Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta Offered at Russo and Steele’s Monterey Auction

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Throughout its storied history, California’s Monterey Peninsula has played host to a pantheon of the greatest competition-inspired road cars ever conceived and built. This year, Russo and Steele’s outstanding early consignments for Monterey will include a truly significant offering in the form of Ferrari’s very first road-going Sports/GT series, the 166 Inter. Only 37 were produced in all, with just eight – exemplified by the striking Berlinetta offered here, numbered 037 S – fitted with elegant yet sporting coachwork by the house of Stabilimenti Farina. 

A development of the competition 166 Sport, the 166 Inter was a thinly disguised racing car, as Enzo Ferrari was not yet committed to road-car production. In typical Ferrari fashion, its “166” model designation denoted the swept volume of each of the Gioacchino Colombo-designed 2.0-liter engine’s 12 cylinders, while the “Inter” moniker was in tribute to the racing victories earned by Scuderia Inter for Ferrari during the late 1940s. Handsome bodywork was supplied by a number of Italy’s finest coachbuilders of the era. While production of the 166 Inter spanned 1949 to 1953, only 37 were built altogether.

This wonderful example is the 16th of the series produced according to its 037 S chassis number. Early in its life, the original engine, also numbered 037 S, was given a displacement increase to the 2.5-liter engine specification of Ferrari’s subsequent 212 model, and it is believed that the car’s original single twin-choke carburetor was changed to a triple twin-choke intake system at this time. Sold new in June 1949 in Rome, 037 S was eventually exported to the USA in the 1950s and in 1987, it was acquired by the UK’s Lord Charles Brocket and then sold to Peter Agg, who invested over $240,000 into its top-quality restoration.

Owned by more noted collectors over the intervening years, including Carlos Monteverdi (1997-2003) and Edgar Schermerhorn (2003-2010), 037 S remains striking and complete with a historical file including documentation of the engine rebuild, invoices dating to 1989, and copies of FIVA paperwork. While currently sporting Borrani wire-spoke wheels, 037 S is accompanied by the original and very rare “CABO” (Carlo Borrani) steel wheels and retains most of its original features. Fastidiously maintained, well-proven in tours, and with show history including display at Villa d’Este, 037 S is a truly wonderful and historic example of Ferrari’s inaugural road-going model. For further supporting documentation, high-resolution images or more information on 037 S, this “1 of 8” 1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta by Stabilimenti Farina, please contact Stephanie Quinn at Stephanie@russoandsteele.com“>Stephanie@russoandsteele.com