212 Inter Vignale Coupe Offered by Gooding Monterey
Ferrari’s 212 Inter was the evolution of the iconic 166/195 series, with its legendary Colombo V-12 engine displacing over 2.5 liters. When optioned with competition-inspired three Weber carburetors, horsepower was increased to 170, and a five-speed gearbox made the car an exhilarating performer, equally adept at sports car racing or grand touring. Only 80 examples were produced from 1951 to 1952.
A variety of coachbuilders clothed the 212 series, including unique interpretations from Carrozzeria Touring, Ghia, Pininfarina, Stabilimenti Farina, and Vignale, making these early road cars among the most bespoke-built of Enzo Ferrari’s creations. Vignale, in particular, was known for conceiving dramatic designs, with some of the coachbuilder’s finest work being applied to the 212 chassis.
The car offered here, 0221 EL, was delivered new with the three Weber option, along with a shorter 2,500 mm versus 2,600 mm wheelbase, suggesting competition intent. Stunning coachwork was fashioned by Vignale for 0221 EL, complemented by the original two-tone color scheme of Grey over Beige. Ferrari clearly had a special penchant for this particular car, as it was pictured in the factory’s 212 Inter sales brochure, which accompanies 0221 EL at auction.
According to its Certificato d’Origine dated August 6, 1952, and signed by Enzo Ferrari, 0221 EL was sold new to Eugene Lanz of Rohrbach, Switzerland. Accompanying Swiss registration documents show the car being first registered on August 16, 1952. According to a report by Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, at the behest of Mrs. Lanz, 0221 EL was traded in to a Ford dealership toward a limousine later that same month and sold to a new owner.
After a decade of spirited use, the car was acquired by its fourth owner, Walter Messerli, in February 1963. With the intent to restore the car someday, Mr. Messerli placed 0221 EL into long-term indoor storage, which is where Massini first encountered this 212 Inter Coupe. In 1990, he inspected and photographed 0221 EL for his book, Ferrari by Vignale, and then again in March 2003, when he was joined by noted Ferrari restorer Paul Russell. While the car was in a state of disassembly during the latter visit, Massini was able to document it as largely complete.
In mid-2003, a Swiss dealer acquired 0221 EL from Mr. Messerli and passed it to Michael Stollfuss of Bonn, Germany. Mr. Stollfuss commissioned a sensitive restoration of 0221 EL by Mario Linke’s Methusalem Restoration in Cologne, Germany. The restoration was a thoughtful and thorough one, conserving much of the car’s original upholstery, and thus lending the interior a warm and wonderful patina. Delightfully accenting the cabin is a brass and cloisonné plaque from the car’s First Place award at the September 1952 Concorso Internazionale d’Eleganza in Stresa, Italy, as well as a console-mounted Jaeger chronograph.
During the next decade, Mr. Stollfuss enjoyed all the exquisite benefits that ownership of this beautiful car afforded: first appearing at the 2005 AvD-Oldtimer-Grand-Prix at Nürburgring, Germany, then at the 2006 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Como-Cernobbio, Italy, and also participating in the 2006 Mille Miglia in Brescia, Italy. Mr. Stollfuss sold the car in April 2013, and 0221 EL has since resided in careful ownership, returning to Switzerland where it has spent most of its existence.
Extensive factory documentation and expert historical authentication accompany 0221 EL, including its build sheet, its Certificato d’Origine signed by Enzo Ferrari, a factory-issued Certificate of Authenticity, a Ferrari Classiche Red Book, Swiss registration records, and the Marcel Massini report, complete with photographs. A portion of Massini’s photographs consists of a thorough documentation of casting and stamping numbers found on the car’s body, engine block, gearbox, differential, carburetors, timing cover, steering box, hood hinges, bellhousing, and distributor bodies. Significantly, the Ferrari Classiche Red Book confirms that this 212 Inter retains its original chassis, body, and numbers-matching drivetrain.
To this day, this 212 Inter Coupe reflects the authentic aura of a car that had been lost to the world for nearly four decades. Lovingly restored with an eye toward its unique history and originality, 0221 EL stands above its contemporaries as a strikingly elegant example of Ferrari’s early sports cars. As a potential entry into the motoring world’s finest and most exclusive events, this stunning Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe combines performance and panache in a historically evocative package.
Information from Gooding & Company. Images by Mathieu Heurtault.
Gooding & Co. Auction Location: Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, Corner of Stevenson Dr. and Portola Rd.
Viewing: Wednesday, August 14 through Saturday, August 17.
Auction: Friday, August 16 - 5:00 pm • Saturday, August 17 - 11:00 am
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