Ferrari 225 Sport Berlinetta Vignale

The lifeblood of Ferrari, particularly in the early years, was competition. It is a widely held belief that the creation of road-going versions of the competition sports cars existed almost solely to support the Commendatore’s racing effort. In many instances engineering advances developed for battle can be traced directly to the road cars (such as the pioneering, weight-balancing use of the transaxle used in the 275-series GTs).

Ferrari’s competition teeth were cut along with their continuous progress of the small-displacement V12, engineered by Gioachino Colombo, the first of which was deployed in 1947 as the 125S. At 1,500 cc the power produced was considered extraordinary for its day and size, and quickly cemented Ferrari’s reputation for technical sophistication. A progression of even larger engines were developed based on this original design, with many types attaining impressive racing victories, notably the 166MM and 212 Export.

A larger-displacement, more powerful version of the venerable 212 Export competition model was introduced in 1952, christened the 225 ‘Sport,’ following the long time Ferrari practice of naming their models consistent with the displacement of a single cylinder. In the case of the 225S, with its 12 cylinders, that translated to 2.7 litres overall. As a concession to the concurrently-produced, Lampredi-designed ‘big block’ Ferraris, use was made of the roller-type cam followers introduced by Lampredi. The 225S is regarded as something of an interim link between the ‘early years’ of Ferrari and the introduction of the long-lived, and legendary, 250-series of cars and the many iterations thereof. The 225S performed with distinction during its prime, with podium and notable finishes in numerous events such as the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio as well as a famed 1-2-3 achievement at the 1952 Monaco Grand Prix. 225S drivers such as Taruffi, Marzotto, Villoresi, Castelotti, and the illustrious ‘Pagnibon’ serve as a veritable who’s who of sports and GP racers of the early ‘50s.

All Ferraris of the early era were coachbuilt by various Italian design houses (carrozzeria), and none were more distinctive and delicately executed than those styled by Vignale. Virtually no two Vignale-bodied Ferraris are precisely alike and the six 225S berlinettas were no exception.

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

210 bhp, 2,715 cc single overhead camshaft V12 engine, triple Weber 36 DCF downdraft carburetors, five-speed gearbox, front suspension by independent double wishbones with a transverse leaf spring, rear suspension via rigid axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 88.6" (2,250 mm).

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

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