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Ferrari 166 MM: a rare car with a special history

There are cars whose contribution to history cannot be overestimated. The Ferrari 166 MM was just such a car - it was the beginning of the victorious course of the small-cubicature V12 Ferrari in the Mille Miglia, 24 Hours of Le Mans and other prestigious races. Today we will tell you about one of them - Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta from the Touring studio, produced in 1950.

The 1948 season was going very well for Ferrari: victory in the Targa Florio, victory in the Mille Miglia and victory in the 12 Hours of Paris proved the efficiency of the new two-liter V12 engine of Gioacchino Colombo. And so in September 1948, at the Turin motor show, the Touring company's Ferrari 166 MM (MM for Mille Miglia) was presented with elegant forms in the style of the prewar Ferrari.

Only 25 of these two-seaters were built, which went down in history as the Barchetta (from the Italian word for "little boat"), and the open-sided body became so popular that it was continued in 195, 212 and 340 models. The first two 166 MMs took the start of the 1949 Mille Miglia - and finished first and second in the race. The same year, the model also celebrated triumph at Le Mans, Spa, Senigallia and Trieste.

The sports 166 MM became one of Ferrari's most successful projects. Subsequently, the cylinder block of this car would become the basis for other no less legendary machines - 195, 212, 225S, 250 GT TdF and Testa Rossa. Well, the Touring body will forever become a classic and the name 166 MM will be written in gold letters in the list of the most beautiful Ferrari cars.

As for the car shown in the photo, it combines all the qualities that a Ferrari collector would like to see in a car: authenticity, completeness, rarity, as well as racing history both in Italy and in the USA. Chassis 0058 M is the 27th of 32 built 166 MMs and the 23rd of 25 barquettes from Touring. According to the original documentation, on June 1, 1950, the Ferrari 166 arrived at the Touring body studio, where it was assigned body number 3452 and fitted with a beige leather interior and Rossa Corsa paint.

The car received its first owner very soon, on June 5. Marco Dallorso, who lives in Genoa, became its owner. But the car was in Genoa not for long - a magnificent barchetta was presented to the racer Eugenio Castellotti, who on April 28, 1951 took part in the race Mille Miglia on it. Following the results of the competition, Castellotti took 6th place in his class.

Unsatisfied with the performance, the racer sent the car to the Ferrari factory for an upgrade. The upgrade included replacing the gearbox, installing new intake manifolds and three Weber carburetors, and expanding a number of control gauges. A new, more aerodynamic hood was installed. Upon the car's return, Castellotti competed in a number of other Italian races where he consistently placed third in his class.

The 1952 season began unsuccessfully for the car - it came off at the Monaco Grand Prix. In September, the car performed at the Gran Premio di Bari with Sergio Mantovani at the wheel, where it managed to reach second place in class and seventh in the overall standings. The 166 MM returned to the Mille Miglia in April 1953 - alas, the crew didn't make it to the finish line. In June of the same year, the car was involved in an accident. After restoration work, the barquetta left for the USA, where the second stage of its life began.

The car's new owner was Raymond Crayford of Berkeley, California. He drove the 166 MM in local races in San Francisco (Bakersfield Road - 4th place in the rookie class, 2nd place in the Pebble Beach competition), and in 1966 he sold the car to Larry Taylor in San Francisco. There the 166 MM lived for 11 years of its life until it went to famous Ferrari collector Ed Gilbertson. In 1979, he showed his acquisition at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and won the Hans Tanner Award.

Five years later, the unique Ferrari lit up the brand's car competition in Carmel, and in the mid-1980s it took part in a number of historic car contests. The last race for the 0058 M chassis took place in 1993, the Colorado Grand. A year later, the Spyder became part of the display of front-engine Ferrari's with V12s in Denville and took part in the traditional Pebble Beach competition.

In 1998, the car was owned by the late Lorenzo Lambrano, a famous collector from Mexico. He exhibited the car in Pebble Beach (2nd place in 1999), at the Cavallino Classic (platinum award in 2000), and at the FCA National Meet in Colorado Springs (another platinum award). In June 2007, Lambrano received a certificate from Ferrari Classiche Red Book - meaning that the car is a historical heritage of the company and is in original condition.

In January 2010, the 166 MM changed owners again - first it went to Manny Del Arroz in Diablo, California, and then to a "respected" collector who wished to remain anonymous. After that, the 166 participated in the August 2015 Ferraris in the Pebble Beach Road Races, followed by the 2015 Pebble Beach competition and the 2016 Monterey events.

So, the car is recognized as a Ferrari Classiche Red Book, it is as it was under Castellotti and has driven most of its mileage on race tracks. Not surprisingly, the Sotheby's auction house expects this unique, beautiful car to sell for $8-10 million at an auction in March on Amelia Island.