1948 Ferrari 166 Spider CorsaSOLD

Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auctions

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To be sold at the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auctions on August 20 and 21, 2011. For further details please visit www.goodingco.com or contact a vehicle specialist at 001.310.899.1960. Engine Specifications: 1,995 CC SOHC 60o V-12 Engine Three Weber 32 DCF Carburetors Approximately 130 BHP at 7,000 RPM 5-Speed Manual Gearbox 4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes Independent Front Suspension with Double Wishbones and Transverse Leaf Spring Live Rear Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs About this Car: After years of war, political tumult and economic malaise, by the late 1940s motor racing had finally returned to Italy. While the majority of the country?s manufacturers and private entrants were busy modifying Fiats and tinkering with antiquated, pre-war chassis, Enzo Ferrari, a veteran of the great Alfa Romeo teams, was busy developing a series of 12-cylinder sports cars that would set the world on fire. Among his earliest creations is this 166 Spider Corsa, likely the seventh example built. When 014 I was completed at the Ferrari factory in May 1948, it featured the cycle-fender Ansaloni coachwork associated with the Spider Corsa series. Beneath the skin, however, much had changed. This Ferrari has the distinction of being one of just two Spider Corsas to utilize the short, 2,254 mm wheelbase chassis with main frame tubes redesigned to pass under the rear axle, rather than over it. Given this unusual arrangement, there is little doubt that, from the outset, 014 I was designed to compete with the factory team and its elite group of drivers. The Spider Corsa?s first official outing took place on May 30th at the Gran Premio Formula 2 di Bari where longtime voiturette and grand prix driver Giuseppe Farina was entrusted with Ferrari?s most advanced sports car. Records indicate that he did not finish the race, the result of damage sustained to the front end. In mid-June, successful sports car driver, Giampiero Bianchetti, piloted the car at the Circuito di Mantova Formula 2 race. There, 014 I found the first of its many racing successes, finishing 7th overall. Later that month, the Ferrari was entered at the Gran Premio di San Remo with Raymond Sommer, a two-time Le Mans winner with Alfa Romeo. In another impressive display, 014 I finished 4th overall. The next known outing for the Spider Corsa occurred on August 1st, at the 10th Aosta-Gran San Bernardo hillclimb. In that outing, Bianchetti again proved his mettle, placing 5th overall and 2nd in class. Two weeks later, he continued this streak of success, finishing 9th overall at the Circuito di Pescara. A full month passed before the Gran Premio Formula 2 di Napoli at Posillipo; however, Bianchetti lost no momentum, coming across the finish line 7th overall. The last event for 014 I as a factory entrant took place in October 1948 at the Formula Libre race on Lake Garda, again with Bianchetti behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the Spider Corsa failed to finish that race. By the end of the year, the factory sold 014 I to Bianchetti who, by then, was also in the possession of the Mille Miglia-winning 166 S. In March 1949, Bianchetti entered his ex-works Ferrari in several races, including the Giro di Sicilia (Targa Florio), the Gran Premio dell?Autodromo at Monza, the Gran Premio di Garda, the Grand Prix of Lausanne and the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo hillclimb. Despite the ambitious schedule, the best result, and only finish, was a 2nd place at the hillclimb. In 1950, 014 I is known to have competed in just one event, the Gran Premio dell?Autodromo at Monza where it finished 3rd in heat one and 5th in the final heat ? strong results for the two-year- old racing machine. For the 1951 season, the nose of the 166 was altered to resemble a Tipo 125 Grand Prix car. Due to that change, some race reports erroneously describe Bianchetti?s mount as a 166 F2 or a 125, although underneath the modified skin was the same venerable Spider Corsa chassis. In that updated configuration, the Ferrari initially raced at the Gran Premio dell?Autodromo at Monza, placing 6th in heat one and 7th on aggregate. From there, Bianchetti raced in the 500th Year Celebration of Christopher Columbus at Genova and again, finished in 6th place. June 1951 saw 014 I compete in three races, the first of which took place at the Circuit du Lac at Aix-les-Bains in France. During that outing, Bianchetti was unable to finish, although at the Gran Premio di Roma the following week, he achieved a remarkable 2nd overall. After failing to complete the Gran Premio di Napoli, Bianchetti piloted his car to a 6th-place finish at the Gran Premio dell?Autodromo di Modena held on September 23rd. On June 8, 1952, 014 I took part in its last known competition outing at the 5th Gran Premio dell?Autodromo in Monza. Sadly, the aging Ferrari was outclassed by the competition and retired on the first lap of the race. By then, the Ferrari had been considerably modified to remain competitive, with work performed either by the factory or its first private owner. The steering box was replaced and the suspension had been updated with traction bars, Houdaille shock absorbers and rubber stops. The chassis itself had a number of holes drilled to reduce weight and received extra bracing for strength. Even the brakes were altered to accommodate larger oval cooling holes in place of the original screened openings. Beyond these updates, the engine and transmission appear to have been replaced with later-type 166 units, although many of the original ancillary components were likely retained. After a period of inactivity, Carrozzeria Scaglietti in Modena rebodied 014 I with modern, fully enveloping coachwork. Given its remarkable similarity to the 500 TR, it is believed that this transformation took place during 1956. Due to its relative age and diminished value at the time, it is possible that this car served as an experimental platform for the latest generation of sports car bodies. Originally, the Scaglietti body incorporated the distinctive ?Parravano? style eggcrate side vents as well as a headrest, but the later feature was eventually removed. The instruments, pedals, shift knob and steering wheel all appear to have been carried over from the original Ansaloni Spider Corsa body. Shortly after receiving its new Scaglietti body, the 166 was sold by Michele Vernola, a Milanese car dealer. By 1957, the Ferrari was in the care of Nico Gianella, a mechanic living in Lausanne, Switzerland. Not long after, Mr. Gianella came to the US reportedly in search of business opportunities. He eventually opened a gas station and repair shop in Santa Barbara, California, a venture financed by the sale of two Talbot drop head coupes. In addition to his family, Mr. Gianella brought over a small fleet of Ferraris including 014 I. It wasn?t until 1962 that he finally decided to part with the 166, selling it to fellow Santa Barbara resident Michael C. Peake. Although Mr. Peake was the first to note the snakeskin- covered seats, it is entirely possible that this unusual upholstery choice was selected in Italy, as several Scaglietti-bodied cars of the period featured a similar treatment. Using the Ferrari as road transport until 1969, Mr. Peake then sold it to Norman and Jacqueline Blank of Pasadena. Registered on black California license plates IKC 501, the distinctive early Ferrari made the occasional appearance at local gatherings. As he grew older, Mr. Blank began to display his prized sports car more frequently. In 1994, 014 I was seen at the 30th FCA Annual Meeting and Concours in Monterey and, in 2002, it was shown at the FCA National Concours at Century Plaza in Los Angeles. After Mr. Blank?s passing, the well-preserved Ferrari was sold to Tom Shaughnessy who, in turn, offered it for sale in Fall 2007. When the current caretaker acquired 014 I, it was in relatively fragile mechanical order. Pleased with the originality but yearning to use the car as intended, a thoughtful compromise was soon reached. In 2008, the Patrick Ottis Company in Berkeley, California, was commissioned to com- pletely rebuild the engine and address a variety of mechanical needs in a manner that would not disturb the delightful cosmetic appearance. After a considerable sum was spent on the mechanical restoration, the Ferrari returned to the road, completing the Colorado Grand and participating in the Monterey Historic races. While some might hesitate to drive a Ferrari of this vintage, a Gooding & Company specialist was left particularly impressed with the car?s vivid performance and surprising usability having been given the opportunity of a test drive. A time capsule of a long lost era, 014 I has been kept in a remarkably untouched state since its arrival in California during the 1950s. The marvelous patina reflects the illustrious racing history, subsequent development work and attentive care with which this car has been treated for the past six decades. Although this 166 was modified in period to remain a competitive entrant, few race cars of this era have survived with so much of their character and originality intact. When compared to the many early Ferraris that have been restored and rebodied in recent years, it is a pleasure to find an example that not only retains the irreplaceable traces of its maker but also bears intimate connections to Bianchetti, Farina and Sommer, all of whom are among the great drivers of the period. A superb even-serial-numbered 166 with a well-documented provenance and pedigree, 014 I is sure to appeal to the sophisticated collector who appreciates the history and significance attached to one of the oldest surviving Ferrari competition cars.

Reference Number 125357

as of 12/24/2011

Overview
Car 1948 Ferrari 166 Spider Corsa
VIN 014 I 
Exterior / Interior Color Red / Snake-Skin 
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Known History

Formerly the Property of Giampiero Bianchietti