For Sale - Vignale-Bodied 1954 Ferrari 375 America, chassis no. 0327 AL | FerrariChat

For Sale Vignale-Bodied 1954 Ferrari 375 America, chassis no. 0327 AL

Discussion in 'Cars' started by RMSotheby's, Jan 14, 2021.

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  1. RMSotheby's

    RMSotheby's Rookie

    Dec 12, 2014
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    RM Sotheby's
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    1954 Ferrari 375 America Coupe by Vignale
    Estimate: $2,400,000 - $3,400,000

    Featuring a design shared with only two other Ferrari chassis, the mid-century shape riding on this coachbuilt Ferrari suggests that the Jet Age had indeed arrived at Italy’s Carrozzeria Vignale. Before establishing his own venture, Alfredo Vignale was a veteran of legendary coachbuilder Pinin Farina. Vignale’s father worked as the foreman of Farina’s paint shop. Across all Vignale’s future output, particular attention was paid to crafting unique paint schemes. This extraordinary attention to detail can be observed in the two-tone, metallic-grey-over-Amaranto colorway on our America Coupe; recently restored to the same color scheme in which it was originally finished.

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    While working at Stabilimente Farina, young Vignale absorbed as much experience as he could before striking out on his own in 1940; before wartime ended, Vignale was already creating custom bodies on otherwise-ordinary chassis for friends and family out of his small Turin-based garage. After an early success in 1948 crafting an elegant, aerodynamic body on a humble Fiat 1500 chassis, Vignale attracted the attention of Detroit’s Packard Motor Car Company, who sent one of their pre-war chassis to Turin for Vignale to install modern bodywork. But, as with all Italian coachbuilders in the early post-war period, the ultimate client was Ferrari.

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    The 375 America, chassis no. 0327 AL, on display at the Geneva Motor Show, 1954. Courtesy of the Revs Institute

    In a testament to the young designer’s skill, Vignale’s first coachwork on Ferrari chassis debuted the same year as the first Stabilimente Farina-bodied Ferrari, and two years prior to the first completed by Pinin Farina. More importantly, Vignale’s aerodynamic designs were set to get an unbeatable debut on the world stage, with two aluminum-bodied Ferrari 212 Inter coupes achieving first and second place at the Carrera Panamericana in 1951. By the time this America Coupe debuted in 1954, Vignale was viewed as a high-tech, progressive design firm, leading to avant-garde concept cars like this example, chassis number 0327 AL.

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    By the time 0327 AL experienced its’ European debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1954, the chassis was already an international star of sorts, having appeared earlier that year on the Chinetti Motors stand at the New York Motor Sports Show in January.

    A forward-thinking design with an expansive back window that presaged the Plymouth Barracuda by a decade, the Vignale-bodied Ferrari was from a time when coachbuilding set the tone of the auto industry; a time when concept cars could be purchased by the general public.

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    At least, that is the story of this Ferrari America, which was purchased by Robert C. Wilke, a well-known collector and speed-friendly owner of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Leader Card Company. Wilke so enjoyed his rare Vignale, he retained this striking example of Italian coachwork for the remainder of his life.

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    In the catalogue description of this fabulous Ferrari, the author muses about the impact such a futuristic shape would have in Wilke’s native Wisconsin: “One imagines the looks such a spaceship must have received on the roads of Eisenhower-era Milwaukee.” And yet, one doesn’t have to stretch their intellect too hard to imagine this scenario: It is the same, undeniable feeling we all get when seeing a Ferrari today—a vision of the future.

    A mid-century design that stands the test of time recently restored to the same tasteful, two-tone color scheme in which it left Vignale’s workshop in Turin, RM Sotheby’s is proud to offer this 1954 Ferrari 375 America Coupe as part of our Arizona, 2021 sale, set for 22 January. May the Jet Age live on forever.

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  2. 430tdf

    430tdf Formula Junior

    Aug 7, 2008
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    Bravo to whoever decided to keep it the original colour, stunning! Some pictures of the interior would be nice.

    Maybe in another lifetime, lol.
  3. carguyjohn350

    carguyjohn350 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 7, 2007
    Houston, TX
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    John P
    Beautiful car. Those watermarks are awful. Best of luck.
    Racedrvr, TheMayor and Tegethoff like this.
  4. Jack-the-lad

    Jack-the-lad Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Agreed. You’d think they could manipulate the watermark so that it doesn’t obscure the car itself.
  5. JSinNOLA

    JSinNOLA F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Mar 18, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Pretty sure it is intentional so people don't screengrab and crop them out...

    But yes, annoying.
    Jack-the-lad likes this.
  6. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 13, 2014
    DFW, Texas
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    Tom C
    Agreed. That amaranth color is spectacular!
    430tdf likes this.
  7. sixcarbs

    sixcarbs F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 19, 2004
    I agree the original color is fantastic, and also that cars should be kept as they were born.

    Thank one of the most recent owners as this car has been red, metallic blue, and even yellow at some points in its life.
    430tdf likes this.
  8. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya The $10 Trillion Man
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 28, 2003
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    Gorgeous car!
  9. megamarco9

    megamarco9 Karting

    Dec 11, 2020
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    recent owner deserves huge props for returning car to it's original color palette... gorgeous 4sure
  10. Camp Freddie

    Camp Freddie Karting

    Oct 19, 2015
    London, Doha, Beirut
    Absolutely beautiful

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