Ferrari 375 MM Berlinetta
While the demand for Ferrari’s sports racers was plentiful, the 375 Mille Miglia was an example of a Ferrari that was not for the faint of heart. Regardless of money, what was most essential in owning a 375 MM was the innate ability and skill to drive in spirited competition that made these monstrous sports racers so powerful and simultaneously so challenging.
The 375 Mille Miglia descended directly from the 4.5-liter GP formula and the big engine that Aurelio Lampredi designed for it. Successful from inception, it was natural to tune the engine down a little, adapt Ferrari’s typical two-tube frame and solid rear axle suspension, wrap a two-seat body around it and go collect some more starting and prize money, while selling some cars to keep the Scuderia in operation. Typically bodied by Pinin Farina, the 375 MM was both the factory’s team car and a favorite of well-heeled customers.
The 375 MM’s Lampredi engine was an all-alloy beauty with seven main bearings, single overhead camshafts with roller followers and hairpin valve springs and dual magneto ignition. It breathed through a trio of beautiful four-choke Weber 40IF4/C downdraft carbs, a rare instance at the time of Ferrari giving a single carb choke to each cylinder. In 375 MM form it delivered 340 horsepower. The four-speed fully synchronized gearbox was mounted to the engine, driven by a multi-plate clutch. Everything was built for strength and reliability.
The 375 MM’s chassis was conventional Ferrari, based on two parallel oval tubes in a welded ladder structure. Front suspension was independent by parallel unequal-length A-arms with a transverse leaf spring, sway bar and Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers. The usual Ferrari solid rear axle with semi-elliptic springs, Houdaille shocks and parallel trailing arms (for location and taking braking and acceleration loads) was both well proven and reliable.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
340 hp, 4,522 cc single overhead camshaft V12 engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with transverse leaf springs and lever action shocks with rear live axle, twin lever shocks and twin leaf springs and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102.3".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Tim Scott/Fluid Images