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General data  
Year/s of production 14.03.1953
VIN 0262 M
Number produced 1
Design Franco Scaglione
Manufactured by Carlo Abarth
   
Technical specifications  
Chassis 166M/53 – Steel tubular frame, oval cross section, cross beams (crosswise)
Length
Width
Height
Wheelbase 2250 mm
Front suspension Independent wheel suspension, double a-arms, transverse leaf springs, Houdaille lever-type shock absorbers
Rear suspension Rigid axle, longitudinal leaf springs, double trailing links, Houdaille lever-type shock absorbers
Front track 1270 mm
Rear track 1250 mm
Front tyres 5.90 x 15 in. or 6.40 x 15 in., Borrani wheels with wired spokes and central locking
Rear tyres 5.90 x 15in. or 6.40 x 15 in., Borrani wheels with wired spokes and central locking
Front brakes Hydraulically operated aluminium drum brakes
Rear brakes Hydraulically operated aluminium drum brakes
Kerb weight Approx. 1.250 lbs  or 568 kg
Body material Aluminium Superleggera Weight: 55 kg – could be removed from the chassis in one piece
Body type Spyder – two seats
   
Engine  
Type 166M/53 – 117 – Colombo front engine
Number of cylinders V12 – 60°
Displacement 166 MM engine: 1995,02 ccm
250 MM engine: 2953,00 ccm
Bore and stroke 166 MM engine: 60 x 58,8 mm
250 MM engine: 73 x 58,8 mm
Camshaft 1 overhead per cylinder bank
Valves 2 per cylinder
Compression ratio 166 MM engine: 9,5:1
250 MM engine: 9:1
Ignition Magneto ignition, 2 ignition distributors
Lubrication Forced feed lubrication
Maximum power 166 MM engine: approx. 160 hp – 7.200 rpm
250 MM engine: approx. 230 hp – 7.000 rpm
Maximum torque
Carburettor 166 MM engine: 3 Weber quadruple carburettors, type 32 IF/4C
250 MM engine: 3 Weber quadruple carburettors, type 36IF/4C
Gearbox 5 gears + rev.
   
Performance  
Top speed Approx. 220 km/h

 

Good to know

General Information
Year of production 14.03.1953
Original exterior Color
Original interior Color
 
Technical Information
Chassis number (S/N, VIN) 0262 M
Chassis type 166/53
Coachbuilder Design by Franco Scaglione – manufactured by Carlo Abarth
Body type
Body number
Assembly number
Engine type
Engine number
Engine internal number
Steering
 
Brief History
Built for: Built for the Milan based race team Scuderia Guastalla of Franco Cornacchia
First owner: Giulio Musitelli of Bergamo – private race driver – Team Scuderia Guastalla
First race: Targa Florio 1953, race driver: Giulio Musitelli. no. 28, 21th  Overall
Winter 1953/54: New 250 MM engine installed at the Ferrari factory – still in car
1954: New body by Scaglietti
14.08.2004 RM Auctions – Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction
Lot 248
Sold for $847,000
RM Auctions Catalogue description
Source: RM Auction
Copyright: RM Auctions

1953 Ferrari 166/250MM Lightweight Competition Spyder

The Scuderia Guastalla Targa Florio and Mille Miglia Car

230bhp at 7000rpm (est.), three litre 60 degree alloy V12 with dual overhead cams and 12 port heads and triple Weber 36IF/4C downdraught carburetion, five-speed manual transmission with reverse, front suspension by transverse leaf spring and lower A-arm with Houdaille lever action shock absorbers, rear suspension by semi-elliptic leaf springs with lever action shock absorbers and two trailing arms, four-wheel hydraulic vented drum brakes and cable-operated hand brake to the rear wheels. Chassis construction of twin oval section steel longitudinal tubes with welded crossmembers and a lightweight body support system, approximate weight of 1,250 lbs. Wheelbase: 2250mmThe following technical and history description of No. 0262M is provided courtesy of respected London-based automobile journalist Keith Bluemel.The Cavallino Rampante With a Sting In the Tail!

The 166 MM series initially came into being in October 1948, with the introduction of the 166 MM Barchetta at the Turin Salon. The Italian journalist from Gazzetta dello Sport, Giovanni Canestrini, baptised it “Barchetta”, the Italian expression for “little boat”, because of the way the body sides curved under the car, giving the impression of the hull of a rowing boat, and the name stuck. The 166 part of the model title referred to the swept volume of a single cylinder in cubic centimetres, whilst the MM part was a reference to the win by a 166 model in the 1948 Mille Miglia.

In 1949 the 166 MM was the model that established a worldwide reputation in motor sport for the Ferrari marque, with three great international victories in a short time. The first of these was in May in the Mille Miglia, when Clemente Biondetti partnered by Ettore Salani in a 166 MM, #0008M, led home the similar model, #0004M, of Felice Bonetto and Pasquale Cassani. In June it was the Le Mans 24 Hour Race, where Luigi Chinetti and Lord Selsdon won in the 166 MM,#0008M, a victory that really propelled Ferrari to international recognition. Two weeks later, Luigi Chinetti this time partnered by Charles Lucas in another 166 MM, #0010M, took victory in the Spa 24 Hour Race in Belgium. In 1953 Ferrari offered a more powerful variant of the original concept, this is referred to as the 166 MM/53 (or sometimes Series II), and were built to contest the two litre sports car class, which was very popular with competitors. This version was fitted with triple Weber 32 IF/4C quad choke carburetors, and had a compression ratio of 9.5:1, which boosted power output to 160bhp at 7200rpm and was coupled to a five-speed gearbox.

The 166 MM/53, chassis #0262M, was the sole marriage of the “Cavallino Rampante” of Ferrari with the “Scorpione” of Abarth in the form of a complete car, being the second 166 MM/53 model out of a total of 13 cars. Its Certificate of Origin was issued on March 14, 1953, when the rolling chassis was dispatched by Ferrari to the Milan Ferrari dealer Franco Cornacchia, for client Giulio Musitelli who eventually raced it under the former’s Scuderia Guastalla banner. From here it was sent to Abarth in Turin for the marriage ceremony to a unique Abarth designed and built aluminium body, which most attribute to the pen of Franco Scaglione. Giuseppe Manera, one of Abarth’s sheet metal craftsmen worked flat aluminium sheets into the intricate and complex panels that finally clothed 0262M.

All but four of the 1953 series were bodied by Vignale, with only chassis number 0262M being fitted with a unique Abarth spyder body. The car is not only rare in that it was the only Ferrari bodied by Abarth, but is also the only Ferrari to have a fully demountable sectional body attached by quarter turn or “Dzus” aircraft fasteners.

The body consists of nine major panels, mounted on an intricately shaped lightweight drilled frame attached to the main chassis tubes. Curiously there were two large bore steel tubes welded to the rear of the chassis, extending rearwards like a pair of exhaust pipes, it has been hypothesized that these were to offer rear crash protection, but this seems unlikely, a more plausible explanation being that they were for jacking purposes.

It is not only the construction method of the body that is unusual, but also the styling elements within the overall shape. A large single central headlight, mounted in a raised pod, dominates the nose. On both sides are sculpted radiator air intakes bounded by a thin aluminium trim strip, the shape of which pre-empts the Carlo Chiti designed “nostril nose” F1 and Sports Racing Ferraris of the early sixties. Outboard of the radiator openings are found a pair of small diameter driving lights. The wing line runs in a rising curve over the front wheels dropping downwards into the cabin section, with deep elegant scallops behind the wheels. Scuderia Guastalla is proclaimed in chrome letters on the front wing sections just forward of the cabin, with enamel Abarth badges in the traditional coachbuilders location, on the lower trailing section of the front wings. The rear wing line features another powerful curve over the wheel, again with a scalloped section behind the wheel, but with a razor edge to its top profile that provides panel rigidity. In the forward edge there is vertical slot to assist brake and tire cooling. The tail section encompasses the fuel tank, above which was mounted the spare wheel, and the metalwork incorporates a faired headrest section from which protrudes the large fuel filler cap. It is estimated that the saving in weight over the “standard” Vignale Spyder body is in the order of a substantial 100 kg, even the seats having special lightweight frames.

In this form it was raced extensively at a variety of Italian events throughout 1953, in the hands of Giulio Musitelli, sometimes accompanied by his brother Ferruccio, and on one occasion by Eugenio Castellotti. At the end of the European season he shipped the car to South America to compete in races at Rio and Interlagos in Brazil. For the 1954 season factory records show that the car was upgraded to a three litre engine to 250 MM specification, still with the car and that it also received a new body, styled along the same lines as the Scagliettti Spyder series of that time. In this form it should really be referred to as a 166/250 MM Competition Spyder, and was again actively campaigned by Giulio Musitelli. In January 1956 our 166/250 Competition Spyder #0262M was sold to Gary B. Laughlin in the USA, who only kept it for a very short period before selling it to Lorin McMullen of Fort Worth, Texas, in February 1956, the latter campaigned it in Sports Car Club of America regional events during 1956, after which point its competition career is believed to have come to an end.

Master builder, Wayne Sparling, the current owner, acquired the car in September 1979, and it has been a restoration project since that time. Eventually the historically correct decision was made to recreate a body in the style of its original Abarth body, rather than take the much simpler route of restoring the Scaglietti body. The project was a labour of time and love, allied to Sparling’s great skill, to which the finished article bears witness. Thus the fully restored car made its public debut at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida in March, 2004, proudly wearing its new suit of clothes, and in a form that had not been seen for over 50 years. There are many rare Ferraris, but not many that can claim to be as unique as this one.

Bergamo, Italy
March 13, 2004

Dearest Mr. Sparling,

I thank you with all my heart for having given me such an immense emotion. I was thinking that by now at my age (I will be 81 on 7/1) nothing would make my heart beat so fast; however, seeing again my magnificent “bastarda”, after 50 years, was really incredible.

Don’t be scared, “bastarda” did not have a negative connotation at all. In the racing world we had started to call her with that name, due to the fact it was a mix of Ferrari and Abarth design.

During the 1953 and 1954 season I greatly enjoyed taking her 160 horsepower on the racing track and on the road; the car would give unrepeatable sensations, by combining the formidable 12 Ferrari cylinders with a body and chassis that would cause the 3,000 cc engines to be worried. The publicshowed full appreciation of the car, in particular for its shape, which in those days, could be called futuristic.

Now my memory and my health do not allow me to deeply remember the past, however, with my son Arrigo’s help, I am glad to send you the signed photograph from which I see that the car has been brought back to its original splendour. I congratulate you and thank you.

I am sending you also some additional photos:
A Brazilian newspaper listing the arrival position of the Ferrari-Abarth in the XIII Gavea.
Two Photos of the Grand Prix of Cortemaggiore, 1953. Two Photos of the Targa Florio, 1953, first race of the car. Photo of my brother Ferruccio at the Mille Miglia 1950, on Cisitalia.

Unfortunately my brother Ferruccio died in 1976, but I am sure that he too, at this time, is experiencing the same emotions that I am feeling, thanks to you.

Thank you again, my dear friend and best wishes to you and to the “Bastarda” for continued success at all the events you will participate. It will be my success as well.

All my best and sincere regards,

Giulio Musitelli

Last known owner (2006) Lee Munder

 

The Galleries

S/N 0262 M 166/250 MM Spyder Abarth
  • Gallery: Coming soon

 

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