1953 Ferrari 212 Inter EuropaSOLD
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Estimate: 220,000£ - 270,000£
Estimate: €324,000 - €397,000
Estimate: $446,000 - $547,000

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of £268.200

Engine No. 0275/EU (See Text)

From the Italian Collector Sig. Giuseppe Prevosti

140bhp, 2,563cc single overhead camshaft V-12 engine with triple Weber downdraught carburettors, five-speed manual transmission, front suspension with unequal-length A-arms with transverse leaf springs, solid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102.4in. (2,600mm).

While the most well-known road-going Ferraris span much of the latter half of the twentieth century, most of the company’s early development took place long before. Enzo Ferrari, born near Modena, Italy, was racing cars by his early twenties, starting his career as a test driver for Alfa Romeo. Placing second in the 1920 Targa Florio, he set out on his own to found Scuderia Ferrari nearly a decade later. By 1940, Ferrari’s company had been renamed Societa Auto-Avio Construzioni Ferrari and produced a singular model with an inline eight-cylinder engine. Although this particular car never carried a Ferrari designation, the automotive standstill caused by the Second World War allowed Ferrari to conceptualize future plans for his sports and racing car manufacturing company.

With the help of Enrico Nardi, Ferrari employed Gioacchino Colombo to design an original V12 engine that would serve as the powerplant for Ferrari’s Tipo 125C racecar (and which would be updated and used repeatedly until the 1960s). The resulting 1.5-litre Tipo 125 unit took its name from the capacity of each cylinder, thus initiating a model designation system that would last for many years to come. Ferrari’s new car made its competition debut in 1947 and by mid-season had been improved with an enlarged 1.9-litre engine and renamed the Tipo 159.

The versatile engine was bored out once more to 1,995cc to power the Tipo 166, the Inter version of which became Ferrari’s first road going model. By the end of the year the 2.0-litre 166 model was introduced which, in race tune, with triple twin-choke Weber carburettors, produced up to 150bhp. The single carburettor road car produced 100bhp through a standard fitment five-speed gearbox, which was an unusual feature at that time, even for a racing car. The twin tube chassis was fitted with double wishbones and a transverse leaf spring for the front suspension while the rear utilized a live axle with semi-elliptical springs and stabilizing bars. Houdaille shock absorbers were fitted all around.

The 166 eventually developed into the 195 (2,341cc) before Colombo’s V12 was enlarged once more to 2,562cc to produce the Tipo 212 which developed between 120 and 140 horsepower in road trim, but otherwise remained similar to the 166. The 212 series was highly successful in competition, reaching top speeds of around 125mph. With handling to match, this was one of the quickest and sportiest cars of its time. Contemporary performance tests of the 212 Inter indicated 0-60mph times of nine seconds with 0-100mph times approaching 22.5 seconds. Several 212 Inter and Export models proved successful in international competition, particularly in 1953 when Ferrari won the Tour of Sicily, the Coppa Inter Europa at Monza, the Tourist Trophy, the Tour de France, and the Carrera Panmericana in Mexico.

The 80 Ferrari 212 Inters produced through 1953 received a wide variety of coachwork. Most were coupés although a few were bodied as cabriolets and one was even a barchetta by Touring. The 212 Inter introduced at the 1952 Paris Auto Salon was the first Ferrari bodied by Pinin Farina, who had recently ventured out on his own after working at the family firm, Stabilimenti Farina. Farina-bodied 212 Inters have become particularly rare as the vast majority were bodied by Alfredo Vignale. The Ferrari offered here is one of the later Pinin Farina bodied 212s, as evidenced by the curved one-piece windshield.

Since its assembly, it has remained largely in the United States. In 1976, the car was purchased by Sid Colberg of San Francisco, California, who subsequently sold the Ferrari to Ivo Brillo, who was Chinetti’s mechanic, also of the United States. At some point in the late 1970s or early 1980s, this particular car was fitted with the engine from a 1952 212 Inter, (0261EU), before being offered for sale once again in August of 1983. Written documentation as well as Luigi Chinetti himself testifies that he personally owned the car in 1988. Chassis 0275 then passed on to California Classic Cars before its exportation in 1993 to Italy. After its arrival in Italy it was entered in three consecutive Mille Miglia retrospectives through to 1995. In 1995, the car was also featured on the cover of the popular Italian classic car magazine, Routeclassiche. The car also participated in the Mille Miglia in 1996, with renowned racing driver Emanuele Pirro behind the wheel. By this point the car had joined the Prevosti collection, where it has remained ever since.

The car has remained in very nice condition and is presented with an excellent fresh, Rosso Barchetta paintjob, which is finished to an exceptionally high standard in keeping with the rest of the Prevosti collection. With front and rear bumpers removed and riding on Borrani wire wheels, 0275’s presence is very sporting indeed. The interior is very original, upholstered in tan leather with fabric centre panels. The leather seats have developed a lovely patina while the painted dash, though purpose-built for functionality, is very attractive and fitted with proper Veglia instruments. Although the V12 engine is not original to the car (the original block, 0275/EU is included in the sale), it was fitted nearly thirty years ago and, as it is the proper 212 powerplant, has become an integral part of this car’s history.

Considering the 212’s rarity, competition success, styling reminiscent of the 1950’s competition cars and above all, significance within the Marques history, this particular coupé is held in particularly high regard, not only by the many loyal Ferraristi but also within the greater classic aficionados.

Reference Number 13156

as of 9/14/2007

Car 1953 Ferrari 212 Inter Europa
VIN 0275EU 
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