Built to contest the World Sportscar Championship, the 375MM was Ferrari’s most potent weapon. Many examples were made to contest LeMans, the Targa Florio and the Mille Miglia which it is named after. While they were designed strictly as competition machines, a handful, as little as five, were sold road-going examples called Speciales. Our feature 375 is one such car and has a presence all its own.
It was first ordered by film director Roberto Rosselini who was one of Ferrari’s best customers. He maintained a collection that included all the early models like the 166, 212, 250 Mille Miglia and two 375 MMs, one being the silver coupe you see here.
Rosselini’s coupe started life as a Pinin Farina-bodied competition spyder with chassis number 0402AM. Painted in bright red, it was delivered to Rosselini as a used factory workhorse in the spring of 1954. He then used it until suffering a front-end accident with a tree which forced him to bring it back to the factory. At that point, repairs were made to the chassis and it was then sent to Scaglietti & C in Modena who was manufacturing Ferrari’s competition cars.
0402AM was Sergio Scaglietti’s first passenger car design for Ferrari and it needed to impress. Rosselini ordered a coupe body and what he got was a finely detailed and sculpted Speciale. Instead of working from sketches or 1:1 drawings, Scaglietti preferred to work with a thin metal lattice work that the body was then fashioned on top of. It took Scaglietti around a year to finish the design this way in aluminum and the result was unique in almost every way.
Overall lines of the car are defined by sweeping fenders from the original spyder, including its long front hood and a turret-like greenhouse.
At the front, a cutoff oval grille embraces two running lights as well as front blinkers. The front fenders have an accent cut that predated the 250 Testa Rossa’s by years. Just under these are engine bay vents that add the aggressive stance. The rear is a round affair, only being cutup by two small taillights, the license plate and a shut lines for the trunk.
Owing to its competitive roots, no bumpers were fitted and the interior was functionally sparse. A simple painted dashboard was used, surrounded by a red leather interior. At the back, a quick-release fuel filler cap is hidden in the trunk that leads to a mammoth gas tank. The space is also occupied by a spare wheel, leaving little room for anything else.
Eventually Rosselini parted with the car, and it was painted green before finding a home stateside in 1995, ending up with ex-Microsoft CFO Jon Shirley. He had VRM comprehensively restore it. The finished work debuted at FCOA’s international meeting in 1998 before being seen at the Pebble Beach Conours d’Elegance in the same year.