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Overview

Ferrari 375 America - 1953

1953

375 America

Heir to the 342 America, this model was aimed at the same segment of the market. The Colombo-designed V12 was dropped in favour of the Aurelio Lampredi version that featured cylinder heads with twin inlet tracts.

Focus on

The superb mechanics and elegant Pininfarina lines made it an extremely desirable car, even if extremely expensive. On performance terms alone it was unbeatable, although admittedly Ferrari had few rivals at that level. Of the dozen produced, one which really stands out is the two-seater cabriolet created by Pininfarina for King Leopold of Belgium.

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Ferrari 375 America - 1953
Ferrari 375 America - 1953

The Model

The 375 America model was first displayed at the 1953 Paris Salon in Pinin Farina three window coupé form, with a duo tone paint finish, the shape of which was a refinement of that seen on the Pinin Farina offering on the 212 Inter model of 1952-53. It used virtually the same 2800mm wheelbase chassis as the concurrent 250 Europa, and they were similarly numbered in the odd number road car sequence but carried an “AL” (America Lungo) suffix.

The 375 America chassis carried a factory type reference 104, whereas that of the 250 Europa had type reference 103, which were the longest wheelbase chassis’ produced by Ferrari up to that time. The mechanical components, apart from the engine, were identical to those of the 250 Europa model.

As with the 250 Europa, the majority were fitted with either a Pinin Farina three or five window coupé body. Three examples had a Vignale coupé bodies, whilst there was also a single Vignale cabriolet, and the very last example produced had a very special, and unusual, Pinin Farina coupé body with a wrap around front screen, vertical radiator grille, and buttresses running from the roofline into the tail panel, which was built specially for Gianni Agnelli, the head of Fiat, and displayed at the 1954 Turin Salon.

The Engine

The engine was a development of the Lampredi designed “long” block V12, with a capacity of 4522cc, and a bore and stroke of 84mm x 68mm, fitted with a bank of three twin choke Weber 40 DCZ or DCF carburettors, twin coil and distributor ignition, to produce a claimed 300bhp. The engine was coupled to a four speed all synchromesh gearbox, which carried the drive through a universally jointed propeller shaft to the rigid rear axle, for which a variety of ratios were available, depending whether the client wanted searing acceleration or relaxed high speed cruising.

It was the use of the “long” block engine, together with the desire to provide a spacious cabin, which resulted in such a long wheelbase for the car. Another factor was the move by Pinin Farina to try and provide an instantly recognisable “face” for Ferrari models, through a move towards design uniformity, and also to try and streamline production methods, hence the use of similar body and chassis units for both the 250 Europa and 375 America models.

Ferrari 375 America - 1953
Ferrari 375 America - 1953

Full uniformity of style had still not been achieved, as even amongst the “standard” Pinin Farina coupés one could find detail differences, apart from the previously mentioned glass area treatment, there were variations in bright trim details on the body, like the radiator grille surround being plain, or fitted with chrome plated trim rings of varying widths, and specific detail changes to suit a particular client’s requirements.

A total of ten 375 Americas were built, in the chassis number range 0293 AL to 0355 AL, although two 250 Europas were subsequently fitted with the larger capacity engine of the 375 America. Visually there is nothing to differentiate between the two models, and the individual type can only be verified by checking the chassis plate details, or the size of carburettors fitted, Weber 36 DCZ on the 250 Europa and 40 DCZ on the 375 America.

Careful selection of the best shots of America 375 in high definition. The photo gallery shows the distinctive features of this model Ferrari in 1953, with details and the most important parts.

Specifications

V12  Engine

Type front, longitudinal 60° V12
Bore/stroke 84 x 68 mm
Unitary displacement 376.84 cc
Total displacement 4522.08 cc
Compression ratio 8 : 1
Maximum power 221 kW (300 hp) at 6300 rpm
Power per litre 66 hp/l
Maximum torque -
Valve actuation single overhead camshaft per bank, two valves per cylinder
Fuel feed three Weber 40 DCF carburettors
Ignition single spark plug per cylinder, two coils
Lubrication wet sump
Clutch twin-plate
Frame tubular steel
Front suspension independent, unqual-length wishbones, transverse leaf spring, Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers
Rear suspension live axle, semi-elliptic springs, Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers
Brakes drums
Transmission 4-speed + reverse
Steering worm and sector
Fuel tank capacity 140 litres
Front tyres 7.10 x 15
Rear tyres 7.10 x 15
Type two-seater coupé
Length -
Width -
Height -
Wheelbase 2800 mm
Front track 1325 mm
Rear track 1320 mm
Weight 1150 kg (dry)
Top speed 250 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km/h -
0-400 m -
0-1000 m -