Ferrari Leggenda e Passione - RM Auctions Maranello - Red Letter Day


By the time you read this, perhaps the finest opportunity to spend your money would have passed. So all you can do now is ogle at the stuff on these pages and feel miserable. Yes, it was the second year of the Ferrari Leggenda E Passione, the sale conducted by RM Auctions in association with Sotheby’s at Maranello, where divine machines and memorabilia wearing the prancing horse get picked up by well-heeled collectors from around the world. Here are just a few examples that were up for auction.

280 bhp, 2953cc, SOHC V12
Estimate: ¤3,200,000-3,600,000 (Rs 20 to 22 crore approx)

One of the finest Ferraris ever built, the 250 GT SWB California Spyder is a collaboration between the greatest names in the business, Ferrari along with design by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti. The short wheelbase version shared virtually the same lines of the LWB’s coachwork, only in his application it was a bit better looking and was at home in Beverly Hills or on racing circuits. Powered by the highly evolved road version of Ferrari’s legendary V12, the California Spyder was as nimble to drive as it looked. This particular car is the thirteenth of just 56 examples built, and was once owned by movie star and ‘car guy’ James Coburn. Simply, this is one of the greatest Ferraris ever – mind-blowing lines, superb handling and evocative in all aspects. And this one especially has star appeal as well.   LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
195 bhp, 2419cc DOHC V6, five-speed manual transmission
Estimate: ¤95,000-120,000 (Rs 59 to 75 lakh)

The Dino badge on the 206 GT was Ferrari’s first venture into mid-engined production cars. Though it was a domestic success in its early years, Ferrari introduced a larger and more reliable 2419cc V6 in 1969. That made the Scaglietti-built car more acceptable across Europe. The Dino’s 195 horses, its brilliant soundtrack, a top speed of 235 kph, and of course, brilliant driving pleasure were brought about by its mid-engined layout and a well-engineered tubular steel chassis with fully independent suspension. About 3,800 Dinos were built up till 1974 and it was available as a hardtop GT as well as a targa-style GTS.

130 bhp, 2341cc DOHC V12, five-speed manual gearbox
Estimate: ¤350,000-410,000 (Rs 2.2 to 2.6 crore approx)

For Enzo Ferrari, making road cars was one way to raise money for his racing activities. By 1950, he was ready to launch an exclusive road-going car using his successful racing V12 engine. The 195 Inter was launched in 1950, and that same year, an Italian industrialist won the Mille Miglia driving one – though the almost parallely launched 212 offered better competition advantages. The 195 Inter’s raison d’être however was a fast grand tourer with immaculate coachwork. This one here features a not-so-common Carrozzeria Ghia construction and was displayed at the Brussels Motor Show in 1951. The car was also raced in the 1957 Liege-Rome-Liege rally.

230 bhp, 4102cc SOHC V12, five-speed manual gearbox
Estimate: ¤1,200,000-1,500,000 (Rs 7.5 to Rs 9.5 crore approx)

Following the famous Colombo-designed V12, Ferrari got Aurelio Lampredi to develop a new 4.5-litre V12 for F1 and other racing series. Though his brief was to make a racing V12, Ferrari got a smaller 4.1-litre V12 for use in sports and GT cars. The first of these cars to get the Lampredi developed engine was the 340 America, introduced at the Paris Salon in 1950. The 340 was conceived as a competition car for wealthy privateers, especially the richest country of that era, the United States of America. It’s another thing that the new 340 would be later adapted for the Mille Miglia and be called the 340MM in 1953.Only 23 genuine 340 Americas were built, of which just four were built by Ghia. The car was used in racing across the Europe and the US,
but its finest hour was at the legendary Carrera Panamericana Mexico in November 1952. It came fifth, not bad when you consider that it was not a factory entry, and that it was the year of the Mercedes-Benz 300SL.

1996 FERRARI F50
520 bhp, 4698cc V12, six-speed manual transmission
Estimate: ¤450,000-500,000 (Rs 2.83 to 3.15 crore approx)

What a way to celebrate your golden anniversary! "Fifty years of racing, fifty years of winning, fifty years of hard work," said Luca di Montezemolo, as he introduced the F50 to the world in 1995 at the Geneva show. The successor to the visceral F40, the F50 was almost like a civilised F1 Ferrari. It even had an additional seat! At that time, it was the most powerful road-going Ferrari, and was a moving exhibit for Ferrari’s awesome technological prowess.
The six-speed gearbox with LSD was fitted behind the engine and for the first time in a road-going Ferrari, the engine/gearbox/differential functioned as a load-bearing structure with the chassis, while the chassis itself was a complex carbon fibre structure which weighed only 102 kilos. Pininfarina’s form-over-function bodywork was also made of exotic stuff, including carbon fibre, kevlar and Nomex. The result of all that was a machine that could attain 100 kph in under four seconds and a top speed of over 325 kph. Of course, as everybody knows, only 349 F50s were built. One of them was delivered to Prince Saud Bin Fahad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to his residence in Paris, France. And now it’s the opportunity for someone wealthy to buy a fast used car!   LET LUSSO

250 bhp, 2953cc V12, four-speed gearbox
Estimate: ¤800,000-1,000,000 (Rs 5 to 6.3 crore approx)

The 250 GT/L – L for Lusso, or luxury – was unveiled at the 1962 Paris show. Designed to be a luxurious grand tourer, the 250 GT’s Pininfarina lines took people’s breath away. The engine was the latest iteration of the Colombo V12, and could take the machine to 100 kph in less than seven seconds and to a top speed of 240 kph. It was everything what one would expect from street-going Ferrari. Yet, this first production Lusso, was raced and is one of only three known Competizione examples.

170 bhp, 2960cc SOHC V12,five-speed manual gearbox
Estimate: ¤650,000-800,000 (Rs 4.1 to 5 crore approx)

The 212 is a special model for Pininfarina, as the famed coachbuilder’s first creation on a Ferrari chassis was with this model. Launched at the 1951 Brussels show, Ferrari produced about 100 examples of the 212 over the next two years. The 212 saw plenty of racing success: the Tour of Sicily, the Coppa Inter Europa, the Coppa Toscana, and most importantly, a 1-2 in the Carrera Panamericana in 1951.This particular 212 Inter Europa was purchased new by the famous film director Roberto Rossellini as a wedding anniversary gift for his wife, the gorgeous Ingrid Bergman. The director and actress were close friends with Enzo Ferrari, and Bergman was supposed to have told Il Commendatore, ‘Instead of getting a new flat, we’re getting a new Ferrari with a bigger trunk.’ The movie star called this 212 her ‘Growling Baby.’