Ferrari’s first successful coupe was the Le Mans Berlinetta made for the 1950 24 Hours of Le mans. Neither of the two cars entered that year finished the race, but they were upgraded to 195 S specification which was good enough to win the 1950 Mille Miglia.
In 1950 Ferrari improved the 166 MM by enlarging the engine’s bore and raising the single cylinder capacity to 195cc. This produced a 2341cc unit that was capable of 170 bhp @ 7000 rpm. The 195 S engine debuted at the 1950 Giro di Sicilia for Alberto Ascari and Giannino Marzotto.
Bodies for the Le Mans Berlinetta were crafted by Superleggera Touring in Milan who focused on weight reduction and air resistance. The completely aluminum body was based off the 166 MM Barchetta and was supported by small steel tubes. At the time Ferrari had an agreement with Pirelli and many Le Mans Berlinettas were raced with them.
Many of 166MMs were upgraded to reflect the new engine size including the 195 Sport that won the 1950 Mille Miglia with Giannino Marzotto and ex-Alfa Romeo racing driver Martino Severi. They were using a privately entered 166 Touring Barchetta with a brand new 2.3-litre V12. Marzotto could afford to race the with available funds from the family textile business.
Marzotto described the car as “gentle and sober car, which had to be driven smoothly in the wet. It had 146 hp at 6600 rpm and developed a top speed of 122 mph. During the Mille Miglia, though, I never exceeded 6200 rpm, trying where possible to recoup in corners.”1
The victory someone angered Ferrari who “couldn’t stand to see his work cars beaten by privately entered Ferraris.” Ferrari hired Ascari, Villoresi and Serafini for the event which were among 13 other privately entered cars.2
Among the four Ferraris, Marzotto’s car had the smaller of two engines, but he explains the cars advantage: “I was overtaken by Ascari at top speed on the straight going past Este, and saw with my own eyes his right rear tyre blow into a thousand fragments. The two more powerful cars also had transmission problems and dropped out of the race, but the two less powerful ones finished first and second, the weather conditions having favoured my coupé.”1
Although he doubted the cars “weight, stability, aerodynamics, and penetration”, he was enthusiastic about the engine which lasted two more races without much work.1
After the Mille Miglia, 0024M were it was joined by Ferrari’s larger 340 America on the floor of the Torino Motor Show.
This 1950 Ferrari 166 MM Berlinetta Le Mans is chassis number 0066M and fitted with engine number 0066M. It was completed on June 14th of 1959 and would remain with Ferrari for about a year. In December of 1950, Anteo Allazetta of Trieste purchased the car from the factory. When it left the Modena factory, it was fitted with a single carburetor, but, like most 166 models, it was converted to a three-carburetor setup in 1950, as most of Ferrari’s customers planned to use the cars in competition.
This car features sliding Plexiglas side windows and an engine that has been bored out to the larger displacement 195S specification. With the help of the three Weber 36 DCF carburetors, the mighty SOHC 12-cylinder engine produces 170 horsepower. There is a five-speed manual transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. It has its original hand-beaten aluminum coachwork, engine, gearbox and rear axle.
The car was shown at the 1999 Palm Beach Cavallino Classic VIII and the Goodwood Festival in 2000. Since that time, it has been given a four-year restoration that has left it in exception condition throughout. Auction Source: 2008 Monterey Preview
Former 1950 Scuderia Ferrari entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and race leader for 11 hours. It retired after a generator bracket failed. Third overall in the 1950 Coppa d’ Oro delle Dolomiti. Sold in November 1950 by Luigi Chinetti to Briggs Cunningham, who entered it in a six-hour race at Sebring, where it ﬁnished ﬁrst in class and sixth overall. Lots of further race history; this is a car that was important to early Ferrari history and is now a ticket to almost any vintage race. Auction Source: 2005 Monterey Events