Chassis #: 0344MM
Engine #: 0344 MM
In 1952, Enzo Ferrari had the Gioacchino Colombo-designed 225-specification short-block V-12 engine enlarged to displace 250 cc per cylinder for a total of nearly three liters. The engine would later power the GT models, culminating in the 250 GTO. The traditional Colombo head was replaced in favor of a Lampredi-style head with individual porting, hairpin valve springs, and three large four-barrel Weber carburetors. Upon completion, the new engine was installed into chassis number 0156 ET, an Export Tubolare chassis with a 2,250-mm wheelbase which was originally designated as a 225 Sport. It wore a Vignale berlinetta coachwork in similar fashion to the concurrent 212 Export models. The new car was called the 250 Sport and was loaned by the Scuderia Ferrari to Giovanni Bracco and Alfonso Rolfo for the Mille Miglia in May 1952, which they won.
At the Paris Salon six months later, Ferrari introduced the 250 Mille Miglia in honor of Bracco's victory. They had a 2,400mm short chassis and were assigned even-numbered racing chassis numbers and just 31 examples were built through mid-1953. 13 examples were bodied by Vignale, with 12 of those being spiders. Pinin Farina bodied 18 examples with fastback coachwork.
In April of 1953, Phil Hill drove a Vignale spider to victory at the Pebble Beach Road Races and the Santa Barbara Trophy in September. Luigi Villoresi won the Monza Grand Prix in June of 1953, and Harry Schell earned a 2nd-place finish at the Marquis de Portago at the Buenos Aires 1000 KM in January 1954.
This particular example is the 15th of 18 berlinettas bodied by Pinin Farina, and the 26th example built overall. In June of 1953, the car was delivered to Pinin Farina where it was finished in grigio perla paint and the seats were upholstered in beige vinyl. The car returned to the factory for completion in early August. In mid-September it was sold to its first owner, Mrs. Paola Ferrari of Bologna, and soon after it was fitted with vertical chrome bumperettes.
It was sold in March of 1954 to SAIPA S.r.L., a company specifically created to register competition Ferraris for use outside of Italy. Before the close of March, it was acquired by Mas-Olle Persson of Ludvika, Sweden, and he repainted the body blue and drove the car from Italy to his home country. It was shown at the Swedish International Motor Show in Stockholm from March 26 to April 4th of that year.
Mr. Persson entered the car in several road and ice races in Sweden, starting with the Berksaker race near Osterund in late March. At the Elaintarhanajo-Djurgardsloppet (The Helsinki Grand Prix) in May 1954, it finished 3rd in Class, and a week later it won the production sports car class at the Röfors hill climb. In late May the Ferrari took 2nd in class at both the Hedemora TT Grand Prix in Dalama Ian, and at the Skarpnack airfield races. In June it failed to place at the Ljungdalsbacken or at the Midnight Sun Rally in July. It finished 3rd at the Gayle horse track in mid-August. Later that month, it placed 2nd in class at Karlskoga, and in early September it raced at the Skarpnack airfield where it won its class and finished 3rd overall. It was then driven in an ice race on Lake Varpen over the winter.
In September of 1954, the car was sold to fellow Swede Gösta Forsberg, and he raced the car in October at the Kononloppet Motorstadion, finishing 3rd. Forsberg sold the car later that month to Charles Lohmander who used the car in the Swiss Auto Racing Club's SAR Driver's School in Campione d'Italia, Italy. In May of 1955 it raced at Elaintarhanajo-Djurgardsloppet where it finished 6th in class and 9th overall. Over the course of the month the owner had the bumpers removed and fog lamps installed, and in this guise it raced at the Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring in Germany in late May, finishing 8th. It raced in the production sports car race in early August at the Kristianstad but failed to finish due to brake issues. Two days later Mr. Lohmander traded the car for an Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Zagato at the dealership owned by Joakim Bonnier.
In Mid-August of 1955, Bonnier lent the car to John Kvarnström for use in the Kanonloppet at Karlskoga where he finished 2nd overall. The car was eventually registered with Swiss tags and in November it was offered for sale.
In November of 1955, it was sold by Bonnier through SAIPA S.r.L. to Herbert Mackay-Fraser. Mr. Mackay-Fraser was an English driver residing in Modena. He had the car repainted in rosso. Sadly, Mr. Mackay-Fraser died in a crash while driving a Formula 2 Lotus at a preliminary race held before the Grand Prix in Reims in July 1957. The executors of Mackay-Fraser's estate sold the 250 MM in 1958 to Anthony A.D. Crook of Surrey, England. C.W.P. Hampton of Sussex acquired the car in March of 1959. It was given an engine rebuild by Arctic Auto in Paris, and the coachwork was freshened with the removal of the rear fender vents. The body was repainted by Fox Ltd in London, and the interior was re-trimmed. The 50-gallon competition fuel tank was replaced with a 25-gallon tank, freeing up space for the addition of a spare wheel.
In March of 1961, Mr. Hampton raced the car in the VSCC Pomeroy Trophy at Silverstone. It was shown at the inaugural meeting of the Ferrari Owners' Club UK at Prescott, England in early September, and it appeared at least two more club meet over the next several years, including the Cavalcade at Prescott in September 1969 and the meeting at Scotland Farms in May 1970.
Pierre Bardinon purchased the car in April of 1972. The car was refurbished in 1975, at which point the rear bodywork was restored to the original configuration featuring fender scoops, and the bumperettes were removed. Mr. Bardinon retained the car for two decades. It was exhibited for two months during the summer of 1987 in Paris at the 'Hommage a Ferrari' exhibit sponsored by the Cartier Foundation.
Marcel Massini acquired the car in May of 1992, who then sold it to Peter Glasel of Detmold, Germany. Three and a half years later, the car was part of a trade that included a 250 GT Tour de France and a 250 Gt California Spider in exchange for a pre-war Scuderia Ferrari-campaigned Alfa Romeo Monza, in an agreement brokered by dealer Klaus Werner.
In May of 1996, Werner sold 0344 MM to the Swedish collector Hans Thulin. In January of 1998, it was sold to Jean Guikas' dealership in Marseilles, France. In October it was acquired by René Maspoli of Villeneuve, Switzerland, and he kept the car for five years before selling it to Emilio Gnutti of Brescia. The current owner acquired the 250 MM in October 2010, in a package that also included a Ferrari 500 TRC Spider. Since that time, the car has been shown at the Marin-Sonoma County Concours d'Elegance in May 2011, and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August 2013. By this point, the car has been refinished in midnight blue.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2019