By Andrew Ganz
Monday, May 27th, 2013 @ 12:45 pm
 
Well-heeled auction-goers gathered last weekend on Lake Como, Italy, to purchase a number of high-end vintage cars, but no sale was impressive as the nearly $13 million realized by a 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Pinin Farina Berlinetta "Competizione."

Trailing only a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa that sold for over $16 million in 2011, the 340/375 MM is the second most expensive car ever sold at auction and the most expensive closed-top Ferrari Berlinetta to cross the block.

Reports indicate that a flurry of telephone bidding during the 20 minutes the car was on the auction block in Italy pushed it well above its 5 million euro estimate to 9.2 euros, including the auction's fees and commissions.

The winning bidder has not been announced.

But the '53 340/375 MM isn't just an average Ferrari. According to Canadian auction house RM Auctions, which sold the car last weekend at its annual Villa Erba event on the sidelines of the Villa d'Este Concours in Italy, the car was an ex-factory racer that has been awarded at such prestigious shows as the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and the Goodwood Revival.

One of three Ferrari factory racers entered in the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hour race, it features a 4.5-liter V12 engine derived from the company's 375 Formula One racing cars.

Raced extensively in 1953, it competed in the 12 Hours of Pescara and the Carrera Panamericana as well. Once its racing era ended, it wound up in private hands first in Colorado and later in California and Wisconsin before making its way to England in the early 2000s.

RM points out that it is the only known Ferrari to have been driven by three world champions: Alberto Ascari, Dr Nino Farina, and Mike Hawthorn.