1950 Ferrari 166 MM/195 S Berlinetta Le Mans

1950 Ferrari 166 MM/195 S Berlinetta Le Mans
Brian Henniker, courtesty of Gooding & Company

It was the Tipo 166, introduced in 1948 as a replacement for the 125 S, that first established Enzo Ferrari’s Modenese workshop as a leading manufacturer of racing cars. Powered by a 2-liter Gioacchino Colombo-designed V12 engine, the 166 set forward a course of development that would define the look, sound and inimitable character of Ferrari automobiles.

Unveiled at Geneva in 1950, the Berlinetta Le Mans was a striking fastback with origins in the magnificent streamlined Alfa Romeo racing cars of the late 1930s. Designed specifically for high-speed endurance racing, the Le Mans berlinettas featured a spartan, businesslike cockpit, large external fuel fillers and thin Plexiglas windows. These early 166 MM competition cars were the foundation for Ferrari’s successful line of dual-purpose berlinettas.

0060M was sold to famed American sportsman, race team owner and automobile collector Briggs Swift Cunningham. To ensure that his car would be at the front of the pack, Cunningham had Ferrari upgrade 0060M to full 195 S specifications, as reflected by handwritten notes on the factory build sheets.

A 195 S was a 166 MM bored out 5 mm. Equipped with three Weber carburetors and topped by a cold-air box, the 195 S produced approximately 170 horsepower. The 195 S was more powerful than the standard 166 MM, and it also was more forgiving and produced greater torque at lower engine speeds for increased drivability.

Faithfully presented today in its original blue livery, 0060M is an absolute jewel of a sports car, and the important stamped components — chassis, engine, gearbox, and rear end — all correspond to the factory build sheets.

Well-known and highly regarded among marque experts, this is a historically significant even-serial-number Ferrari that possesses every quality one looks for in a collectible automobile: aesthetic beauty, mechanical sophistication, exclusivity in numbers, a fantastic racing history and exceptional provenance. With the vast majority of 166 MMs held in major collections, the appearance of 0060M at auction may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a stellar example of Ferrari’s first great competition berlinetta.

Steve Ahlgrim

SCM Contributing Editor

Steve taught high school auto shop before moving to Atlanta, GA, where his love of sports cars led him to FAF Motorcars, the former Ferrari dealer where he served as General Manager and Vice President. He has been a self-proclaimed “one-trick pony,” coveting the Ferrari marque. He has been involved in concours judging for over 25 years and is a member of the IAC/PFA, an international committee overseeing high-level Ferrari concours judging. He is chief judge of the Celebration Exotic Car Show in Celebration, FL.

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