For the most part, you need to be a seasoned historian to fully understand the history of all of Ferrari’s race cars. From the various body styles to endless specific options, it’s hard to tell whether you’re looking at a $100 car or one worth $1 million. That’s exactly what happened to one man back in the 1990s with the Ferrari 340 America we’ll be looking at today.
According to Mecum, this Italian racecar ended up in the United States toward the end of the 1950s, where it underwent some horrific transformations. In the early 1990s, a racer named Mike Sanfilippo managed to purchase the mangled Ferrari for $200. However, today, this car is easily worth millions.
How does a $9 million Ferrari 340 America sell for $200?
As you might imagine, the story surrounding this 1954 Ferrari 340 America begins in the 1950s when the car competed in several races. According to Mecum, everyone largely saw these racecars as disposable at the time. As a result, once the 340 finished its racing career, it sold and headed to the United States.
Toward the end of the 1950s, the Ferrari traded hands a couple of times across the U.S. Eventually, a new owner in Texas got a hold of it and subsequently ripped out its original 4.1-liter V12 engine. Instead, he fitted this now-priceless Ferrari with a V8 out of a Corvette.
According to Mecum, the Ferrari 340 America’s body received significant damage after this. The current owner then decided to re-body the car, resembling the hideous 1956 Bangert Manta Ray. Eventually, the car’s original engine sold in 1963 ending up somewhere in Chicago.
After vanishing for nearly 30 years, a drag racer named Mike Sanfilippo stumbled upon the racecar’s chassis (No. 0202A) and managed to purchase it in 1990 for $200.
The car sold later on for $26,912
Since this Ferrari 340 America wore a different body, no one knew it was a Ferrari in the first place. As a result, the car eventually popped up for sale on eBay in 2006. The listing read “Devin sports car,” with no mention of the prancing horse. However, an automotive restoration expert bought the “Devin” with hopes of restoring it completely. The price? $26,912.
However, as Mecum points out, once the automotive restoration expert got together with a Ferrari expert, they quickly figured out that they hadn’t bought a Devin at all. Instead, this mangled car turned out to be a genuine Ferrari racecar. According to Mecum, this means that it is one out of 475 produced between 1948 to 1974.
As you might imagine, this vehicle was essentially missing since it lost its original bodywork back in the 1950s. A little bit of research revealed that chassis No. 0202A had actually competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
This Ferrari 340 America is now worth over $9 million
After discovering the true identity of this Ferrari 340 America, it underwent a complete restoration costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. In fact, Mecum reports that the racecar even got its original 4.10-liter V12 and four-speed manual transmission installed once again.
Flash forward, and this historic vehicle is up for sale. According to Forbes, in 2016, this car should’ve been worth around $9 million. However, given the current collector car market, this Ferrari could be worth significantly more.