One of the most interesting aspects about vintage and classic car ownership is looking into the history of the car and how it has spent its life. This is especially true for vintage racecars, which would certainly have more than a couple interesting anecdotes if they could tell us their stories.
We’d love to hear what this 1951 Ferrari 340 Barchetta had to say if it could talk. The car, chassis 0116/A, was completed in the spring of 1951 before being sold to its first owner, Pierre Louis-Dreyfus. A former WWII pilot with 81 bombing missions under his belt, Dreyfus was both an accomplished businessman and competitive racecar driver – having been a regular at Le Mans prior to the war.
Dreyfus soon employed Luigi Chinetti to run the car and Louis Chiron to share driving duties with him in the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 340 Barchetta was one of nine Ferraris entered in Le Mans that year, however it wouldn’t make it to the finish line, with the team being black flagged for refueling illegally outside the pit lane.
Dreyfus and his 340 returned to Le Mans the following year and again had Chinetti’s team maintain the car. He also hired on René Dreyfus (no relation) to drive the car with him, who had previously won the 1930 Monaco Grand Prix and 1934 Belgian Grand Prix. Unfortunately, they were again forced to retire early, this time with a slipping clutch.
Following its racing career, the 340 Barchetta traded hands numerous times before being restored in 1964. It competed in the Mille Miglia in 1990 and 1998, and has also appearances at the FF40 Ferrari meeting in 1992 and the Ferrari 50th anniversary celebration in 1997. It was recently restored to its 1951 Le Mans-specification and will qualify for modern-day historic events such as the Mille Miglia, Monaco Historic Grand Prix, and the Le Mans Classic.
This 340 Barchetta will be sold at RM Sotheby’s upcoming Monaco auction and is poised to join its Ferrari brethren in the ranks of classic cars that have sold for seven figures. Last year, a similar Ferrari 275S/340 America sold for $7.9 million at RM’s Monterey sale.
Check out the listing here for additional information and photos.