Post-war Italy with the presence of US troops wasn’t an ideal place to start the business as many people lost their livelihood and homes due to the war. The political and economic stability of Italy wasn’t in proper shape either.
Enzo Ferrari took a massive risk when he started his company in 1946, which was based in Maranello. He then directed his workforce to create astonishing sports cars that went on to conquer the post-war roads from the Tuscan plains to Alpine passes.
Enzo Ferrari did the impossible and earned the respect of the onlookers with his brilliant thorough-bred racing cars and their capabilities. This was Ferrari as a company before a dedicated marketing division got involved.
Ferrari’s first car, the Type 125 went on to win races in 1947, thanks to the 1.5-liter V12 engine designed by Gioacchino Colombo. Despite its success in the racetrack, it wasn’t a looker.
Ferrari Type 125 featured bathtub-style bodywork, panels featuring simple shapes, and rudimentary wings. It wasn’t elegant or artistic in any way.
Ferrari 166 MM and Ferrari 166 Inter
Ferrari 166 MM
With the introduction of Ferrari Type 166 MM, everything started to change. The Ferrari Type 166 is also known as the Ferrari 166 Inter. The Inter moniker was a reference to the 1947 International Grand Prix of Turin.
Ferrari Type 166 MM was the most important Ferrari supercar of all time, as it was the one that ended up giving fame to Enzo Ferrari’s small company on a world scale.
Ferrari Type 166 MM played several roles. Sometimes it was a race car, a rally car, a fastback coupe, or a motor show attraction. Not many cars of its time could play many roles like this. Not only it was beautiful, but it was also faster, sleeker, and outperformed competitors.
The Type 166 name was a reference to the 166cc per cylinder head engine capacity, with a total engine capacity of 1992cc.
The earliest examples were made with recycled Ferrari 125 race cars and offered the same brutal unrefined functionality. Despite this Ferrari Type 166 was the first Ferrari ever to be sold for the customers as road-going cars.
In the 1948 Turin Motor Show, the Ferrari Type 166 MM was introduced. The MM Suffix was a reference to the Mille Miglia victory of the same year with a Type 166 Sport in the hands of Clemente Biondetti and Giuseppe Navone.
The Ferrari Type 166 MM was equipped with a 1995cc V12 engine designed by Gioacchino Colombo. This new engine featured a sixty-degree single overhead cam design. The V12 was fed by three twin-choke Weber carburetors. The maximum power output was now rated at 140 horsepower at 6600rpm and 117 lb-ft of torque at 5000rpm.
The engine was then mated to a five-speed transmission unit to deliver the power to the rear wheels of the car.
The Type 166 MM bodywork was designed by Carlo Anderloni at the Milano-based Touring design house. It featured beautiful curves along with the bodywork. This body style was soon imitated by many automotive manufacturers of its time.
Despite the looks, the Ferrari Type 166 MM was a serious sports car just like its Type 125 and Type 166 predecessors.
Scuderia Ferrari with Type 166 MM scored many international victories including the 1949 Le Mans victory.
Unlike now, back then the Ferrari delivered the chassis and the engine to the customer or the supplying dealer. The customer or the supplying dealer then took the chassis and the engine to a coachbuilder to get it completed.
Type 166 MM was built in smaller numbers and the construction of the bodywork was mostly done by Milano-based Carrozzeria Touring and Vignale. Ghia, Pininfarina, and Zagato also built a handful of examples.
Type 166 MM was produced from 1949 to 1953, and fewer than fifty examples were built. Each example was handmade and due to this neither cars looked the same or exactly alike.
Most of the customers preferred the Barchetta body style of the 1948 Turin Motor Show car. But few were made as coupes or Berlinetta.
The steering was worm and sector.
The front end of the car featured independent double wishbones, transverse leaf springs, and hydraulic dampers. The rear end featured a live axle, leaf springs, hydraulic dampers, and an anti-roll bar.
The brakes were drum units.
Despite the 140bhp maximum power output, the Ferrari Type 166MM could reach a top speed of 125mph and 0-60mph in ten seconds. This was mainly due to the 699 kg total curb weight of the car and the sleek aerodynamic body style.
Ferrari 166 Inter
Ferrari 166 Inter cars were ordered as bare chassis made up of oval section tubing arranged into a ladder layout with wishbone front suspension and simple leaf-sprung live rear axle. Anti-roll bars were also in front and rear.
Ferrari 166 Inter was designed by Giovanni Michelotti and its body templates were shared with Fiat 1100 and Simca 8.
All the Ferrari 166 Inter cars had split front screens and under the hood was a Gioachino Colombo-designed 60 degrees 2.0-liter V12 engine. Ferrari 166 MM cars were also equipped with the same engine. The maximum power output was rated at 140hp at 7000rpm.
The crankshaft was machined from a solid billet of steel and ran in seven main bearings for creamy smoothness. The engine block and cylinder heads were cast in Silumin, a lightweight alloy along with the pistons and connecting rods. Twin distributors were driven off the camshaft supplying six spark plugs each.
Ferrari 166 Inter was equipped with 15-inch Borrani Cabo Sports wheels. These were featuring a polished alloy rim and a pressed steel center with a central Rude type nut and a chrome hubcap.
Ferrari 166 Inter was capable of achieving 0-60mph in 10.5 seconds.
Ferrari 166 Inter was coachbuilt by Carrozzeria Touriing, Vignale, Pininfarina, and Ghia. Only 38 Ferrari 166 Inter coupes were built from 1948 to 1951.
Three Ferrari 166 Inter Cabriolets were made by Pininfarina.