Ferrari 375 America

ferrari 375 america by vignale
This Ferrari 375 America is one of the last models designed by Vignale.
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In October 1953, Ferrari demonstrated he was a true constructor of motorcars by employing a technique that would become de rigeur in the industry much later. At the Paris Auto Show, Ferrari displayed the first Ferrari 375 America. Its tubular chassis had a wheelbase of 110.2 inches (2800mm), the longest of any Ferrari to that time. The platform was identical to that used by another new model launched that year, the 250 Europa.

The Ferrari 375 America was aimed squarely at the American market, and half the 14 produced were sold in the United States. Part of its appeal was its 4.5-liter V-12, a Lampredi long-block with bore increased by 4mm to 84mm. Output was 300 horsepower at 6300 rpm. Depending upon the final drive ratio, this gave a quoted top speed of 144-155 mph, an astronomical figure at a time most cars struggled to reach 100.

The Ferrari 375 America was the last model with Ferrari-factory-sanctioned coachwork by Vignale. Most were styled by Pinin Farina, and these were the versions that took the breath away.

“Beautifully clean, unbroken lines distinguish Pinin Farina’s coupe body on the famous Ferrari 375 America chassis,” said England’s Autocar magazine. Indeed, Pinin Farina would use virtually identical styling on a run of 250 Europas for which it built bodies starting two months later.

These shapes helped foster a change in attitude by Enzo. Sergio Pinin Farina’s work with the Ferrari account was overcoming stiff resistance from Enzo, who originally wanted only to work with Battista himself.

Pinin Farina’s custom coachwork on Ferrari chassis reflected that increasing level of trust and confidence. Demand for unique automotive creations was on the rise, the stigma of showing one’s success and affluence in the years after the war having given way to the “economic miracle,” a decade-long expansion that swept Europe beginning in 1952.

A perfect example of the period’s creativity was the last Ferrari 375 America made, chassis 0355 AL. Built for Gianni Agnelli, heir to the Fiat empire and one of Italy’s wealthiest men, its upright imposing front end was quite unlike anything seen on a Ferrari.

“Because only one car was made,” former Pininfarina stylist Francesco Martinengo explained, “it was much easier to experiment with these types of (styling) options than it was on a production car. Owners such as Agnelli were understanding, so we only had to please one person and not a large group of customers.”

ferrari 375 america by pinin farina 0355 al
This Ferrari 375 America by Pinin Farina was made for the heir to the Fiat empire.

Learn about these other great Ferrari Road Cars:

166 MM
250 GT SWB
365 CaliforniaTestarossa
212 Inter
400 Superamerica
365 GT 2+2
340 America
250 GTE
365 GTB/4 Daytona
375 America
250 GT/L Lusso
365 GTC/4
456 GT
375 MM
330 GT 2+2
512 BBi
250 Europa GT
500 Superfast
250 GT Boano
275 GTB/4
308 GT4
550 and 575
410 Superamerica
275 GTS
308 and 328
360 and F430
250 GT Coupe
Dino 246 GT
250 GT Spyder California
330 GTC
288 GTO
612 Scaglietti

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