Monaco

14 May 2016

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Lot 232

1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta by Touring

  • Chassis no. 0116/A
  • Engine no. 004/A
  • Gearbox no. 9 A

Sold for €7.280.000

Documents: Bill of Sale


217 bhp, 4,100 cc Tipo 340 60-degree V-12 engine with three Weber 40 DCF carburettors, five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with transverse leaf spring, rear solid axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,420 mm

  • Formerly of the renowned Pierre Bardinon Collection Mas du Clos
  • Entrant in the 1951 and 1952 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • The third of twenty-three 340 America chassis built; the second of eight bodied by Touring
  • Matching-numbers example
  • Eligible for historic motoring events around the world
  • A spectacular early competition Ferrari


Assembly of this 340 America Barchetta, chassis number 0116/A, began in January of 1951, with Walter Seghedoni assembling the transaxle, closely followed by assembly of the engine, which was completed in April. On 2 May, the engine’s testing was finished on the dyno, producing 217.76 brake horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 426.6 N.m at 4,000 rpm. The engine was then fitted to the completed chassis, noted on the factory records as having a reinforced front leaf spring, and it left the factory on 7 May to be fitted with its elegant Barchetta coachwork by Carrozzeria Touring. On 14 June, the car, having returned to Ferrari, was test-driven by Mr D’Angelo.

Two days later, chassis number 0116/A was sold to its first owner, Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, a resident in Paris. A hero of World War II who had flown 81 bombing missions, he would later take over the multi-million-dollar business known today as the Louis-Dreyfus Group. In his spare time, he was an enthusiastic racing driver and sportsman, often racing under the alias of “Helde”. Mr Louis-Dreyfus was a regular entrant in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, first in 1931 in a Bugatti Type 43, with his highlight being 2nd overall in 1935 at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300.

The 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans was held on the 23rd and 24th of June, just a week after Mr Louis-Dreyfus took delivery of his 340 America. Nine Ferraris were entered that year, among them four of the latest 340 America, which was a pre-race favourite thanks to rumours that the car was capable of over 150 mph (then an astounding speed) along the Mulsanne Straight. Louis-Dreyfus was among the entrants, #16, and employed none other than Luigi Chinetti to run the car, with friend and Formula 1 ace Louis Chiron sharing driving duties. Chiron, of course, was a legend of his own, especially in Bugatti circles, having enjoyed victories at many of Europe’s most prestigious events, including the Monaco, Belgian, Italian, Spanish, and German Grand Prix, as well as the 24 Hours of Spa in 1933.

Le Mans 1951 began at 4:00 p.m. with 60 starters under blue skies but with the threat of rain. Chiron quickly became entangled in an intense battle with the sister 340 America of Eddie Hall, a battle so engrossing that he missed the pit-signal to refuel and ran dry on the circuit. A mechanic quickly drove out with a can of fuel and topped up the car, allowing Chiron to return to the pits as if nothing had happened. Louis-Dreyfus took over driving duties and continued, but it was not long before race director Charles Faroux appeared. Chiron admitted that he had refuelled illegally outside of the pit lane, and the car was duly black-flagged after only 29 laps. Despite the early retirement, the car showed great pace; even at the end of the 24 hours, they still held the 11th fastest lap time!

A year passed, and once more Dreyfus entered chassis number 0116/A at Le Mans. The car was again maintained by Chinetti, but now René Dreyfus (no relation to the owner) shared driving duties. Dreyfus was a well-known competitor whose career highlights included victories at the 1930 Monaco Grand Prix and 1934 Belgian Grand Prix, as well as a 2nd overall finish at the 1935 Italian Grand Prix while co-driving with Tazio Nuvolari for the Scuderia Ferrari! The 340 America again donned #16 but this year gained some unique air scoops behind the doors, helping to ventilate the rear drum brakes.

The car qualified 15th, and during the opening laps it improved to 14th by the third hour. Unfortunately, the clutch began to slip, and the car fell down the order, finally retiring after five hours. A picture of the car survives, showing it in the paddock alongside Ferrari 225 S, chassis number 0152 EL, on Sunday morning after both had retired; neither shows signs of damage.

Chassis number 0116/A next appeared at the Coupes du Salon in October 1952, entered by René Marchand. Six years later, in October 1958, 0116/A was offered for sale at Automobiles Charles Pozzi in Paris. It was then registered to Mr Maurice Teissernc, a wood tradesman in the French Department of Landes on 25 November with the license plate 921 CA 40.

In November of 1960, the car was sold to Mr Jacques Alexander Lenglet, a resident of Romainville who traded in his previous daily driver, a Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante. During Mr Lenglet’s tenure, he re-registered the car as 9,360 kilometres.

Four years later, the 340 America was acquired by the renowned Ferrari collector Pierre Bardinon for his impeccable Collection Mas du Clos. It was subsequently restored in Modena. In 1974, it was sold to an Italian politician, Giuseppe Medici of Reggio Emilia, next passing to a prominent Italian collector based in Belgium, Ennio Gianaroli, in 1982. Mr Gianaroli entered the car in the Mille Miglia in 1990 (#149) and 1998 (#297), as well as in such events as the FF40 meeting in 1992 and the Ferrari 50th Anniversary meets in Rome and Modena in 1997.

In the care of its most recent Italian owner, the car was entered in the Mille Miglia a further five times, as well as in the Gran Premio Nuvolari and the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. It was also presented at the Carrozzeria Touring display at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy in 2008.

Most recently, chassis number 0116/A has been fully restored to its 1951 Le Mans configuration and will certainly continue to be welcomed at the most important historic events worldwide, including the Mille Miglia, Tour Auto, Monaco Historic Grand Prix, and, of course, the Le Mans Classic.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more