Ferrari 212 Touring Barchetta

Enzo Ferrari began planning his forthcoming car company during the Second World War and in 1946 commissioned Gioacchino Colombo to design a small capacity V12 engine for it. The resulting 1.5 liter Tipo 125 unit took its name from the capacity of one individual cylinder, thus beginning a model designation system that would last for many years to come. Ferrari’s Tipo 125 made its competition debut in 1947 and by mid-season had been enlarged with a 1.9-liter engine to become the Tipo 159. For 1948, Ferrari again increased displacement, this time to 1,995cc with the Tipo 166; this full 2.0-liter engine became the mainstay of Ferrari’s output for the next several years.

The second of only three 166 Sport models built won the Mille Miglia in 1948. In commemoration of Ferrari’s first win of the famous race, they named their next racing model the 166 MM.

The technical specifications of the 166 MM were only mildly revised from its predecessors, with the wheelbase cut down from 2,420 mm to 2,200 mm. However, it retained essentially the same tubular steel frame, wishbone front and live rear axle, as well as the 2.0-liter Colombo V12 upon which its predecessors had been built. Where the 166 MM differed most notably from earlier racing Ferraris was in the styling and construction of its body.

By the time production of the 166 MM ended in 1950, 32 examples had been made, 26 of which featured the Superleggera Touring Barchetta body. Ferrari’s first commercial success, the 166 MM was the car responsible for transforming Ferrari from a small scale racing team to a respected world-class manufacturer of sports and racing cars.

The design of the 166 MM Touring Barchetta remained virtually unchanged when Ferrari replaced the 1,995 cc engine in the Tipo 166 with the larger displacement 2,431 cc in the 195 and ultimately to 2,562 cc in the 212 of 1951.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

160 bhp at 7,000rpm, 2,562 dual overhead cam V12 all-alloy engine, five-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with a transverse leaf spring, anti sway bar and lever action shock absorbers, live rear axle on longitudinal leaf springs, twin trailing arms and lever action shocks and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102.4".

Source: RM Auctions

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