Rare Ferraris attract top dollar

Another very rare and red Ferrari changed hands last Saturday for the price of two houses in Nedlands. But the price of a far more modest residence would have got you one of the most unusual 1950s Ferraris of all - an unrestored one.

The two-houses-in-Nedlands car was a 1952 Ferrari 340 Mexico, which sold last weekend in Florida for $4.35 million. The other was a 1953 212 Inter coupe which sold for $667,000.

Both cars were sold by Canadian-based auction house RM and came from the private collection of former GM designer and Ferrari Club of America co-founder Larry Nicklin.

The 340 Mexico was in good but well-used condition, while the 212 Inter looked like it had sat in a garage for most of the 34 years it was in Nicklin's ownership.

It was rusty and covered in cobwebs. The side trim and left exhaust pipe were sagging, there were half-hearted body patching repairs still in primer and three of the four tail-light lenses were broken.

These days, finding an old Valiant in largely original condition is tough. Seeing a 58-year-old Ferrari like this is virtually unheard of.

It looked like the owner had treated the 212 like a broken-down EA Falcon. Spiders had taken up residence in the wheel arches and the extractors were now red with rust instead of high revs.

The 340 Mexico was a rare car that boasts period racing history, including third place in the 1952 La Carrera Panamericana road race in Mexico.

But like the face of an old man who's spent his life smiling in the sun, the 1953 212 Inter told the story of its life.

It may not have had much cosmetic surgery and its paint was faded but the picture this painted was more colourful than many of its now-pristine contemporaries.

Among the other big dollar items at RM's Amelia Island event were a 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Spider (which sold for $1 million) and a Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe from the same year ($972,000).

Arguably the most outrageous price was the $83,000 paid for a pink 1960 Fiat 500 Jolly, which was approaching triple the $31,000 paid for a standard 500 at auction in Melbourne on March 7.


In WA, the bustling classic car scene will tomorrow make its presence felt at Whiteman Park for the annual Classic Car Show.

The event is run by the Council of Motoring Clubs and is set to again attract hundreds of historic cars and motorcycles spanning the past 100 years.

Make sure you have a look at the Motor Museum's recently donated display of model cars too.

The show will be held from 10am until 3.30pm but the best thing about this event is that entry is free.

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