Ferrari's series of 212 Exports and Inters was introduced in 1951, sixty years ago, as a replacement for the even smaller series of 195 Exports and Inters built in 1950 and early 1951. It was just five years since the first Ferrari badged automobile appeared, and only two years since Luigi Chinetti and Lord Selsdon scored the marque's stunning first victory at Le Mans with the 166MM in 1949.
The 212 was powered by a 2,562cc V-12 engine designed by Enzo Ferrari's compatriot Gioacchino Colombo. Topped by a trio of Weber carburetors, it had a modest increase in displacement and horsepower over the 2,341cc V-12 used in the 195 Ferraris. Nonetheless the modest performance improvement led to a material increase in performance and sales – sales of 212 Ferraris topped the 195s by almost four to one.
The lightweight Colombo-engined 212s epitomize the quick, responsive handling, balance and free-revving engines that characterize early Ferraris' appeal. It is a sharp con