1950 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta by Touring
- The 27th of 32 166 MM examples built; the 23rd of 25 Touring Barchettas
- Owned and raced by future Scuderia Ferrari driver Eugenio Castellotti
- Competed in the Mille Miglia in 1951 and 1953
- Veteran of the Pebble Beach Road Races
- Decorated concours career, including five appearances at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
- Winner of the coveted Hans Tanner Trophy
- Multiple Platinum Awards at Cavallino Classic, the FCA National Meet, and Concorso Italiano
- Owned by FCA Chief Judge Ed Gilbertson for over two decades
- Maintained by some of the niche’s most discerning collectors
- Extraordinarily original and matching numbers throughout
- Ferrari Classiche certified
“It was an absolute delight to drive my Touring Barchetta on the Colorado Grand and the California Mille. Sailing down the road, the historic little boat reminded me of the days when a young Eugenio Castellotti bravely chased down the rapids in the Mille Miglia.”
THE 166 MILLE MIGLIA
The 1948 season saw numerous victories for Ferrari’s cycle-winged 166 Corsa, including the Targa Florio, the Mille Miglia, and the Paris 12-hour race. The two-liter version of Giaocchino Colombo’s new short-block V-12, a development of the smaller 125 S engine, was obviously a winner, and for 1949, Maranello ramped up production to double-digit levels.
The coachwork solution for many of the forthcoming cars appeared at the Turin Salon in September 1948 on an updated model dubbed the 166 MM, in honor of the Mille Miglia victory. Eschewing the Corsa’s pre-war-style cycle-wing exterior, Touring of Milan built a beautiful two-seat spider body with full fenders and unadorned beltlines. Using its patented Superleggera technique, Touring eventually bodied 25 examples of the 166 in the open style that came to be known as the barchetta (Italian for “little boat”). The popular body style would even outlast the 166 model, extending into the succeeding 195, 212, and 340 series.
Two of the early 166 MM barchettas were entered by Ferrari at the 1949 Mille Miglia, and they finished a commanding 1-2, with Clemente Biondetti and Ettore Salani edging out Felice Bonetto and Pierre-Louis Carpani. The 166 MM went on to rack up multiple wins during the 1949 season, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Spa, and events at Senigallia and Trieste.
The Ferrari sports-racer became the early blueprint for Maranello’s successful formula. The iconic 166 MM is the godfather of all the short-block–based competition cars that followed, from the 195 and 212 Exports, to the 225 S, 250 GT TdFs, and Testa Rossas. When dressed with Touring’s influential barchetta coachwork, it is unequivocally one of the most important and beautiful Ferraris ever built, and the 166 MM is undoubtedly the reason Ferrari stands triumphant at the pinnacle of motorsport.
CHASSIS NUMBER 0058 M
This sensational early barchetta possesses all of the critical attributes a collector would want in an even-numbered sports-racing Ferrari: rarity, period racing history in Italy and the United States, an extremely high level of originality, and a highly decorated show career in more recent decades. Chassis 0058 M is the 27th of 32 166 MM examples built, and the 23rd of 25 Touring barchettas. As demonstrated by original factory build sheets, the chassis was equipped with Rudge wheel hubs and Houdaille shock absorbers, while the Colombo V-12 was originally fitted with a single Weber 36 DCF/1 carburetor.
With a certificate of origin issued on 1 June 1950, the 166 was delivered to Touring of Milan for mounting of the open coachwork. Touring body number 3452 was then finished in traditional rosso corsa and appointed with a lusso (luxury) interior trimmed with beige leather.
0058 M was delivered on 5 June to its first owner of record, Marco Dallorso of the company S.r.L. Braida e C., Costruz. Stradili, in Genoa. A short time later, the fabulous 166 MM was given as a gift to up-and-coming racing driver Eugenio Castelotti, of Milan, who registered the car as MI 166875. On 28 April 1951, Castellotti entered the Ferrari in the Mille Miglia as #340, and he and co-driver Giuseppe Rota managed to finish the grueling contest while capturing 6th in class.
Hoping to coax a better performance out of the 166, Castellotti returned the barchetta to the factory in Maranello, and the engine was upgraded with a competition manifold featuring triple Weber carburetors fed by individual ram-horn air cleaners. The gearbox was converted to an offset lever-type shifter, and adjustments were made to the fuel log and the distributor boots. Externally, the original single-scoop hood was replaced with an unvented bonnet.
On 3 June, Castellotti was joined by Sandro Matranga at the Coppa della Toscana, where, as #1248, the upgraded MM finished 8th overall and 3rd in class. Two weeks later, the 166 was entered as #30 at the Circuito Internacional do Porto in Portugal, and Castellotti roared to a 7th-overall finish, again 3rd in class. On 15 July, the barchetta experienced a minor setback when it failed to complete the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti, where Castellotti and Annibale Broglia were entered as #102. The Ferrari bounced back on 5 August, however, when Castellotti finished 3rd in class at the Giro delle Calabrie.
0058 M’s debut in the 1952 season was unremarkable, with another early retirement occurring at the Prix de Monte Carlo in Monaco on 1 June. On 28 September at the Gran Premio di Bari, while entered as #89, the 166 finished 7th overall and 2nd in class, this time with Sergio Mantovani at the wheel.
The 166 MM returned to the Mille Miglia on 25 April 1953, entered as #455, but Ambrogio Arosio and Italo Di Giuseppe were unable to finish the race. On 14 June, Arosio retired early after suffering a minor accident at the VII Varese-Campo dei Fiori Hillclimb. After undergoing repairs, the Ferrari was exported to the United States later in 1953, destined for Charles Rezzaghi’s famous Mille Miglia Motors in San Francisco, one of the West Coast’s primary importers of Italian sports cars during the 1950s. Before the year had ended, 0058 M was sold to Dr. Raymond Craycroft of Berkeley, California.
Dr. Craycroft raced the 166 MM locally, first as #19 at the third annual Madera road races. A period photograph taken around this time shot from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area shows the beautiful car framed by the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. On 21 March, Craycroft entered the barchetta as #116 in the 1st Annual Bakersfield Road Races, where he finished 4th in the Junior Race, and his wife finished 6th in the R.N. Race. The Ferrari then participated in the Pebble Beach Road Races on 10 April, placing 2nd in the novice class as depicted in the Pebble Beach program. On 6 June, the car was entered by Craycroft in the Golden Gate Handicap, and this would be the final race under his ownership.
Chassis 0058 M was acquired in 1966 by Larry Taylor of San Francisco, and 11 years later the fine car was sold to well-known Ferrari expert and accomplished concours judge Ed Gilbertson, who went on to present the car at a string of FCA events to great acclaim. In August 1979, Gilbertson exhibited the car at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it won the Hans Tanner Trophy, named for one of the marque’s most respected authors and historians.
Five years later the Ferrari returned to the Monterey Peninsula with presentation at the International Ferrari Concours d’Elegance in Carmel. Gilbertson drove the car in the 166 MM Barchetta Reunion from Yountville to Monterey in August 1989, capping the drive with display at the Monterey Historic Races. In 1993, chassis 0058 M ran the Colorado Grand, where Gilbertson was joined by co-driver Sherry Lindberg.
In January 1994, the rare 166 MM was displayed at the Behring Auto Museum (now the Blackhawk Museum) in Danville, California, as part of a three-month exhibit titled, “Ferrari: the V-12 Front Engined Road Cars.” In August, the barchetta was presented at the FCA’s International Ferrari Concours at Monterey, and four days later the car was again displayed by Gilbertson at the Pebble Beach Concours.
In December 1998, Gilbertson sold the breathtaking Ferrari to the late Lorenzo Zambrano of Monterrey, Mexico, the well-known collector and frequent Pebble Beach exhibitor. He displayed the 166 at Pebble in August 1999, taking home 2nd in class. At the Cavallino Classic in January 2000, the Ferrari garnered a Platinum Award and the Excellence Cup. Zambrano further displayed 0058 M at the FCA National Meet in Colorado Springs in July 2000, where it won another Platinum Award, as well as the Ferrari Legend Award and the Luigi Chinetti Award. A month later the car appeared at the Vintage Ferrari Concours at Concorso Italiano, winning yet another Platinum Award and Best of Show.
0058 M continued its exhibition run in May 2001 at the FCA Annual Meet in Dallas, Texas, and at the Cavallino Classic in January 2007, where it won the 166 Cup and another Platinum Award. In June 2007, Mr. Zambrano sourced desirable authentication from the factory with a Ferrari Classiche Red Book that confirms the presence of all the original matching-numbers components. Less than a week later, the barchetta took home 2nd in class at the Ferrari 60th Anniversary Concours d’Elegance held in Maranello. Mr. Zambrano’s award-winning run concluded with a final appearance at Pebble Beach in August 2009.
In January 2010, chassis 0058 M was acquired by Manny Del Arroz of Diablo, California, and he sold it less than a year later to the current owner, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most respected collectors. Since entering his care, the 166 participated in the “Ferraris in the Pebble Beach Road Races” event held in mid-August 2015, as well as the Pebble Beach Concours that soon followed. In August 2016, the Ferrari completed its tour of the major Monterey events with display at the Quail Motorsports Gathering in Carmel Valley.
This award-winning 166 MM remains remarkably correct throughout, including its original Touring body, matching V-12 engine and gearbox, and other major mechanical elements. As it stands, 0058 M has been unequivocally authenticated by the Ferrari Classiche department. And while 166s hardly come to market, it is exceptionally rare to find one as pure and authentic as chassis 0058 M. Those examples as remarkable as this remain closely held in private collections, much as treasured works of art and blue-chip investments.
This two-time Mille Miglia veteran is incredibly well documented, with an extensive file, including copies of the original factory build sheets, period ACI PRA registrations, factory correspondence, period racing photographs, and FCA judging sheets. An honest and original example of the legendary 166 MM Touring Barchetta, this Ferrari offers invitation to the world’s most discriminating concours and the finest driving events the world over.