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  Ferrari 166 MM Fontana Uovo Coupe

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1951
Numbers built:1
Designed by:Franco Reggiani for Fontana
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:April 14, 2020
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAs soon as the two 212 Exports arrived at the Fontana shop, one was fitted with cycle-fender body, while the sister car had its engine removed. Although still based on the original 1.5-litre V12 of the first Ferraris, this engine was now further enlarged to displace 2.6 litres. It produced just shy of 160 bhp with a single Weber carburettor and close to 190 bhp when fitted with the triple carburettor setup it received a little while later. As it was so similar to the earlier engines, there were no issues mounting it in the existing 166 MM chassis. Amazingly, the little Ferrari Coupe tipped the scales at just 800 kg.

Once the two Fontana bodied machines were ready, the Marzottos brought them to Maranello. Hoping for a stamp of approval, they clearly did not know Enzo Ferrari as well as they thought they did. It was hardly a surprise that Enzo was none too pleased by a couple of spoiled young brats trying to build a better Ferrari than he could. Trying to stay polite, as these were some of his best customers, Enzo could not resist to point out that he felt the bodywork was not rigid enough to endure the strains of serious racing.

The two cars debuted in April of 1951 at the Giro di Sicilia. Vittorio Marzotto drove the Spider to victory, while Giannino was forced to retire the Coupe due to a clutch failure. The two cars had caused quite a stir, and the Coupe was quickly nicknamed the 'Uovo' or egg for its unusual shape. Having taken an early lead over all the factory Ferraris, Giannino sadly had to retire from the race with a flat tyre. Later in the year he had more luck, winning the Coppa della Toscana outright. Vittorio was behind the wheel when the Uovo finished second overall in the Circuito Internacional do Porto.

With the brothers stepping up to larger engined cars for the 1952 season, the Uovo was fielded by Scuderia Marzotto for other gentleman drivers that year. It had also been fitted with a Formula 2 derived V12 engine as the 212 Export engine used in 1951 was fitted back into the chassis it had come from. The best result in 1952 was a win in the Trento-Bondone with Giulio Cabianca behind the wheel. Fitted with a 212 Inter engine, it was then shipped to North America and sold on. Its final contemporary outings came in the hands of Ignacio Lozano, who raced the car on the American west coast from 1954 through to 1956.

Although restored once during the 1980s, the unique 'Uovo' has survived a lot longer than Enzo Ferrari had thought it would. It remains as one of the most unusual Ferraris of the era and an exquisite act of defiance that came achingly close to win the biggest race in Italy.

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  Article Image gallery (26) 024MB Specifications