The story of Ingrid Bergman's wedding present
A one-off Ferrari that was nicknamed 'The gift of love'
In 1953, Ferrari presented a car that would rule the World Sportscar Championship series. The 375 MM was not only gorgeous to look at, but was also Prancing Horse’s ultimate weapon. But, as it is with many Ferraris, it caught the eyes of many rich people wanting to own this beauty. The company then decided to convert only 5 units to be road-going versions, which would be sold to customers approved only by Enzo himself.
375 MM Spyder. Credit: Supercars.net
The road versions were given the word ‘Speciale’ to their name, and probably the most notable one is the chassis #0456AM. This unit was commissioned by a film director Roberto Rossellini as a wedding present for his wife, famous actress Ingrid Bergman.
From left to right: Roberto Rossellini, Giuseppe "Nino" Farina, Ingrid Bergman, Enzo Ferrari. Credit: My Car Quest
First revealed at the 1954 Paris Motor Show, the 375 MM Bergman Coupé featured a one-off body designed by Pininfarina. Apart from the rotating headlights and the fins on the rear fenders, another interesting detail are the huge cut-outs behind the front wheels, which were an homage to the famous 250 Testa Rossa.
Credit: My Car Quest
After the presentation in Paris, the car was delivered to Rossellini, who gifted it to his beautiful wife. Unfortunately, she didn’t accept it because, apparently, she didn’t like the way it looked. So, Rossellini decided that he will keep and drive the car (after all, he paid for it).
Being an avid car collector, Rossellini commissioned another custom 375. After he crashed a racing version of his 375 MM Spyder, he called Scaglietti to design a new coupe body for it. The new design was made to resemble a Mercedes 300SL “Gullwing” and just like the 375 Bergman Coupé, this one featured a 330 HP V12 engine under the bonnet. It was still very fast, very sporty and unique, but its presence was no match to its Pininfarina sibling.
Rossellini's 375 MM Scaglietti Spyder. Credit: Spicer Collector Cars
This 375 MM Speciale Bergman Coupé was a part of Rossellini’s collection for some time until he sold it to a customer in the United States. After some time, the car was purchased by the Microsoft executive Jon Shirley. He restored the car completely and gave it a new and fresh layer of the same original colour “Grigio Ingrid”.
Credit: Spicer Collector Cars
Today, the car’s whereabouts are unknown; some sources speculate that Shirley still has it. Nevertheless, I’m sure we can agree that this Prancing Horse is a masterpiece. The 375 MM Bergman Coupé later inspired the design of the 1956 Corvette as well as the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti in 2004.
There is no denying that the nickname “Dono d’amore” (Gift of love) really suits this car. Even though Ingrid didn’t like the car, the Ferrari 375 MM Speciale Bergman Coupé is quite a lovely sight to behold…just like the actress herself.
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