A 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus sold for the jaw-dropping sum of £10.7 million (approximately $18.2 million) at an auction that took place at last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Wearing chassis number 0384, the Pininfarina-bodied 375-Plus joined Ferrari’s official racing team in 1954. The roadster participated in numerous high-profile events like the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans before being sold off to wealthy American racer Jim Kimberly in 1955.
Records indicate the car was raced in various SCCA events until the end of the 1957 season and sold to an Ohio-based collector named Karl Kleve the following year. Kleve partially dismantled the 375-Plus and parked the body outside until it was mysteriously removed from his property in January of 1989 and purchased by a French collector for $50,000.
The car was reported stolen in the United States but the new owner was nonetheless able to register it in Europe and sell it to a well-known Belgian collector named Jacques Swaters. Shipped to a Ferrari specialist in Modena, Italy, the car was fully restored with the help of former factory mechanics and later re-united with its original 4.9-liter V12 engine.
After a lengthy legal battle, Swaters and Kleve finally came to an agreement over who owned the car. It remained in Swaters’ collection until his daughter inherited it when he died in 2010.
The 375-Plus was sold by Bonhams in like-new condition. It sparked a long bidding war before the hammer finally dropped.
Other highlights from the sale include a 1902 De Dietrich that sold for $1.7 million and a 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400 “Periscopio” Coupe that fetched $1.6 million, a new record for the iconic mid-engined supercar.