Ferrari 166 MM
A pleasant surprise was waiting for me at François’ shop today. A Ferrari 166 MM was getting ready for a show. These beautiful cars were built from the late 40s until the early 50s, and some examples have a rich racing history. François told me this car was restored by fellow restorer Bob Smith in Texas several years ago, and she still looks great.
The carburetor needed some servicing, and some of the engine components needed refinishing. We changed all the fluids to ready this car for road duty.
I had a chance to take a closer look at the craftsmanship of this car, and was really impressed with the work of Carrozzeria Touring that built this car almost 60 years ago. The details and finish work are definitely a step above what I’ve seen with cars built by Pininfarina and Scaglietti. I’m sure improvements were made in subsequent restorations, but the original construction and forms can still be seen.
Even the interior trim panels were beautifully formed complex curves, not an easy thing to make especially when left unpainted. Look at the nice rolled aluminum finishing strip at the top of the photo that trims out the leather cap. You won’t find handmade details like this in any production cars today.
Looking under the car showed even the rear inner fender panel was a sweeping piece of aluminum. This type of detail may have been one of Touring’s downfalls as the other Italian coach builders adopted techniques that sped up production and simplified construction.
Although this interior was covered in leather and wool carpets and considered luxurious for this model, the racing versions had even less. There were no wipers, heater, nor turn signals on either car!
The intake, carb, and air box were soon re-installed while I greased the suspension, and bled the brakes. This strange looking air box fits snugly inside the air scoop in the hood.
With the car back on the ground, François was ready to take this Barchetta for a test drive. It was only about 40° F., so I froze my butt off in the passenger seat! Without goggles, the biting wind at 50 mph was making my eyes water and my face freeze, but I couldn’t have had a better time. Forza!
Just a reminder, I’m looking for a new Vintage Ferrari Project. If you have, or know of a restoration project, please let me know. It would be great to restore another car on this website! My E-mail.
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