RM Offers Rare Barchetta at Amelia Island Sale
This sensational early 166 MM Barchetta, s/n 0058 M, possesses all of the critical attributes a collector would want in an even-numbered sports-racing Ferrari: rarity, period racing history in Italy and the United States, an extremely high level of originality, and a highly decorated show career in more recent decades. Chassis 0058 M is the 27th of 32 166 MM examples built, and the 23rd of 25 Touring barchettas. As demonstrated by original factory build sheets, the chassis was equipped with Rudge wheel hubs and Houdaille shock absorbers, while the Colombo V-12 was originally fitted with a single Weber 36 DCF/1 carburetor.
With a certificate of origin issued on 1 June 1950, the 166 was delivered to Touring of Milan for mounting of the open coachwork. Touring body number 3452 was then finished in traditional rosso corsa and appointed with a lusso (luxury) interior trimmed with beige leather.
0058 M was delivered on 5 June to its first owner of record, Marco Dallorso in Genoa. A short time later, this 166 MM was given as a gift to up-and-coming racing driver Eugenio Castelotti, of Milan, who registered the car as MI 166875. On 28 April 1951, Castellotti entered the Ferrari in the Mille Miglia as #340, and he and co-driver Giuseppe Rota managed to finish the grueling contest while capturing 6th in class.
Hoping to coax a better performance out of the 166, Castellotti returned the barchetta to the factory in Maranello, and the engine was upgraded with a competition manifold featuring triple Weber carburetors fed by individual ram-horn air cleaners. The gearbox was converted to an offset lever-type shifter, and adjustments were made to the fuel log and the distributor boots. Externally, the original single-scoop hood was replaced with an unvented bonnet.
On 3 June, Castellotti was joined by Sandro Matranga at the Coppa della Toscana, where, as #1248, the upgraded MM finished 8th overall and 3rd in class. Two weeks later, the 166 was entered as #30 at the Circuito Internacional do Porto in Portugal, and Castellotti roared to a 7th-overall finish, again 3rd in class. On 15 July, the barchetta experienced a minor setback when it failed to complete the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti, where Castellotti and Annibale Broglia were entered as #102. The Ferrari bounced back on 5 August, however, when Castellotti finished 3rd in class at the Giro delle Calabrie.
0058 M’s debut in the 1952 season was unremarkable, with another early retirement occurring at the Prix de Monte Carlo in Monaco on 1 June. On 28 September at the Gran Premio di Bari, while entered as #89, the 166 finished 7th overall and 2nd in class, this time with Sergio Mantovani at the wheel.
The 166 MM returned to the Mille Miglia on 25 April 1953, entered as #455, but Ambrogio Arosio and Italo Di Giuseppe were unable to finish the race. On 14 June, Arosio retired early after suffering a minor accident at the VII Varese-Campo dei Fiori Hillclimb. After undergoing repairs, the Ferrari was exported to the United States later in 1953, destined for Charles Rezzaghi’s famous Mille Miglia Motors in San Francisco. Before the year had ended, 0058 M was sold to Dr. Raymond Craycroft of Berkeley, California.
Dr. Craycroft raced the 166 MM locally, most notably in the Pebble Beach Road Races on 10 April, placing 2nd in the novice class as depicted in the Pebble Beach program.
Chassis 0058 M was acquired in 1966 by Larry Taylor of San Francisco, and 11 years later the fine car was sold to well-known Ferrari expert and accomplished concours judge Ed Gilbertson, who went on to present the car at a string of FCA events to great acclaim. In August 1979, Gilbertson exhibited the car at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it won the Hans Tanner Trophy, named for one of the marque’s most respected authors and historians. The Gilbertsons enjoyed the car in many rallies and tours, plus entering it in several important shows.
In December 1998, Gilbertson sold the Ferrari to the late Lorenzo Zambrano of Monterrey, Mexico, the well-known collector and frequent Pebble Beach exhibitor. He displayed the 166 at Pebble in August 1999, taking home 2nd in class. At the Cavallino Classic in January 2000, the Ferrari garnered a Platinum Award and the Excellence Cup. Zambrano further displayed 0058 M at the FCA National Meet in Colorado Springs in July 2000, where it won another Platinum Award, as well as the Ferrari Legend Award and the Luigi Chinetti Award. A month later the car appeared at the Vintage Ferrari Concours at Concorso Italiano, winning yet another Platinum Award and Best in Show.
0058 M continued its exhibition run in May 2001 at the FCA Annual Meet in Dallas, Texas, and at the Cavallino Classic in January 2007, where it won the 166 Cup and another Platinum Award. In June 2007, Mr. Zambrano sourced desirable authentication from the factory with a Ferrari Classiche Red Book that confirms the presence of all the original matching-numbers components. Less than a week later, the barchetta took home 2nd in class at the Ferrari 60th Anniversary Concours d’Elegance held in Maranello. Mr. Zambrano’s award-winning run concluded with a final appearance at Pebble Beach in August 2009.
In January 2010, chassis 0058 M was acquired by Manny Del Arroz of Diablo, California, and he sold it less than a year later to the current owner, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most respected collectors. Since entering his care, the 166 participated in the “Ferraris in the Pebble Beach Road Races” event held in mid-August 2015, as well as the Pebble Beach Concours that soon followed. In August 2016, the Ferrari completed its tour of the major Monterey events with display at the Quail Motorsports Gathering in Carmel Valley.
This two-time Mille Miglia veteran is incredibly well documented, with an extensive file, including copies of the original factory build sheets, period ACI PRA registrations, factory correspondence, period racing photographs, and FCA judging sheets. An honest and original example of the legendary 166 MM Touring Barchetta, this Ferrari offers invitation to the world’s most discriminating concours and the finest driving events the world over.
The complete digital catalogue for RM Sotheby’s traditional Amelia Island day sale, 11 March, is available here: http://bit.ly/2lixvjO.
For further information, please call +1 519 352 4575 or visit www.rmsothebys.com.
Source: Photos from Patrick Ernzen, courtesy RM Sotheby’s.