«  Collectors Corner - Ferrari 340... <- Back to: Collectors Corner Collectors Corner - Ferrari 159...  »

Collectors Corner - Ferrari 166 Spider Corsa

Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa s/n 002C

Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa s/n 002C

Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa s/n 002C

Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa s/n 002C

Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa s/n 002C

Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa s/n 002C

Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa s/n 002C

Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa s/n 002C


At the end of 1947 the engine of the 159 model was increased slightly in capacity, by increasing the bore to 60mm diameter, taking the cubic capacity to 1992cc, and the model type designation was amended to 166 for the 1948 model year. During 1948 there was a slight increase in the stroke to 58.8mm, bringing the engine swept volume to 1995cc, the model title remaining as 166. In all these cases, the model type number referred approximately to the swept volume of a single cylinder, a practise that would form the backbone of Ferrari model designation for many years, with few exceptions.

The 166 model was initially available as a Spider Corsa with cycle wings, which could be removed for formula racing, and then in a Sport version with an all enveloping body. On the 30 May 1948 Clemente Biondetti gave Ferrari there first victory abroad, when he won the Swedish Grand Prix in a 166 model. 

» Ferrari Register

Enzo Ferrari realised that he could not just build cars to race, but that it was also necessary to sell cars to finance the racing operation, a philosophy that he maintained throughout his time as head of the company. Thus production of the 166 series during 1948 was around ten cars, although some were undoubtedly updates of the previous years 125 and 159 models. As with all Ferrari cars of the period no two bodies were identical, each having some slight difference from its kin. With the advent of "series production" came a chassis numbering system that the company employed up to chassis number 75000, whereby competition designated cars were given even chassis numbers, and those destined for road use odd numbers. In the early days a number was sometimes used twice with a different suffix letter. However, for virtually the first decade of Ferrari production, the majority of cars made could truly be described as dual purpose race/road, or vice versa, models. Equally there are some exceptions to the road/race car odd/even chassis numbering system. The 166 Spider Corsa models were produced in the chassis number range 002C through to 018I (020I), but as Ferrari history of the period is difficult to unravel, the exact number made is open to speculation.

Technical Specification


60 degr. V12, longitudinal, alloy block & cylinder heads

Timing Gear

2 valves per cylinder, single overhead camshaft per bank

Bore & Stroke

60mm x 58mm then 60mm x 58.8mm

Unitary Displacement

166cc then 166.25cc

Total Displacement

1992cc then 1995cc

Compression Ratio

11.5 : 1

Maximum Power

130 bhp at 7000 rpm


Dry single plate clutch, 5 speed + reverse gearbox


Elliptical-section steel tubes

Front Suspension

Independent with transverse leaf spring and hydraulic shock absorbers

Rear Suspension

Rigid axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs and hydraulic shock absorbers


2300 mm

Front Track

1255 mm

Rear Track

1200 mm

Kerb Weight

500+ kgs

Fuel Tank

100 litres

Keith Bluemel