Rubi's ride:Has the 375MM berlinetta been found?

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by bitzman, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. bitzman

    bitzman F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2008
    Ontario, CA
    I wanted to write something about Rubi, who had a pepper grinder named after him (or part of him to be technical) but it looks like the 250GT he fatally crashed in Paris was definitely scrapped. The trail stops there, at that tree he hit head on.

    Nonetheless I found a listing of a much rarer race car he owned and darned if the trail ends not in some far off place but Huntington Beach,CA. And last word of it is in 1996 which is only a few years ago, when old Ferraris were already hot commodities. I mean I ask how could a million dollar Ferrari be last seen there and never be seen again ,considering OC is one of the hotbeds of Ferrari collecting nationwide?

    The car is 0380AM 54 1 of 7,a 375 MM Berlinetta PF, RHD. It was the
    1954 Geneva Show Car first owned by Conte Innocente Baggio, raced by Rubi at LM, who put it into the sand and dnf'd.
    Went to a hillclimb in Italy in '54
    finished 2nd OA 1st IC Treponti-Castelnuovo with Innocente Baggio piloto
    Then to tinsel town in '64 owned by
    Peter Helm, who long time California Ferrari people remember had two California spiders both with covered headlights. One was silver and the other was red.

    At some point the 375MM had the indignity of having the usual
    Chevy V8 engine installed but it got a Ferrari engine again, not clear if that was from 0364AM.
    Last recorded owner on is
    in '96/feb - Roger L. Wheeler, Huntington Beach, CA, USA.They say a lengthy search was done,but by who?
    Why would anyone destroy it? It's not like there was a scrap drive for the war effort,and if it was crashed in vintage racing there would be stories about it on FC.
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  3. nico308

    nico308 Karting

    Dec 11, 2011
    after seeing a photo of the car at the 1954 Geneva Show the car looks to have a lighter color than the red from the 24h of Le Mans does somedy know wich was the original color of this car ?
  4. Marcel Massini

    Marcel Massini F1 World Champ

    Mar 2, 2005
    0380 AM was born light gray and then in early April 1954 repainted to deep red.

    Marcel Massini
    readplays likes this.
  5. Ed Niles

    Ed Niles Formula 3

    Sep 7, 2004
    West Hills, CA
    Full Name:
    Edwin K. Niles
    Back in the day, I watched Sal install the Chevy, as smoke was pouring out of one side of the Ferrari exhaust. I bought the broken engine and sold it to a guy in the Midwest who had an engineless spider. Thereafter, I wrote at least a dozen letters to Wheeler, but all I could get out of him was, 'The car no longer exists." I'd be surprised if Wheeler is still alive. Seems like a dead end.
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  7. nico308

    nico308 Karting

    Dec 11, 2011
    thank you must be beautyfull in this color .
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