1948 Ferrari 166


  • Year of manufacture 
  • Car type 
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  • Condition 
  • Number of seats 
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der in Modena. Satisfied with the new Monza/Mondial in 1954, Enzo wanted the chassis of this166 SC to provide a base for experimental bodies for future competition cars. And so in 1955/6 the car was given the body it retains today. Modern, enveloping and streamlined, it closely resembled to the later built 500 Testa Rossa. Ferrari equipped in 1955 only two race cars seats with an absolute unique and stunning high quality Python leather imitation. One was Ferrari # 0492M and the other this 166 Spyder Corsa #014-I. This car has still its absolute original Ferrari Python leather imitation from 1955.
Too old to be competitive on the racetrack, the car served to test the new generation of coachwork. It appears that the instruments, pedals, gearshift and steering wheel were all retained from the original Ansaloni body. The new version initially had Parravano-style side air intakes, and a headrest, which was later removed.

Soon after getting its Scaglietti body, the 166 SC was sold to Michele Vernola, a car dealer from Milan. In 1957, it found itself in the hands of a mechanic from Lucerne, Nico Gianella, who was keen to try his luck in the US, and moved to Santa Barbara, California to set up a small service station. This venture was financed by the sale of two Talbot cabriolets. Once settled in his new life, he brought his family over, and a few of his cars, including the 166 Spyder Corsa. In an email to the current owner Nico's daughter, Patrizia Gianella describes particular memories she had of the car, including a minor collision that took place opposite her father's garage. Several photographes prove that the headrest was still on the car till about 1959 and was taken away later by Nico Gianella. Patrizia attached a photo of her and her brother in the car in 1961.

A few years later, in 1962, Gianella parted with the 166 SC, and it passed to Michael C. Peake, also from Santa Barbara. Mr. Peake drove the car regularly before selling it in 1969 to Norman and Jacqueline Blank, from Pasadena, who registered it 'IKC 501'. The original plate with this number is in the file that comes with the car. During this period, the 166 SC was regularly seen at local meets and prestigious events run by the Ferrari Club of America. In 1994 it appeared at the 30th edition of the annual FCA meeting and the Concours in Monterey, and in 2002 at the FCA National Concours in Los Angeles.
In 2005, following the death of Mr Blank, the Ferrari was acquired by well known collector Tom Shaughnessy, who sold it at auction in Pebble Beach in 2007, where it fetched 1 050 000 $. It is interesting to note that a 750 Monza sold for 50 000 $ more at the same time, and the previous year a 225 Sport #0160ED changed hands for 200 000 $ more. The new owner, Anthony Podell from LA, decided to overhaul the car mechanically, to ensure it was in perfect working condition, so that he could drive it freely. However, he was keen to retain the original body, accessories and all the features that gave the 166 SC its distinctive personality. The work was carried out, at considerable expense, by the Patrick Ottis Company in Berkeley, California, and the original invoice is in the file. And so this stunning Ferrari could once more be driven as intended, and the car took part in the Colorado Grand and competed in the Monterey Historic. Podell then sold it at an auction in the US in 2011 where it was bought by a European collector and Ferrari enthusiast. In 2013, #014I was put on display in the Ferrari Museum in Maranello alongside a 375MM, a 166MM and a 250 TR (0728TR) in an exhibition of the marque's earliest machines. The car was presented as it was, with the paintwork untouched since leaving the Scaglietti workshops, but in top mechanical condition. The European collector sold the car to the present owner who had it fully restored by Ferrari specialist Barhofer Automobile in Singen, Germany, for a sum of €210 000 (invoices in the file). The restoration project was carried out with the aim of respecting the history and original features of the car. The aluminium body was stripped, the chassis treated, and all mechanical elements dismantled and rebuilt. All traces of the car's various evolutions (notably the extra reinforcements and period welding) were preserved. Fortunately, the upholsterer managed to conserve and restore the original snakeskin interior, which regained its original lustre. This ambitious restoration project was justly rewarded when the car won Best of Show in the Zurich Concours d'Elégance in August 2016.

The 1948 Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa by Scaglietti, #014I, is presented here in exceptional condition. It is fresh from a no-expense spared restoration that has preserved the original and unique features of the car that embody the spirit of construction carried out in period first by Ferrari and later Scaglietti. It is rare for a competition car from this period to retain its integrity, particularly the earliest Ferrari that have largely been re-bodied in recent years. This example has retained traces of its journey from the Ferrari factory team, driven by Bianchetti, Farina and Sommer. #014I played its part in forging the marques's still emerging reputation, and benefitted from ongoing mechanical development by the factory in an attempt to remain competitive. The body, expertly designed by Sergio Scaglietti, responsible for creating some of the most important Ferrari racing cars, can be called an " experimental car " or " laboratory car " that enabled Enzo Ferrari to validate the bodywork for the future 500 Testa Rossa. It is therefore not unreasonable to call the Scaglietti coachwork of this 166 SC a prototype for the feline body of the 500 TR.
This car, dating back to the early and glorious days of Ferrari, has enormous appeal for marque collectors. It is offered with original documentation outlining its racing provenance and history, and with a large file containing period correspondence, invoices and photos.
However, this extraordinary racing car, covering the most important Ferrari race history from 1948 till 1956, cannot only be driven on race courses. With its street registration, it can be enjoyed legally everywhere on the road.
This 166 Spyder Corsa is one of the stars of a period that saw Enzo Ferrari develop his business into the legendary marque that still excites the passions today.

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