The Berlinetta Le Mans Portfolio Slide Show

rPortfolio/ferrari/50_berlinetta

1950 Ferrari 166 MM/195 S Berlinetta Le Mans

Chassis No. 0026M
Engine No. 0026M

One of the privileges of the restoration endeavor is the opportunity to trace a famous car from the time of its creation to the present, through those who made it so. This jewel of a car, one of six Le Mans Berlinettas built by Carrozzeria Touring on the Ferrari 166 chassis, is such a car. The research started in 1998, during a lengthy visit with Sr. "Cici" Anderloni of Carrozzeria Touring. A chance meeting with Sr. Giannino Marzotto, "the man in the double-breasted suit" who drove the car to victory in the 1950 Mille Miglia, added more life to the story. Further research into original details revealed that Raymond Sommer and Dorino Serafini raced it at the Le Mans 24 hours that same year.

Restoring such a car goes far beyond a mere business engagement. It gave us the opportunity to "do what we do", that is: in depth historic research to understand the original build processes; accessing original period photographic records; and talking to the people who were there in the day, when we are lucky enough to find them. This was followed up by practicing the restoration arts with skilled artisans who try to insert themselves in the mind of the original builders. Add a heavy dose of perseverance plus a high level of execution, and several years later a very historic and rare automobile, formerly relegated for decades to a plywood shed in California, comes back to life.

The unusual paint color was reportedly chosen by Marzotto, whose father warned him to stop racing "those damn little red cars". Finding the remains of the original blue paint on the underside of a body panel was just one of the wonderful details discovered by the team as they methodically inspected the car during disassembly. A sample of the original flocking in the cockpit, remains of the original vinyl seat upholstery, and evidence of a rear start number illumination light, as required by Le Mans, were other important discoveries. Extensive research through factory build sheets and dyno test reports led us to the conclusion that the engine had been modified before its Mille Miglia debut, and consequently we returned the intake system to a single Weber carburetor and other 195 specifications.

We owe Jack Croul a debt of gratitude for having the confidence in us to see it through, and to a host of historic figures and enthusiasts including Gabriele Artom, Marcel Massini, Antoine Prunet, David Seielstad, Brooke Betz, Bruce Lustman, Giannino Marzotto, the revered and now departed Carlo "Cici" Anderloni, and the anonymous craftsmen back then who have so inspired us while just doing "what they did".

Every year, a special team of judges headed by Christian Philippsen present the Louis Vuitton Classic Concours Award to a car chosen from only the Best of Show winners of the most famous concours in the world, including the Cavallino Classic, Amelia Island, Villa d'Este in Italy, Meadow Brook, The Quail, Pebble Beach, and other carefully selected international events. In March of 2009, in a ceremony which took place in Geneva during the Salon de l'Automobile, this "best of the best" honor for the events of 2008 went to this 1950 Ferrari 166 MM LeMans Berlinetta. To quote Mr. Philippsen, "It has everything going for it: its lines, its mechanical specifications, its rarity, its authenticity, and a fabulous racing history."

Awards

Cavallino Classic Sports Sunday, 2016
First In Class

Cavallino Classic Sports Sunday, 2008
BEST OF SHOW

Cavallino Concorso d'Eleganza, 2008
Platinum Award
Scuderia Ferrari Cup

Louis Vuitton Classic Concours Award, 2008
BEST OF SHOW

Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza, 2008
BEST OF SHOW

Newport Beach Concours d'Elegance, 2007
First In Class

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, 2007
Mille Miglia Award

Recognitions

Mille Miglia, 2008
Participant

Articles

Keith Bluemel, “The Reunion”, photography by Keith Bluemel
Cavallino, June/July 2012

Larry Crane, “Victory Lap”, photography by David Gooley
Forza, December 2009

Larry Bean, “Suited for Victory: 1950 Ferrari 166 MM/195S Berlinetta”, photography by Scott Williamson
Robb Report, January 2008

Dale Drinnon, “Elegance Defined”, photography by Martyn Goddard
Octane, July 2008

Klaus Schnitzer, “Return to Rome”, photography by Klaus Schnitzer
Forza, June 2008

The Berlinetta Le Mans Restoration

rPortfolio/ferrari/50_berlinetta

Click image to start/stop slide show.

On April 23, 1950, Giannino Marzotto drove his Touring-bodied Ferrari 166 MM/195 S Berlinetta Le Mans (s/n 0026M) to victory in the Mille Miglia. The 1,OOO-mile Brescia-Rome-Brescia open-road race was one of the most famous and dangerous events in the world, and the 22-year-old Mazotto had pulled off his win in the pouring rain. ... On May 14, 2009, a freshly restored s/n 0026 took the starting flag at the Mille Miglia Storica, the modern-day version of the historic event.

Larry Crane, “Victory Lap”, Forza