1953 Ferrari 375M Spyder

(s/n# 0286AM)
(The last great undiscovered Ferrari?)

On the photoshoot for the Salon article in Road & Track magazine

What would you say if someone called you one lazy afternoon and told you that they knew of a special, early Ferrari racecar that had been hidden away for almost forty years ago. What if they also told you that is was a "one-of-a-kind, special-bodied, open sports racer," the like of which most of us only dream about. Sound hard to believe? What if they continued and mentioned that it had been driven by the great European racers, Villoresi, Ascari, Farina, Chinetti, de Portago, and then by the great American racers Phil Hill, Richie Ginter, and even Carroll Shelby? Not only does such a vehicle exist -- but I was a part of the restoration team that brought it back to be enjoyed by the world!

1953 Race Season Schedule

Built in the spring of 1953, 0286AM made its debut at the 24 hours of Spa, followed by winning the ADAC 1000kms at the Nurburgring circuit as a factory Scuderia Ferrari Team car, to ultimately making its first appearance via Luigi Chinetti in the 4th Annual running of the Carrera Panamerica roadrace in Mexico... <View details from the season>

click to read more

click to read more

1954 Race Season Schedule

After a change in ownership, 0286AM spent the early part of the season being raced in Mexico and then on the SCCA series of events run on the air bases racetracks prevalent at the time. Summer consisted of a rebuild and modifications to make the more competive for the upcoming 5th Carrera Panamerican race of 1909 miles from Tuxtla to Juarex, Mexico. Driven by Phil Hill and Richie Ginther, 0286AM averaged 137mph on the final leg of the race across Mexican public roads... <View details from the season>

1955 Race Season Schedule

After changing owners again, 0286AM was repainted by the owner and competed in various events through the 1955 seasons. At the end of the season, the car was put away into storage... <View details from the season>

click to read more

click to read more

As discovered after 35 years

Nearly forty years later, 0286AM rolls out into daylight again from its entombment in a shipping container where it had quietly rested for so long... <The first pictures after 35 years>

The restoration project begins

The restoration begins! Do you restore it to its European race winning configuration from the 1953 ADAC 1000km race -- or to it's most famous configuration as it competed in the 1954 Carrera Pan America? Although not molested and relatively intact after its years in storage, either scenario will still require lots of work... <See the process to bring it back>

click to read more

click to read more

At the racetrack and concours today

The Road & Track magazine photoshoot, winning its first race upon its restoration by the original driver from the 1954 Carrera Pan America race, winning the Monterey Cup for the car jduged to have excelled in both presentation and performance, and to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it won the Pebble Beach Cup. <View it today>

History chronicle for 0286AM

April 16, 1953 Build sheets indicate the gearbox was assembled on this date.
April 18, 1953 Steering box dated.
May 5, 1953 Issued "Certificato d'Origine n. 0316 identifying the car as a 375 Mille Miglia with an engine and chassis number of 0286AM. The certificate also identifies the car as having 50 "Taxable" horsepower and that it is a two person "Spyder with coachwork by Carrozzerria Vignale."
May 9, 1953 Notarized signature and power of attorney signed on back of MSO by Dott. Camillo Aggazzotti. The certificate is also endorsed on the back by both the Modena Tribunal Court and the Modena Civil Civil and Penal Courts in Modena, Italy.
May 1953 Delivered to the Scuderia Ferrari Factory race team for testing and evaluation.
July 23, 1953 Driven in practice by Alberto Ascari, Piero Carini, Umberto Maglioli and Luigi Villoresi for the fourth stage of the newly instituted Constructors' World Championship at Spa Francorchamps. Villoresi set fastest lap at four minutes, forty seconds.
July 25, 1953 Entered in but not raced in the 24 hour race at Spa Francorchamps. The official entry presented by Ferrari identifies the car as a "375 Spyder".
August 9, 1953 Entered and raced by the Scuderia Ferrari in the Circuito di Senigallia Race. Driven by Luigi Villoresi on race No. 88. Despite failing to finish, Villoresi set fastest lap.
August 30, 1953 This was the first running of the ADAC 100 kms of Nurburgring race. Problems before the race and during practice with several of the Scuderia Ferrari Team cars prompted Ferrari to change his mind regarding the sale of 0286AM to Tony Parravano of Los Angeles. The car was not released to him or McAfee and instead was driven by Alberto Ascari and Giuseppe Farina in race No. 1 as a Scuderia Ferrari Team car. Ascari and Farina scored a first place overall. (Parravano never did obtain this vehicle and instead eventually took delivery of a "customer" 375 MM, s/n 0362AM along with many other Ferraris over the ensuing years)
September 7, 1953 Revised buildsheets indicate that due to a modification, the engine was dyno tested again on this date.
September 8, 1953 Revised buildsheets indicate the car was refurbished for "Parravano" to run in the "Carrera Panamericana". A matching date also indicates that the engine was revised and the rear axle was assembled on this date.
October 6, 1953 A handwritten note on the factory buildsheets indicate that the car received a front sway bar on this date.
October 31, 1953 Sold to Franco Cornacchia's "Scuderia Guastalla" in Milan, Italy. "Certificato d'Origine" stamped with a Scuderia Ferrari insignia and signed by Enzo Ferrari documenting the sale and transfer from the Scuderia Ferrari.
November 1953 Purchased by Luigi Chinetti from Franco Cornacchia.
November 19-23, 1953 Entered by Luigi Chinetti in the 4th annual running of the "Carrera Panamericana" road race through Mexico. Driven by Chinetti and Alfonso Marquis de Portago on race No. 45. Chinetti and de Portago were forced to retire after splitting a fuel line. Despite completion of repairs, they failed to complete the leg within the allotted time and were thus disqualified.
November 1953 Driven by Luigi Chinetti to Mexico City, Mexico and sold to Carlos Braniff of Mexico City, Mexico.
February 1954 Driven by Braniff in a race in Puebla, Mexico to a third overall.
March 28, 1954 Entered and raced by Braniff in the SCCA Bergstrom Air Force Base race in Austin, Texas. The car was painted entirely silver and had the word "Mexico" written across the rear. Braniff drive the car on race No. 44. During a practice session, the rear pinion bearing failed thus requiring repairs that were performed in a nearby aircraft hanger. After failing to finish the preliminary race, Braniff drove 0286AM again in the feature race for production cars over 1500cc's. In this race Braniff scored second overall, finishing just behind Jim Kimberly's 375MM.
May 1954 Purchased by Allen Guiberson of Dallas, Texas.
June 1954 Delivered to Guiberson's Carson City, California workshop where Lugie Lesovsky and Rosco Ford sorted and rebuilt much of the car in preparation for the upcoming Fifth Carrera Panamerican Road Race. The car was completely taken apart and rebuilt, extending the tail for two spare tires, replacing the front spindles, brakes, installing new "hot rod" camshafts, valves, springs, and new bearings throughout the engine. A vertical tailfin was also built for added stability at high speed. The car was painted in 1954 Chevrolet white. The engine remained a 375 of 4.5 liters.
November 7, 1954 Driven by Phil Hill in the March Air Force Base California race, to a second overall on race No. 2c just behind Bill Spear's 375MM. The car was on display in the paddocks wearing the Texas license plate "NS 2227".
November 19-23, 1954 Entered by Allen Guiberson in the Fifth Annual running of the Carrera Panamerican "Mexico" Road Race. Driven by Phil Hill and Richie Ginther on race No. 20. Hill and Ginther won three out of the eight legs and took a second place overall in the race averaging 105.5 mph.
February 27, 1955 Now painted a dark maroon, the car was driven by Carroll Shelby in the Fort Pierce, Florida race on No. 48. Shelby was still suffering from injuries sustained in an accident in the Carrera Panamericana and finished in second place.
July 10, 1955 Driven again by Carroll Shelby at Torrey Pines, California on race No. 20c to a first place overall.
July 31, 1955 Driven by Ken Miles in the Seattle Seafair NSCR Seattle, Washington road race to a third overall using race No. 120c.
August 1955 Offered for public sale by Guiberson for $6,000.
October 1955 Purchased by Lou Brero, Sr. of Arcata, California for $3,500 including numerous spares.
December 1, 1955 Entered and driven by Lou Brero, Sr. in the Nassau, Bahamas Speed Week Races.
December 9, 1955 Lou Brero, Sr at the Governor's Trophy on race No. 108c finished fourth overall.
December 10, 1955 Lou Brero, Sr again in the Ferrari Race on race No. 108c, finished third overall.
December 14, 1955 Nassau Trophy Road Race, DNS (Did Not Start) due to engine problems caused by overheating of the engine.
April 1956 Upon the death of Lou Brero, Sr., Lou Brero, Jr. placed the car and spare parts in two truck containers on his property in Arcata, California. The engine and transmission had been removed from the car and disassembled. The engine heads were cracked from overheating and were never repaired. A Jaguar six cylinder was mocked into place, but the installation was never finished.
Spring 1956 - Spring 1994 The chassis and parts lay idle in their containers in Northern California.
February 1995 Purchased by VRM, Inc of Redmond, WA and delivered along with the spares to Pete Lovely Racing in Puyallup, Washington for a complete restoration.
June 1997 The car is driven down the road for the first time under its owner power in forty plus years.
August 15-16, 1997 Debut at the 1997 Monterey Historic Automobile Races. Raced by Phil Hill under race No. 20. Winner of its event after lapping almost the entire field.
August 17, 1997 Winner of the Monterey Cup at the 1997 Monterey Historic Automobile Races for car judged to have excelled overall in both presentation and performance.
August 17, 1997 Winner of the Pebble Beach Cup at the 1997 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Current Possibly on a racetrack or on the road someplace being used near you...

Questions on the images or content of website? e-mail Mark

The images and text contained within this site are Copyright 1994 - 2007 Mark Savory
(unless otherwise indicated)
All rights reserved