The $12.8 Million Dollar Car

A 1953 Ferrari has sold for $12,812,800 at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Lake Como, Italy.

Le Mans-raced 1953 Ferrari 340375 MM headed to auction (5)
1953 Ferrari 340/375

The Memorial Day weekend event — organized by RM Auctions — inspired more than $35 million in sales, with the top seller being the 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Pinin Farina Berlinetta “Competizone.”

The car is now the second most expensive sold at auction in history, behind the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa that went for more than $16 million at Pebble Beach in 2011.

ferrari T
Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

Beyond its innate beauty, the 1953 Ferrari 340/375 is one of three factory-backed 375 MM competition cars that has competed in the Le Mans. It has also been driven in the World Sports Car Championship by three champions including Mike Hawthorn, Alberto Ascari, and Nino Farina.

What’s even more interesting is the car’s fascinating history. It was first imported to the United States in 1954 by Luigi Chinetti Motors. For a short time, it was housed in New York and then was sold to a collector in Denver, Colo. During that time frame,  the sports car was involved in an unfortunate collision, which resulted in a remodeled nose.

In the 1960s, the Ferrari made the trek to California  after a purchase by Steve Griswold of Berkeley. Griswold restored the car in 1974 and entered it into the Monterey  Historic at the Pebble Beach Concours.  It was also raced at Watkins Glen, Elkhart lake and Mille Miglia.

Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
1953 Ferrari 340/375

Once the 1990s rolled around, a Wisconsin man purchased the car and hired renowned restorer Wayne Obry to bring the car back to its glory. It was then shipped to England and won the Louis Vuitton Concours.

Come August 2006, the beauty was restored a final time to its original form that was first showcased at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953. Upon auction, the Ferrari found itself back home in Italy.

The car’s buyer remains nameless, so it’s impossible to know where in the world it will travel. One can only help that it won’t be hidden away in a private collection and remain unseen for decades to come.