1953 Ferrari 166 MM headlines Retromobile auction at Artcurial

Leading Paris-based auction house Artcurial will offer an outstanding 1953 Ferrari 166 MM as part of its February 7 auction. 

It is being held to coincide with Retromobile - one of France's top vintage and classic car events.

1953 Ferrari 166 MM
The Ferrari 166 was one of the first models produced using Enzo Ferrari's name, as the former Alfa Romeo driver branched out to form his own marque

The 1953 166 MM meets all the specifications of a great collector car, combining a racing history with superb provenance and rarity.

Attractively valued at $4.8m-5.7m, it is sure to sell well, with classic Ferrari models that possess a strong racing pedigree riding high on a wave of success created by the record $52m sale of a Ferrari 250 GTO in 2013.

The Ferrari 166 was one of the first models to carry Enzo Ferrari's now-illustrious name. First produced in 1948, it went on to win two Mille Miglia races, as well as the 1949 Le Mans 24 Hour. Production was very limited: there were only 70 examples ever built, including the present example, which is one of just 13 produced in 1953.

The car at auction - chassis 166 MM/53 No. 0300 M - was built under workshop foreman Amos Franchini, and then sent to Turin to receive its original Berlinetta body. In 1954, having participated in several high-profile events, it was given an Oblin Barchetta body, which it retains today.

Chassis 166 MM/53 No. 0300 M is unusual in that it has a double racing career: one with Berlinetta coachwork, and one with the current Oblin Barchetta body

The Barchetta-bodied 166 has since enjoyed a long, prosperous racing career. It will be sold at auction in perfect, restored condition, with its original chassis, engine, gearbox and differential. Also included is the original rapid lift jack, fabric tool bag and an original wooden box of tools, which Artcurial describes as "an almost unique collector's item, worth a good ten thousand euros on its own."

With top 1950s/1960s racing models from Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Mercedes all starring, the Retromobile sale will surely attract some of the world's top collectors. However, there are also offerings for mid-level buyers, with plenty of superb vintage classics, including a selection of characterful micro-cars.

Also on February 7, Artcurial will offer a selection of automobilia, as well as a sale dedicated to Alfa Romeo on February 8.

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