1952 Ferrari 212 Pininfarina CabrioletSOLD
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Engine Type: V12
Engine Number:0235 EU
Color:Light Metallic Blue / Tan Leather

Reference Number 45706

as of 6/23/2009

Overview
Car 1952 Ferrari 212 Pininfarina Cabriolet
VIN 0235 EU 
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Known History

 

This car is not currently located at Fantasy Junction, but is available to be viewed and inspected by appointment.

 

1952 Ferrari 212 Pininfarina Cabriolet

Light Metallic Blue with Beige Leather

s/n 0235 EU, Engine no. 0235 EU

 

For the 1952 Auto Shows Ferrari sent two 212 chassis to Pininfarina in Turin, Italy. The first chassis to appear was Chassis #0177. It did so at the Auto Show in Turin and was a right hand drive car. Turin is Pininfarina’s home and the car was very well received.

 

A second chassis, left hand drive, was prepared for the Paris show. Chassis #0235 was painted in a very subtle light blue metallic color and trimmed in beige (natural) Connoly leather. The Cabriolet shared the Ferrari stand with a Ghia bodied car built for Juan Perone of Argentina. The bold Ghia coachwork was a stark contrast to the cleaner, softer, and slightly smaller Pininfarina car.

 

The new Ferrari received high praise from just about everyone that saw the car. According to first hand accounts the car was purchased right off the Paris floor by Italian film Director Roberto Rossellini.

 

Rossellini, along with a group of friends, entered and participated in that years 1000 Kilometers of Nurburgring race. For Autosport magazine, Maurice Gatsonides wrote, “In the first category there were six Jaguars entered and the Ferrari 212 Cabriolet of the Italian film producer Roberto Rossellini … after the first practice session was complete, a telegram announced that the famous couple would not attend the event.” As a result Gatsonides, a well known rally driver, would act as a “stand in”.

 

With Italian driver Ricardo Vignolo as his co-driver Gatsonides said “I was to have the most magnificent car of the whole field, as this Ferrari was bodied by Pininfarina and carried a four seat drophead coupe with graceful lines, a sure winner at any Concours d’ Elegance”. The car finished ninth overall behind a group of C-Type jaguars and a pair of Oscas, all pure racing cars.

 

The next owner that can be documented was a used car dealer in new York city, a Mr. Fina. His business was located on 54th Street in Manhattan. He sold the car to Alex Ullman. Ullman was a very notable sportsman in the US and the father of the 12 Hours of Sebring race. According to Ullman, “I found the car in deplorable condition. I took it with me on my next trip to Europe and drove it to Modena, where it was completely overhauled with the kind assistance of Mr. Ferrari himself. A complete engine overhaul was made and all important gears and bearings were replaced. I drove the car to Le Havre after having it repainted pale blue and a new top was installed by Farina in Milano.” Mr. Ullman further stated that he traded the car towards a new Ferrari LM to Luigi Chinetti.

 

The car made its’ way to the Midwest in the 1970s where noted Ferrari historian Richard Merritt witnessed the removal of the Ferrari V12 motor. A Chevrolet V8 and Muncie three speed gearbox were installed. The car was then repainted red and the interior died black. Merritt was integral in the sale of the car to its’ next owner in Wisconsin. Merritt was given the original gearbox from #0235 for his efforts which he kept until the current owner purchased it from him in 1994.

 

It then shows two Wisconsin owners. Robert Bursten was the registered owner in 1976. In 1984 the car was owned by Mr. John Hallin on Pewaukee where he had plans to restore the car.

 

The original engine and transmission was located and purchased for the car. As previously mentioned, Richard Merritt still had the gearbox and John Mastriani of Armonk, New York, had the motor. Mastriani also owner Ferrari #0234 and thought the engine might come in handy although #0234 is a 342 America and not a 212.

 

All parts and pieces were shipped to Jupiter, Florida, and a multi year restoration ensued. The chassis was shipped to Euro Coachworks where Orlando Cairo redid much of the panel work and fabricated floors and transmission tunnel for the car. A sample piston was shipped by JE Pistons and a new set of pistons were manufactured. The gearbox was sent to Sport Auto in Modena, Italy, who then contracted with Collotti to rebuild the entire unit.

 

A long and tedious search began for all the small parts missing or lost during the years. In all cases they elected to use original Ferrari components even if they were not original to the #0235. Most of the original electrical equipment was gone, which is thought to have happened during the Chevy install.

 

The research department at PPG paint was contacted and they provided the original paint formulas. Paint was the major hold up in the progress of this project.

 

Again, all of the major components were present. The frame was all original and never altered or repaired. A 212 fuel tank was even acquired from another 212 and reconditioned for the car.

 

New bumpers were made for the car as was the windshield frame. The original windshield frame is with the car but was badly corroded internally. At this time, the new windshield glass and bumpers have not been supplied by the restorer, and may remain missing.

 

New Items sourced as part of the restoration:

 

Head Lamps

Head Lamp Rings

Front Signal Lights

Rear Tail Lamp Lenses and Chrome Surrounds

Interior Lights

Door Jam Switches

Starter Push Button

Ignition Switch

Head Lamp Relay

Signal Lamp Relay

Fuse Panel Covers

Windshield Wiper Boxes

Windshield Wiper Arms

Windshield Wiper Blades

Door Pull Handles

Average Speed Meter

Gauges Rebuilt by Palo Alto Speedo Repair

Flywheel

Clutch Cover

New Clutch Disc

Fuel Log

Air Filters

Throttle Linkage

Radiator

Oil Cooler

Oil Cooling Lines

Ignition Coils

Ignition Wire Tubes

Ignition Wires, Points and Condensers

Fuel Pumps

Exhaust System

Brake Fluid Reservoir

Brake Shoe Linings

All Hydraulics Rebuilt and Sleeved

All Brake Lines and Fuel Lines

Shocks Rebuilt by Sherman Wolf

Emblems

Rocker Moldings

 

The current owner also reports assembling a tool roll, jack, wooden mechanics box, and owner’s manual.

 

At this time we are aware that the following parts have either not yet been located by the restorer, or are with the car but may not be correct:

 

Unaccounted for components:

1. Exhaust

2. Driveshaft

3. Rear Limit Straps

4. 2 Front Shocks

5. Front Rubber Damper

6. Generator

7. Dipstick

8. Gas Tank Plug

9. Oil Pressure Line

10. Front Upper Water Line

11. Emergency Brake Hardware

12. Front Door Jambs Closeout Chrome Piece

13. Glovebox

14. Tach Cable

15. Door Panels

16. Window Crank / Door Handle Bevels

17. Inside Windshield Trim

18. Front Bumper

19. Aluminum Trim Around Front Engine Compartment

20. Hood Prop Rod

21. Clutch Adjusting Assembly

22. Valve Cover Knobs

23. Wiper Assembly / Arms / Blades

24. Wiper Motor

25. Radiator / Electric Fan

26. Fuse Box Covers

 

Possibly incorrect components:

1. Headlights 485’s Should be 434’s

2. Radiator and Oil Cooler

3. Master Cylinder from a 250 Model

4. Gas Tank – Current Gas Tank may have been modified

5. Steering Wheel and Horn Wrong and Hub, should have Tear Drop Steering Wheel

6. Screw and Fitting Wrong Throughout

7. Clutch Lever has been Heated and Bent

 

This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire a stunning and ultra-rare open top Ferrari road car which would be a welcome entrant to premier concours events such as Ville d’Este, and Pebble Beach. Further, its Nurburgring 1000km history should make it eligible for Shell Historic Ferrari Challenge events. We hope the restorer is able to locate the missing parts, but it would be wise to formulate offers accepting the above unknowns.

 

Please feel free to call with questions or to discuss your interest.