Early Ferraris are some of the most sought after collector cars in the world, and it just so happens that two — a 1952 340 Mexico Coupe and a 1953 212 Inter Coupe — will be crossing the bock at RM Auctions’ Automobiles of Amelia Island event in March.
Arguably, the 1952 340 Mexico is the star of the Amelia event. Although short-wheelbase 212 Exports models had been in competition since 1951, none managed to win the hallowed La Carrera Panamericana that year. Ferrari felt a purpose-built racer would perhaps be the trick to tackling the Mexican road race, and set about designing a new car.
Adapted from the existing 340 America sports car, the 340 Mexico was a lithe, barebones racing coupe. Ferrari built only three examples, all of which were fitted with a 280-horsepower, 4.1-liter V-12 and a five-speed manual transmission. The combination was potent, but only this particular car — number 0224 AT — took to the podium with a third-place finish, thanks in part to the talents of drivers Luigi Chinetti and Jean Lucas. The car is in beautiful condition, and is eligible for a number of historic race events, including the Mille Miglia.
The 212 Inter may not have spent its life racing, but its roots do trace back to the track. Founder Enzo Ferrari viewed building and selling road cars merely as a means of funding his race pursuits, and early GT models bore close resemblance to Ferrari’s racing models. Apart from a stretched wheelbase, the 212 Inter road cars were mechanically similar to the 212 Export sports models, right down to the 2.6-liter V-12.
Ferrari built only 80 212 Inters from 1951 through the end of 1953, but this particular car — number 0267 EU — is considerably significant. Although it hasn’t been privy to any extensive restoration, it is an all-original, numbers-matching survivor, and is actually the Vignale-bodied example that graced Ferrari’s stand at the 1953 Turin Motor Show.
Seeing as both cars are significant pieces of Ferrari history, RM expects each to bring a significant chunk of change. The 212 Inter is estimated to fetch between $375,000-$575,000, while the 340 Mexico could sell for $2.7-$3.5 million. Look for both cars to cross the block at RM Auctions’ event on March 12.
Source: RM Auctions
Photos: Phil Greatorex, Shooterz.biz Courtesy of RM Auctions