Ferrari 166 MM – A Car Celebrating The Mille Miglia

The Ferrari 166MM is the first Ferrari marque car which really was a both a high performance car and an exceptionally good-looking car as well.  The Ferrari 166MM first appeared in September 1948 and the MM stood for Mille Miglia which had been won earlier that year by Clemente Biondetti in a Ferrari.

Ferrari 166MM 1950 (1)

Ferrari 166MM Barchetta

The image below, from Peter Miller’s book “Conte Maggi’s Mille Miglia” shows Clemente Biondetti, along with co-driver, Giuseppe Navone, after winning the 1948 Mille Miglia in a Ferrari 166S V12.  You can see that the front grille on Biondetti’s Ferrari is rather uninspiring (it reminds me of a 1948 Ford F1 pickup), when compared to the later 166MM front end.

Biondetti Ferrari Winning MM

Clemente Biondetti Got Ferrari Their First Mille Miglia Win In 1948

Ferrari was primarily a builder of race cars.  Road cars were only built in order to help fund the Ferrari racing efforts.  Ferrari would build the chassis and engines, then Italian coachbuilders would add the external bodywork.  The design of the bodywork for the Ferrari 166MM was handled by Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni at Carrozzeria Touring.  And what a great job he did!

Ferrari 166MM 1950 (2)

The Front Grille of The Ferrari 166MM Is Simple And Attractive

I think that the design of the Ferrari 166MM was very influential on other car designs of that era.  Certain views remind me of the AC Ace/Ford Cobra that would be designed about four years later and the grille of the Ferrari seemed to influence the grille of the 1955 Chevrolets.

Ferrari 166MM 1950 (3)

Ferrari Made The 166MM from 1948 to 1953

In the early days Ferrari named the cars based on the engine’s cylinder volume in cubic centimeters.  In this car, the volume of each cylinder is 166cc and as it was a 12 cylinder engine, the overall engine volume or size was 1,996cc or almost 2 litres.  The engine produced about 140 horsepower at 6,600rpm which resulted in a very lively performance in the 1,430 pound car.

Ferrari 166MM 1950 (4)

The Wire Wheels Look Very Appropriate On The Ferrari 166MM

The 166MM was built in three general body styles – the barchettas, as shown here, the closed cockpit berlinetta, and the spyder.  In addition to Carrozzeria Touring, two other coachworks – Vignale and Zagato, made the Ferrari 166MM cars.  The total number of Ferrari 166MM cars that were built is 45, so they are very rare.

Ferrari 166MM 1950 (5)

Right-Hand Drives Suggests That This Car Initially Headed To England

The Ferrari 166MM is one of my favorite Ferrari cars and I think that you can see why.

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