A 1953 Ferrari 166 MM Spider, chassis no. 0272 M, that contested the 1953 and 1954 Mille Miglia races before being featured in the 1955 Kirk Douglas film The Racers, has been added to the docket for RM Sotheby’s Retromobile sale in Paris on February 7.
The fifth of 13 166 MMs built for 1953, 0272 (above, photo courtesy of RM Sotheby’s) features unique spider coachwork, though its specific builder remains a mystery. Most historians believe it was designed by Aurelio Lampredi and it’s possible the car could have been built by Ferrari itself. Following its pair of Mille Miglia outings, 0272 was shipped to California to finish filming, then raced and shown at various venues along the West Coast. More recently, the car has taken part in the Mille Miglia Storica, Le Belle Macchine d’Italia and the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The 166 MM retains its original mechanical components, including frame, engine, gearbox, rear axle, steering box and all carburetors, as well as most of its original bodywork.
“A 166 MM is truly a joy to drive — smooth and with plenty of horsepower on tap channeled through its might V12 and five-speed gearbox,” commented Augustin Sabatié-Garat, Auction Manager, RM Sotheby’s Europe. “The reliability of this particular early Ferrari racer is clearly demonstrated by its long and continuous competition history and incredible originality, further set off by its unique coachwork and Hollywood connection.”
RM’s Paris sale will also feature the eighth of just 10 riveted Iso Grifo A3/Cs built for 1964, chassis no. B 0209. Bred with endurance racing in mind — A3/Cs won their class at Le Mans in 1964 and 1965 — the example offered is one of the very desirable “riveted” A3/Cs, made by Carrozzeria Sports Cars of Piero Drogo in Modena. The bodies were made in “avional,” a special alloy of aluminum, copper and magnesium that is very light and elastic, but difficult to weld, meaning it needed to be riveted in a fashion similar to an airplane.
Finished in dark red over black leather seats, the A3/C was delivered to its first French owner in November 1964 and was quickly sold to Paris resident Jean-Phillippe Smet, otherwise known as the musician Johnny Hallyday. It comes to Paris with less than 27,000 kilometers covered and having spent its entire life in France.
RM Sotheby’s Paris auction will be held at Place Vauban immediately after the Festival Automobile International, which runs through February 4, featuring concept cars and paying tribute to car designers from around the world. For further information, please visit www.festivalautomobile.com