Our feature Ferrari belongs to a small group of similarly styled Ferraris that were particularly unusual.
They are the work of Carrozeria Vignale in Turin who created unique bodies for about 155 Ferraris in period.1
Vignale styled and crafted bodies in Turin for many of Ferrari’s competition cars from 1950 to 1953 including the unique set of 340 Mexicos for the 1952 Carrera Panamerica.
Our feature Ferrari 212 Inter, chassis 0285 EU, was built in a style similar to the 340 Mexico’s. It takes the competition car’s large oval grill, inset headlights and bizarre protruding front fender treatment.
***Update: Sold for $1,100,000 USD by RM Sotheby’s
The road-going version, let’s call it the “Mexico Strada,” had distinctive chromework such as double-bumper treatments with high mounted guards which make them instantly recognizable. Alfredo Vignale must have loved chrome as even Vignale’s compeition cars featured chrome portholes and needless accents on ocassion.
Vignale used this body style for just nine cars, but all were unique in detail. Four of these were displayed at the New York, Paris, Geneva and Turin motorshows respectively. Most of these cars shared the rear tail fins which hark back to the American rocket design of the 1950s.
The five direct stable mates of chassis 0285 EU include 0257 EU, 0267 EU, 0271 EU, and 0289 EU on the 212 Inter chassis. 0285 EU is also similar to 250 Europa 0295 EU, the original body of 340 America 0238 A, and a 166 MM re-body on 0036 M. All of these cars drew inspiration from 0197 EL, “the Bumblebee”.
Chassis 0285 EU was dispatched to Luigi Chinetti’s New York distributorship and sold to Pennsylvania State Senator Theodore Newell Wood. Over the next 40 years it lived with owners in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Tampa, Florida; New York and Atherton, California before being shipped to collector Hans Thulin of Stockholm, Sweden. It came back to Pennsylvania four years later in 1993 and spent the considerable time in California thereafter by being traded through the Blackhawk Collection numerous times.
Despite the lengthy list of previous owners, Chassis 0285 EU is remarkably original and never fully restored. Much of the car appears to display an older patina from a cosmetic restoration performed years ago.
This car will be offered by on Friday, January 29, 2016 by RM Sotheby’s in Scottsdale with an estimate of $1,800,000 – $2,200,000 USD. Color images are by the talented Darin Schnabel.
1. Massini, Ferrari. Ferrari by Vignale. Giogio Nada Editore: 1993.
2. Medgard. 250 Europa Vignale Coupe s/n 0295EU. Barchetta.cc. Accessed Jan 2016.