1952 Ferrari 212 Europa 2 2 Cabriolet by VignaleSOLD
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Engine Type: 2.5 Litre Colombo 12-Cylinder
Engine Number:0255EU
Color:Dark Blue / Red Leather

Reference Number 204780

as of 3/20/2013

Overview
Car 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa 2 2 Cabriolet by Vignale
VIN 0255EU 
Mileage 8,123 miles 
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Known History

 

1952 Ferrari 212 Europa 2 2 Cabriolet by Vignale

s/n 0255EU, Engine no. 0255EU

Dark Blue with Red Leather Interior

 

A development of Ferrari’s earlier 166 and 195, the 212 was a more powerful roadgoing car that expanded the visibility (and finances) of the marque, while also further underscoring Ferrari’s intention to expand into the role of producing cars for the street. At this time, Ferrari was not offering standard coachwork, and the cars were clothed with bodies by a range of coachbuilders including Vignale and Pinin Farina. Cars varied greatly in mechanical specification and cosmetic features and configuration, making each 212 one of just a handful of identical cars, if not totally unique.

 

This particular car has interesting known history from new, and is one of 28 212s bodied by Vignale, of which just four were open cars. This car was originally commissioned by an Englishman living in Paris named John McFadden, and a certificate of origin for chassis number 0227EL was issued on the 11th of August 1952. McFadden specified the car as a left hand drive example since he would be keeping and using the car on the continent. This would have made the car one of the very earliest left hand drive Ferraris, as right hand drive was then the convention. However, the car was constructed as a right hand drive example, which could have occurred for any number of reasons from clerical error to the possibility that the factory was not finished tooling up to construct left hand drive cars. Whatever the reason, McFadden became aware that the car was being built as a right hand drive example and announced that he was unwilling to accept the car. Ferrari agreed to construct another car, this time a left hand drive example, with the same serial number and French registration “402TTY2” as the right hand drive car. That newly constructed car already had a chassis number assigned to it, 0255EU, and this number was superseded by a newly stamped number, 0227EL, the original number from Mr. McFadden’s order and French registration. The right hand drive car was restamped 0255EU so that the two cars essentially swapped identities. Both cars survive today with both numbers on their chassis, although they have always been retained singular and separate identities reflecting the original commissioner of each car: the left hand drive car as 0227EL and the right hand drive car as 0255EU.

 

Consequently, this car, the right hand drive example originally constructed for Mr. McFadden (but never owned by him) has been known as 0255EU since leaving the factory for the first time in May of 1953, although it also bears 0227EL stamped on the chassis. In the past, this peculiarity around numbering has caused some confusion around these two cars, this has been laid to rest by the factory by the original records as well as Classiche certifications for both cars.

 

Prior to being delivered to its first owner, Umberto Nuvoli of Rome, this car was converted to a triple Weber carburetor set up that it retains to this day. This car’s first registration was issued on 22 May 1953. Nuvoli kept the car until 1954, when it was sold by a dealer in Florence. The car was subsequently imported to owners in California, and the car resided in the Bay Area until the early 1990’s, when it passed into the hands of another collector. In recent years, the car has been enthusiastically owned and looked after, having participated in the California Mille three times (2001, 2002, 2004), the Tour Auto twice (2003, 2005), the Mille Miglia (2005), and shown at Pebble beach (2002), prior to a comprehensive restoration being undertaken to the cars current excellent condition.

 

The restoration was performed without regard to cost, with a strong focus on authenticity and correctness. The work was performed by Symbolic Motors in San Diego, and the engine was rebuilt by Patrick Ottis. Since the completion of the restoration, the car has appeared at a number of events including Cavallino in 2007, where the car was awarded first place and achieved Platinum status with a score of 96.5 points. The car was also displayed at the Quail in Monterey in 2007, as well as the Mille Miglia in Italy. In 2008, the car completed the Tour Auto in France, and in 2009, the car was shown at the Ferrari Monterey Concours d’Elegance, where it achieved Platinum once again. Most recently, the car completed the California Mille in 2010.

 

The car has had much recent work to bring it to its superb mechanical condition, including front suspension and steering box rework, carburetor rebuilds, adjustments to various electrical components, new ignition coils, rebuild distributor, new points, valve adjustment, tune-up, check and service brakes, new seat belts, new tires, and new battery.

 

The car is of course in superb condition. The restoration was obviously done to the highest standards, and remains extremely fresh throughout. The body is excellent, with superb fit, gaps, and operation of all panels. The panels are straight and the paintwork was done to very high standards. It remains very nice throughout, with only a few very minor chips from road use, a handful of small superficial stress cracks and a few areas where the paint is bridging on some of the body lines and creases. The chrome is excellent throughout, other than a bit of wear on the rear bumper bracket covers. The bumpers, headlight trims, door handles, and other chrome are all excellent. The lights and glass are also excellent, including the lovely period Marchal headlamps.

 

The interior is beautifully executed and remains in excellent shape. The quality of the materials and workmanship are first rate throughout, as to be expected of a Platinum winning example. While the bodywork of this car is attractive and elegant, the coachbuilt nature of this car takes a front and center role in the interior. The detailing of the trim, controls, and components is stunning throughout: from the beautiful switchgear and door pulls to the trademark Vignale etching, which adorns the waistrail trims, sill plates, and even the steering wheel spokes. The double articulated sun visors are period tinted glass, and the overall feel of the interior is very special. The condition is excellent throughout, with first-rate leather and wool employed, both in terms of material quality and workmanship. The dark blue carpets contrast smartly with the red leather while also complementing the dark blue exterior and dashboard paintwork. There is no significant wear or aging worth noting in the interior.

 

The engine compartment was also restored to the standards required of a show car. The engine is quite correct throughout, with correct hardware, yellow fuel lines, ancillaries, and battery. One nice detail is the heavy duty springs that suspend the engine lid when open, along with the red leather spring gaiters surrounding them. The engine compartment is very clean and detailed, with a generally show-ready appearance other than some deterioration to the finish of the exhaust headers. The trunk is also show ready in appearance, with high quality workmanship and materials throughout, right down to the diamond pattern rubber matting, which would have originally been supplied by Pirelli.

 

This 212 Cabriolet has a magical feel on the road. The engine starts easily, idles smoothly, and is particularly powerful. The revs climb immediately with even the slightest throttle input, thanks to its three carburetors. The clutch actuation is well adjusted and predictable, and the five speed transmission is communicative and light in operation. The brakes stop the car well, and are confidence inspiring, as are the steering characteristics. It is difficult to convey in print the wonderful composure this 212 Cabriolet demonstrates on the road. It will surely bring a smile to its future custodian’s face when they choose it as their mount for long distance tour or rally events.

 

This is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire a truly special coachbuilt open Ferrari, one of just four open 212s built by Vignale. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of this car, a fact that is demonstrated by The Ferrari Club of America’s recognition of this car as one of the three most significant Ferraris in the United States through and invitation to this car to their 50th Anniversary celebration event. This car enjoys fascinating and unique history which has been authenticated via Ferrari’s exhaustive Classiche program. The car has been restored to the highest possible mechanical and cosmetic standards as demonstrated by the car’s equally impressive performances at driving and Concours events. Having covered just 6000km since its award-winning restoration, this car is ready to be enjoyed in driving events or shows, and is a genuinely top drawer matching-numbers car for the discerning collector seeking something very special. The car is very complete with a massive file of photographs and records from the restoration, a period black and white photo of the car taken in Italy, copy of the original Italian registration, copy of the original build sheet, tool roll with tools, hammer, trophies, alternator, spare headlamps, spare air filters, ignition coils, spare new windscreen, dyno sheet for the motor, FIVA ID card, and the car’s Classiche authentication book with slip cover.