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Ferrari 166MM/212 Export ‘Uovo’ to star at Salon Privé

The unique 1950 Ferrari 166MM/212 Export ‘Uovo’ – a former Octane feature car – is set to become one of the star cars at the 2024 Salon Privé, taking place at Blenheim Palace on 28-29 August. One look at the futuristic car confirms just why it earned the ‘Uovo’ (Italian for egg) nickname.

Two-time Mille Miglia-winning racing driver Giannino Marzotto was a fan of Ferrari’s V12 engines, but was convinced that the car’s aerodynamics could be vastly improved. Working with coachbuilder Paolo Fontana along with engineer and designer Franco Reggiani, the idea of a sleek, low and rounded coupé began to take place. Although an order for two Ferrari 212 Export chassis was placed, a delay in delivery meant that the experimental car would actually be built on the chassis of an existing 166 MM Touring Barchetta.

Reggiani, who had worked in the aeronautical industry during the war was eager to achieve a lightweight car of a beautiful shape, with a steeply reclined windscreen and a rounded, tapered profile. Despite it being incredibly difficult to work with, he crafted the bodywork using ‘Peraluman’, a lightweight aluminium alloy incorporating magnesium.

Ferrari 166MM/212 Export ‘Uovo’ to star at Salon Privé

Instead of traditional A-pillars, the car had braided steel cables that held the roof in place, while the windscreen was shallow (and made from Perspex, rather than glass). He also positioned the driver’s seat towards the rear of the car following guidance from Enzo Ferrari that sitting towards the rear helps the driver have a better perfection of oversteer.

When the two 212 Exports finally turned up, the engine was removed from one of them to be fitted in the new car. It was based on the original 1.5-litre V12 Ferrari, but now had a capacity of 2.6 litres, and produced 190bhp.One key feature of the Uovo was its extra-large fuel tank, configured with long-distance road races in mind, which allowed the driver to cover more than 300 miles between stops. This was a key factor in doing so well in the 1951 Mille Miglia. It also scoring its breakthrough victory at the 1951 Coppa della Toscanathen a further victory in the 1952 Trento-Bondone, driven by Giulio Cabianca. It subsequently spent a few years racing in North America, before being retired into a private collection.

‘This exceptional car has been something of an undiscovered gem for decades,’ said Salon Privé Concours Chairman Andrew Bagley. ‘It is an icon that has spent its life largely hidden behind closed doors, so I am thrilled that we have secured it to be one of the star draws at Blenheim Palace this August. I know it will be a memorable attraction for our guests, who will relish the opportunity to finally see this wonderfully unique and iconic Ferrari up close.’

Find out more about what to expect at Salon Prive, and book your tickets.

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