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Unique Ferrari 166 MM an early entry to Artcurial’s 2014 Rétromobile sale

Starting life in 1953 as a regular Vignale-bodied 166 MM, followed by a successful period racing and rallying in Europe and South America, this car’s probably battle-worn Italian coachwork was replaced with dramatic one-off styling by Carrosserie Martial Oblin in Brussels...

Far ahead of its time, a feature of the newly finished barchetta was matt grey paintwork with a central stripe in red.

In its earlier iteration, Belgian owner Jacques Herzet teamed up with well-known countrymen Lucien Bianchi and Johnny Claes, entering many events such as the 1953 Coupes de Spa-Francorchamps (2nd overall), the Rallye des Alpes, the Liege-Rome-Liege rally and the Tour De France Auto, where they finished an impressive seventh.

That winter, the car was shipped to South America where it continued its run of success with good finishes at Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo in Brazil.

Having received the striking new bodywork in 1954, Herzet continued to compete with chassis 0300M for another three years. Amazingly, it has survived with little serious structural damage or replacement parts.

From 1966 to 2012, the car was in US collectors’ hands, and in 2005 competed in the Mille Miglia Retrospective. Last year, the current owner commissioned a $400,000 restoration, the results of which you can see here. A stunning vehicle.

Artcurial will offer the car for sale at its February 2014 Paris Rétromobile auction.