Enzo Ferrari's first-ever road car sells tomorrow

Many Ferraris are, of course, historically important - but few of are greater significance than Enzo "the Commendatore" Ferrari's first-ever car built for road use: the 1949 Ferrari Tipo 166/195 Inter Cabriolet.

Ferrari had begun planning his new car during the war, and commissioned Gioacchino Colombo to design a small-capacity V12 engine for it in 1946.

The original 1.5 litre Tipo 125 made its race debut in 1947 and, towards the end of the year, the first Tipo 166 (2.0 litre) appeared.

While the race 166 could be tuned-up to 150bhp, the Inter road car's single twin-choke Weber carburetor produced 100bhp, transmitted via an innovative five-speed gearbox.

The 166's other features include twin-tube chassis with transverse leaf and double wishbone front suspension, a semi-elliptically sprung live rear axle located by torsional stabilising bars, and hydraulic shock absorbers fitted all round.

The 1949 Ferrari Tipo 166/195 Inter Cabriolet

By the end of 1949, the 166 had become a dominant force in international sports racing, claiming victories in three of the world's most prestigious events: the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and Le Mans 24-Hour Race.

Overall, fewer than 40 Tip 166 were made. This example, 0051S, was completed in July 1950 and built with right-hand-drive (as this was considered safer for when driving across the then-perilous Alps).

Its bodywork was contributed by several of Italy's foremost carrozzeria, handled mostly by Touring and Vignale - the latter originally building 0051S as a closed coupé.

The Tipo 166 Inter will be one of a number of automobiles consigned from the garages of great collectors, and will auction with an estimate of €1m-1.2m.

Elsewhere, an early 1989 Ferrari F40 formerly owned by Michel Neugarten is also for sale. Raced in the Italian GT championship and the BPR series, it carries an estimate of €230,000-280,000.

Bonhams' cars will auction at the Les Grandes Marques à Monaco, celebrating its 21st consecutive year, at the Musée des Voitures du Prince

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