340/375MM coupes are hot, claustrophobic, cacophonous, and demanding to drive. The spyders are simply demanding
Ferrari has been called a racing company with a production department, and nowhere is that emphasis more evident than in the production sports cars of the early 1950s. Not only was Enzo Ferrari passionately dedicated to victory on the world’s Grand Prix circuits, but his sports cars-which were supposed to fund the operation-quickly became dominant racers in their own right.
The heart of the 340 MM and 375 MM cars were their engines. Designed by Aurelio Lampredi, they were intended to provide a large-displacement alternative to the original Colombo-designed V12. The engine’s broad power band and rock-solid reliability made it an ideal weapon for sports car racing. The 340/375MM’s chassis was conventional Ferrari, based on two parallel oval tubes in a welded ladder structure. Front suspension was independent by parallel unequal length A-arms with a transverse leaf spring. The usual Ferrari solid rear axle with semi-elliptic springs and parallel trailing arms was both well proven and reliable.
The Ferrari 340/375 MMs were brutally powerful, and soon proved their worth on long, high-speed tracks where their torque and power gave them tremendous speed, but where their weight and period brakes didn’t handicap the cars against smaller and more nimble competition. On the track, these Ferraris were not for the faint of heart.