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  Article Image gallery (14) 0070M Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Introduced in:1951
Numbers built:One Off
Designed by:Giovanni Michelotti for Vignale
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:September 06, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionLaunched in 1947, Ferrari's very first sports car was powered by a diminutive V12 engine that displaced less than 1500 cc. This engine was known as the 'short block' or 'Colombo' after its designer Gioachino Colombo as opposed to the much larger 'long block' or 'Lampredi' also used during Ferrari's formative years. During the subsequent years, the V12 was gradually enlarged until the displacement had just about doubled by 1952. In this guise, the Colombo engine would serve Ferrari for over a decade, most famously in the 250 GT road and racing cars.

Replacing the 166 MM and the 195 S, the fourth evolution of Ferrari sports racer came in 1951. The new car was dubbed the 212 with the exception of the very first example produced, which was officially referred to as the 212 MM. As with almost all early Ferraris, the three digits in the type name referred to the unitary displacement of the engine. This gave a total displacement of just under 2.6 litre courtesy of a 3mm larger bore at 68mm. Alongside the competition oriented Export model, Ferrari also offered a detuned version of the 2.6 litre V12 in the 'Inter' road car, which also featured a longer wheelbase chassis.

Ironically, it was Aurelio Lampredi, who was responsible for developing the short block V12 as Colombo had by then parted ways with Ferrari. Retaining the same exterior dimensions of the aluminium block and head, Lampredi enlarged the engine by increasing the bore to 68mm from the 65mm in the 195 S and 60mm used for the 166 MM. The V12 featured a single overhead camshaft driven by a chain from the front of the engine. In competition trim, the engine was fitted with three Weber carburettors and high compression heads and produced in excess of 150 bhp.

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  Article Image gallery (14) 0070M Specifications