1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Cabriolet

Brian Henniker, courtesy of Gooding & Company

Introduced in 1951, the Ferrari 212 was the final evolution of the original Tipo 166 model. Sharing roughly the same chassis and suspension features of its predecessors, the 212 featured a 2.6-liter variation of Ferrari’s magnificent V12 engine.

Several coachbuilders were called upon to fashion bodies for the Ferrari 212, resulting in a remarkable variety of styles that were often tailored to the demands of a specific customer.

Upon its completion, this Ferrari 212 chassis was shipped to Carrozzeria Ghia in Torino. Ghia focused on the most-exclusive road-going models. It succeeded in producing high-quality, upscale coachwork characterized by luxurious interior appointments, marvelous handcrafted details and refined, understated styling.

This car is one of two similar cabriolet bodies built for Ferrari’s 212 chassis. Each cabriolet body was unique, easily distinguished by its color scheme and fine detailing. However, both cars shared the same compact proportions, disappearing soft top and skirted rear fenders.

The new cabriolet was unveiled on the Ghia stand at the Geneva Auto Show and later shown at the Torino Motor Show. Once its show duties were complete, the car was delivered to Gianni Mazzocchi, founder of publishing company Editoriale Domus SpA.

By the late 1960s, the 212 had made its way to the Detroit area, where its engine was replaced with a Corvette V8. In 1972, a car enthusiast spotted the Ferrari at a swapmeet, paid $600 for it, and parked it in his garage in Grand Blanc, MI, where it remained hidden until 2011.

Fresh from its successful appearance at Cavallino, the 212 is presented with an original manual, toolkit, and carefully organized documentation, including research data, archival photos, correspondence and restoration records.

At the time of cataloging, an application for chassis 0233EU had been submitted to the Ferrari Classiche department.

A superb example of Carrozzeria Ghia coachwork produced during the firm’s golden era, 0233EU is among the most significant coachbuilt Ferraris of the early 1950s.

Steve Ahlgrim

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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