A classic and remarkable Ferrari is about to be auctioned next week in Monaco. The Ferrari 375MM Spider which is offered comes with an interesting history ‒ the car has won many races in South America and even served as a bird blender.
This particular model is the second of only 15 Ferrari 375 MM spiders ever built. The classic car is powered by a V12 engine which delivers 340 horsepower. This enables the Italian sports car to reach a top speed approaching 290km/h, while a sprint to 160km/h was done in 11.5 seconds.
Following its completion in December 1953, this Prancing Horse was finished in the Argentinean colours of pale blue with a yellow stripe. The car was shipped to Argentina where it entered the country’s sports car championship. The Ferrari was driven by José Maria Ibáñez, but he crashed in the first race.
The 375 MM was repaired and repainted red with a black hood and white nose. Ibáñez entered two more races before another driver ‒ Diaz Saenz Valiente ‒ got behind the wheel. Valiente was more successful with the repainted Ferrari, he won seven races in the rest of the season. By far the most remarkable win was in the gruelling 736 kilometer long Turismo Carretera road race in southern Argentina, which consisted of two 368 kilometer long(!) loops of paved and dirt roads.
The website of RM Auctions gives us an interesting glimpse in this race. Valiente came up with an idea which didn’t worked out very well. He had persuaded a friend to fly his plane in front of the Ferrari to frighten away birds. But instead of scaring the birds away, the Ferrari’s exterior accidentally received another overhaul ‒ this time with feathers ‒ as Valiente explained:
During the first lap, I was passing the first control point at 245km/h, and I found it difficult to see the instruments, because the car vibrated—and because I had my head in the wind. The birds proved quite a problem because at the high speed I was driving, I did not give them time to fly away, and I crashed into them. There were feathers all over, and the Ferrari finished the race with its bodywork full of dents.
The Ferrari 375MM became the winner of two national championships in Argentina in 1954-55. The car’s race history ended with a 1957 crash, but during its career it managed to receive a total of eighteen podium finishes, including 11 wins. The Ferrari was sold and modified with an American V8 for street use. This engine swap also marks the beginning of the car’s dark ages, because nothing is mentioned about its history in this period until it was discovered in Uruguay’s capital Montevideo in 1983.
The 375 MM was shipped to Italy where it was restored. The original V12 engine was also found and placed back inside the car. Throughout the years, the reborn Ferrari was sold to a few different passionate collectors who drove the car at multiple historical races and driving events.
And now the Ferrari is in search of a new and wealthy enthusiast. The car will auctioned in Monaco next week on May the 12th by RM Auctions. The auction house estimates the 375 MM will fetch somewhere in between the € 3,300,000 and € 4,100,000.