1953 Ferrari 166 millemiglia
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no. 2 manufactured. 1 of 2 Ferrari 166 MM / 53 Spyder bodied by Ferrari bodywork Autodromo subsequently bodied by the Carrozzeria Fantuzzi of Modena on a Touring barchetta style
The Ferrari 166 series represents without doubt one of the most relevant models for Ferrari. Presented in 1948 as an evolution of the 159 S, it was able to achieve major success at that year's Mille Miglia. Thanks to its 140hp 1995,02cc V12 designed by Gioacchino Colombo the 166 was a competitive GT for the 2 litre class, favoured by many gentlemen drivers of the time. Its name corresponded to the displacement of each cylinder (166,25 cc): the flexibility and robustness of its design allowed the 166 to be used anywhere and competitively from Formula 2 to Gran Turismo and rallye races. In 1953, the 166's built for competition were upgraded with 9,5:1 compression ratio, individual intakes with three Weber 32 IF/4C carburetors, a new gearbox with the synchronized 3rd and 4th gears and twin fuel pumps. This allowed the 166/53 to produce 160hp and to stay competitive in the 2 litre class. However, despite these improvements, the successes were limited due to the more competitive Maseratis A6GCS's.
Chassis 0264M was completed by the factory on April 1st and was the 3rd 166/53 of a total production of 13 examples for 1953. Originally, this Ferrari was clad in a quite original bodywork believed to have been manufactured by Carrozzeria Autodromo. Its appeareance had some unique features such as the low and pointy nose with Vignale-inspired two oval portholes on the sides which gave the car an unmisteakable look. On April 12th and less than a month after being completed it was immediately raced in the XIII Giro di Sicilia by the Owner, Count Michelangelo Leonardi which placed 3rd in class. Subsequently, the car took part at the XX Mille Miglia, resulting in a DNF and retiring before arriving at the Ravenna TIme Check. The car was later used extensively in the 1953 season: notably it was driven by Alberto Ascari on June 29h at the Gran Premio dell'Autodromo di Monza and by Works Driver Franco Cortese at the Circuito di Senigallia on August 9th, who achieved 1st in the 2 litre class. Interesting to note was that chassis 0264M was the only 166 to be used officially by the Scuderia Ferrari during the 1953 season. The car remained inactive for the 1954 season but was used again in 1955, still under the ownership of Count Michelangelo Leonardi, where it took part in some minor races. Remarkably, 0264M was the last Ferrari 166 to obtain a victory in italy on June 5, 1955 at the Castell Arquato-Vernasca hillclimb. In October 1955, it was sold by Leonardi to its second owner, Giampaolo Vailetti, who campaigned the car at the 1956 Mille Miglia, resulting in a DNF, retiring after Florence. Subsequently, the car was sold in 1960 to a dealer in Luxembourg and after passing through the hands of various enthusiasts in the late 1960ies ended up in the hands of famed Ferrari collector Pierre Bardinon. Rebodied by Carrozzeria Fantuzzi in 1969 as a Barchetta Touring it was then used in the following years as a competitive historic racer.