Rare Ferrari racer to go under the hammer

Ferrari 375-plus

An ultra-rare 1950s Ferrari racing car is to be sold by Bonhams auction house.
The 375-Plus, of which just five were built, was designed to compete in the toughest endurance races of the day, including the 1954 Sports Car Championship.

It was driven by the Argentian Jose Froilan Gonzalez – known as the 'Pampas Bull' – and Umberto Maglioli, the renowned Italian long distance road-racing driver.

The model being sold by Bonhams is Car 0834, the first in the line. It took victory at Silverstone in 1954 and also competed in the iconic Mille Miglia road race around Italy, driven by Maglioli.

It was then acquired by Kleenex heir Jim Kimberly and transported to the USA, before being sold to an Ohio car dealer who campaigned it in a number of races, including the 1957 Cuban grand prix.

The car then later found its way back to Europe, being bought by Belgian Ferrari importer and close friend of Enzo Ferrari, Jacques Swaters, who had the car fully restored at Ferrari's Modena factory.

Underneath the gorgeous Pininfarina designed bodywork, the 375-Plus is fitted with a 4.9-litre V12 engine developing 330bhp. While official performance figures are lacking (and rather irrelevant with regards to a historic racer), the car has averaged 150mph over the course of the endurance races into which it was entered.

The car will be auctioned without reserve at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer. Last year's auction at the event saw a silver Mercedes Benz W196 Grand Prix car driven by F1 legend Juan Manuel Fangio, sell for £20million.

Philip Kantor, Bonhams head of motor cars for mainland Europe, said: "We are honoured to have been chosen to sell this wonderful car, which represents a key early stage in the Ferrari racing legend. It is very rare indeed for a Ferrari team works car with continuous history and undisputed identity to come to the market for sale by public auction. We believe it will attract interest from all over the world."
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