In 1953 Ferrari had two of its 340MM 4.1 liter sports cars bodied as spiders by Touring instead of with the rounded elegant spider bodywork normally provided by Vignale or the berlinetta coachwork of Pininfarina. One of these Touring-bodied cars was sent over to England by Scuderia Ferrari for Mike Hawthorn to run in the Production Sports Car Race which took place prior to the race for F2 cars at the non-championship International Daily Express Trophy Meeting at Silverstone on May 9, 1953. Hawthorn did as he should and came home 16 seconds in advance of American Tom Cole’s Vignale-bodied 340MM, as well as ahead of a pair of Aston Martins and a bevy of Jaguar C-Types. Cole’s 340MM was the same car with which he had finished fourth overall in the 1953 Mille Miglia and which he would drive to his death in a crash at White House corner at Le Mans in June.
The Hawthorn 340MM which looks so heavy and awkward was the car driven by Luigi Villoresi in the 1953 Mille Miglia who retired due to an accident and, following the Silverstone race, was then sold to the Swiss driver Hans Ruesch who raced it numerous times during 1953. Ruesch had an accident with the car later in the year after which it was rebodied during 1954 by Scaglietti in a 750 Monza-like style and sold to the United States through Luigi Chinetti.
In the Trophy Race it was all Hawthorn again who won both his heat and the Final with the lone works Ferrari 500/F2. A good day’s work for the “Farnham Flyer.”
Photo by T. C. (“Tom”) March ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
To see more photos from our archive go to: http://www.klemcoll.com/TheGallery.aspx