The newly formed Italian automobile company named Ferrari

It was in 1948 when the newly formed Italian automobile company named Ferrari began selling a promising sports car named the 166. The two seater sports car featured a 12-cylinder engine mounted in the front and supplying over 100 horsepower to the rear wheels. The engine was just under two-liters in size and had a unitary displacement of 166 cc, thus, the evolution of the model name. Production would last until 1953 with only 38 examples being produced. Even though production was low, its accomplishments are large, with wins at LeMans, Mille Miglia, and the Targa Florio.

The 166 was a continuation of the 125, introduced a year earlier. The 125's size of 1497 cc was later enlarged to 1902cc, bringing about the Tipo 159. In 1948, it was enlarged to 1995 cc and became the 166.

As was customary at the time, a rolling chassis was supplied to custom coachbuilders to outfit the vehicles according to customer specifications and their intended purposes. The 166 MM was named after its historic victories at the Mille Miglia. The 166 MM versions were given even chassis numbers and built with racing intentions. The 166 Inter, named after victories at the Coppa Intereuropa at Monza, were given odd chassis numbers and became Ferrari's first road car.

The 166 Inter road cars featured a 2 liter, 12-cylinder Colombo engine producing about 115 horsepower. The engines were mounted longitudinally and given one Weber 32 DCF Carburetor. A five-speed manual gearbox provided power to the rear wheels while drum brakes provided the stopping power. Top speed was achieved at just over 105 mph. Zero-to-sixty took about ten seconds. The tubular frame was given a live-rear axle and a front wishbone suspension. When production began, Carrozzeria Touring was the primary coachbuilder, outfitting the cars in both Berlinetta and Coupe bodies. Later, other coachbuilders such as Pinin Farina, Ghia, Vignale, and others, produced bodies for the 166 Inter.

The phenomenal accomplishments achieved on the race track did much to stir enthusiasm for the cars. To generate even more publicity, in November of 1948, Ferrari displayed examples of his 166 MM and 166 Inter Coupe at the Turin Motor Show. Other shows included the Paris salon in October of 1950 and the Geneva Salons in March of 1951.

With just 38 examples created, the 166 Inter was replaced in 1950 by the 195 Inter. The 195 Inter came into existence by the enlargement of the engine to 2.3 liters. A year later the engine was enlarged to 212 cc and the name changed to 212 Inter. In 1952, after 142 examples were created, production ceased.

1948 Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa

a right hand drive vehicle. It was raced extensively by the factory during 1948 and sold to a privateer at the close of the season.

Chassis 014I was the seventh competition sports Ferrari built (at least the seventh to be numbered). The two new shorter-wheelbase Spyder Corsas believed to be 008I and 014I were given to Ferrari's two works driver - Tazio Nuvolari and Raymond Sommer. It is uncertain what happened to chassis 008I. O141 was later sold to Giampiero Biancheti of Milan who also owned 003S, the 1948 Mille Miglia-winning 166S.
The privateer, Giampiero Bianchetti of Milano continued its racing career by entering it in competition during the 1949 season.

The inaugural race for the vehicle came in May of 1948 when it was entered in a Grand Prix event, Formula 2 competition. Driven by Giuseppe Farina and bearing the number 8. At the conclusion of the event, the 166 Spyder Corsa was no longer on the track. It had retired earlier and given a DNF. Its first race it would finish would come during its next outing which was in June. It was driven by Giampiero Bianchetti at the Circuito di Mantua where it finished in seventh place overall. At the next event it finished in 5th overall and second in class. This would be its best finish during the 1948 season.

The 166 Spyder Corsa was the first series of models offered by the newly formed Ferrari marque in 1947. Only eight were built, numbered 002C, 004C, 006C, 008C and the 010I through 016I. The first cars sold to customers were 002C and 004C, which were sold to the Besana brothers, Gabriele and Soave, near the close of 1947.

Chassis 006C, 010I, 0121 and 016I rested on a wheelbase that measured 95 inches. In 1948 two Spyder Corsas were built with a shorter, 88-inch wheelbase and with the frame tubes slung under the rear axle, as opposed to being over the rear axle. It is believed that these two chassis were 008I and 014I.

This new chassis design was used in the 166MM Touring Barchetta that appeared in the fall of 1948 at the Turin Auto Show. These cars would go on to win the Mille Miglia, Le Mans the Spa 24 Hours in 1949.

1948 Ferrari 166 MM

The Ferrari 166 was officially introduced at the Turin Salon in September of 1948. The body was courtesy of Touring utilizing the patented 'superleggera' technique. The alloy coachwork was well proportioned, covering the narrow tube skeleton structure. The frame consisted of an oval tube cross-section ladder with an X-shaped cross member. The short wheelbase car was given a Giacchino Colombo-designed V12, which would become the basic structure that would serve Ferrari road and race car for the next two decades.

In total, there were a mere 33 examples of the 166 MM produced between 1949 and 1951. Most of the 166 models were given Carrozzeria Touring coachwork in either Barchetta or Berlinetta forms. 26 were Barchettas and 7 were Berlinetta models. Of the seven Touring-bodied Berlinettas, only five were the Le Mans Berlinettas, named for Ferrari's victory at the 1949 24 Hours of Lemans in a 166MM.

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