Sometimes the best lots at automotive auctions aren’t the cars themselves, but the memorabilia that’s also put up for sale. No matter if you’re at Barrett-Jackson or Bonhams, everything from tool kits and spare parts to artwork and clothing can be found at car auctions — and these items are often rarer than the cars themselves. At its upcoming Miami sale next month, RM Sotheby’s is auctioning off something I’ve never seen before: a vintage Ferrari engine dynamometer, with an actual V12 engine attached.
While RM doesn’t say exactly what year the dyno was built, in 1953 it was purchased directly from the Ferrari factory in Maranello by Jacques Swaters’s Garage Francorchamps, a dealership in Belgium that used it for thirty years. After that it made its way through a few different collectors, landing in the hands of the current owners in 2015. The rig is beautiful, made of blueish tubular steel with controls and a structure like that of a vintage train.
This isn’t simply a large paperweight, either. RM says the dyno is fully functional, requiring just a twist of a key and the press of a button to turn it on. The engine mounted to the dyno is a 4.0-liter Colombo V12 with Weber carbs that was originally from a Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 (number 5263), but any Ferrari V12 could be attached to the machine. A side-mounted radiator keeps the engine cool, and the exhaust exits through a set of headers and quad pipes at the rear of the machine. The gauges on the control panel are even the same as what you’d get in a period Ferrari.
The dyno will be presented for sale without reserve in Coral Gables, Florida on March 1, with RM setting an estimate of $125,000 to $175,000. The auction house describes the dyno as being “the ultimate conversation piece for one’s collection, and also perhaps one of the most significant pieces of Ferrari memorabilia to be offered in recent years.” Mostly, I just think it would look awesome in someone’s living room. Throwing a dinner party and need to make an announcement to your guests? Just turn on your Ferrari V12 dyno and shut everyone up.