their trip, the Edwards returned home. The Ferrari was shipped by boat from Livorno to New York and then airfreighted to their home in San Francisco. The day after the 340 MM arrived in San Francisco, it was trailered to Reno, Nevada to take part in its first competitive outing - the SCCA races held at Stead Air Force Base. The grid included Phil Hill in a 250 MM Vignale Spider, Bill Devin in a 250 MM Berlinetta and Masten Gregory in the Golding Gate Park-winning C-type.
Edwards took an early lead and held off Hill and Gregory for the entire race, finishing in 1st place. On the straight-stretches, Edward's car clocked 139 mph, the highest speed of the day.
In early November, as the 1953 season was coming to a close, Edwards campaigned the 340 MM at the March AFB races in Riverside, California. Unfortunately, mechanical problems would sideline the car prematurely.
On February 7th of 1954, at the Palm Springs Road Races organized by the California Sports Car Club, Edwards finishing 1st overall in the main event. The next event was the inaugural Bakersfield Sports Car Races at Minter Field, but Edwards failed to finish when the lost the oil-sump plug. At the prestigious Pebble Beach Road Races on April 11th of 1954 (and in front of 35,000 spectators), Edwards spun his Ferrari early, but was able to climb his way through the field. On lap 10, Edwards moved into third position behind Bill Stroppe's Kurtis and Tom Bamford's Cad-Allard. When Bamford's Cad-Allard retired on lap 20, Edwards closed in on Stroppe. On lap 28, the Mercury-powered Kurtis gave up and Edwards went on to take the win.
On June 6th, Edwards races in the Golden Gate Park races in San Francisco. Edwards drove to a 2nd place finishing behind Jack McAfee in Tony Parravano's 375 MM Pinin Farina Spider.
The next appearance was at the Seafair SCCA races at Shelton Airport near Seattle, Washington, on August 8th, where it emerged with another outright victory. Edwards' final race with 0350 AM took place on November 7th of 1954, at March Air Force base in Riverside, and resulted in a 4th place finish.
After the race, Edwards Engineering Co. in South San Francisco advertised the 340 MM for sale, asking $8,000. In 1955, Jim Pauley purchased the car, cut a hole in the hood blister for better air intake and sold the car to Ernie McAfee of Los Angeles, CA. McAfee sold the Ferrari to Tom Bamford of Woodland Hills. Bamford repainted the Ferrari Spider red in the summer months of 1955. In June, Bamford entered the Los Angeles Sports Car Road Races at Hansen Dam in the San Fernando Valley. He placed 2nd overall in the main event. It was then entered in two major Southern California races - the National Torrey Pines Road Races in July and the Palm Springs Road Races in February 1956.
In 1958, Bamford sold the car to Sabu Dastagir, an Indian actor. In December of 1963, Mr. Dastagir died of a heart attack at age 39 and his Ferrari was left to the estate to settle. By 1969, Johnny Aldridge Johnson and Ernest D. Mendicki had purchased the 340 MM and returned it to Northern California. In 1975, Harley E. Cluxton III, acquired the 340 MM and sold it to Donald Dethlefsen of Lake Forest, Illinois. In 1979, English collector Peter Agg purchased the car and sold it the following year to David Cottingham of DK Engineering. Throughout 1980 and 1981, the car was restored to its original appearance. Mr. Cottingham had the Lampredi-engine replaced with a purpose-built race motor, preserving the original unit for posterity. The unrestored matching-numbers engine remains with the car today.
The restoration work was completed in fall of 1981, just in time to take part in the Autumn Sprint at Goodwood and the Club Ferrari France meeting at Mas du Clos. In February 1982, the car was on the cover of Thoroughbred & Classic Cars
In the mid-1980s, the car joined Sherman M. Wolf's collection. It was repainted red, registered on New Hampshire plates reading '340 MM' and put to good use. In 1984, it was displayed at the 21st Annual Ferrari Club of America Meet at Road Atlanta and the FCA International Concours d'Elegance in Carmel Valley, California. In 1986, it was shipped to Italy to take part in the Mille Miglia Storica. Mr. Wolf returned to Italy with 0350 AM in 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990 to again participated in the Mille Miglia event.
Mr. Wolf refinished the car in its original color scheme and continued to drive the 340 MM and participate in the Colorado Grand in 1990 and 1998. He continued to show the car, including at the Annual FCA International Concours d'Elegance in Monterey, California and Ron Spangler's Prancing Horse Farm Invitational in Maryland. The car was invited to attend the 2000 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, where it was displayed alongside some of the most examples of the marque.
It later was featured in Cavallino, Automoible Quarterly
and Vintage Racer.
It has also appeared in countless books on Ferraris, Vignale and sports car racing in Southern California.
Mr. Wolf would own the car for 28 years.
In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the Pebble Beach, CA auction presented by Gooding & Company. It was estimated to sell for $4,500,000 - $6,500,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $4,730,000,inclusive of buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2012