A touch of Italy... 1949 Ferrari stars in RM's Arizona classic cars auction

As we've already reported, the upcoming January RM Auction in Arizona will feature an invasion of classic British cars.

But RM has upped the stakes even further with the announcement that a consignment of 11 important Ferraris will join them in the sale, set to take place on January 20-21. And the highlight will be a rare, race-bred 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta.

Ferrari expert and 166 MM owner David Seielstad has called it "the first beautiful Ferrari and fundamental to the brand's success." He continues: "its styling was unlike anything before and has influenced the design of vehicles from the AC Bristol to the latest Ferrari California."

Originally commissioned for the 1949 Paris Motor Show, for which it was painted in the Argentinean racing colours of yellow and blue, the car is considered one of the rarest and most historic early Ferraris, having been owned and raced by many notable individuals in the Ferrari world.

The 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta, one of just
25 ever built

The 10th of just 25 examples featuring striking "Barchetta" coachwork from Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, it made its racing debut at the 1950 Mar del Plata in Argentina, finishing an impressive first overall. It was also raced in period in the 1951 Mille Miglia, where it was driven by well-known female driver Aprile Palmer, who purchased the car shortly afterwards.

"Over the years RM has earned the privilege of offering more important and historic Ferraris than any other auction house. We are thrilled to present another great series of Ferraris at our Arizona sale in January, including the rare 166MM, s/n 0024 M, arguably one of the most meticulously documented Ferraris we have ever had the pleasure of offering," said Rob Myers, Chairman and Founder RM Auctions.

A pure four-wheeled work of art, the Ferrari should attract attention from serious car collectors and investors alike when it heads to Arizona in January. And with these sporty Italian numbers joining the British classics in the sale, it could turn out to be truly international affair.


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