The Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta is one of the most sought-after collector's cars of all time. It was the first true Ferrari; only 25 of them were built and only a handful remain in existence – these cars were raced, and raced hard. It was an especially big deal to classic automobile aficionados and Ferrari historians when s/n 0052 M was found after nearly fifty years in obscurity, stored by a collector in Arizona.
As exciting as it was to find a 166, nobody had any idea just how unique this car was until Ferrari expert Marcel Massini got it back to his workshop. Massini brokered the purchase of the car from the late owner's estate after his passing, and was commissioned for a full mechanical rebuild. The exterior was to be left as-is in reverence to the car's extensive racing history, but when Massini started disassembling the engine he found the car was actually fitted with a two-liter Formula 2-spec competition engine, with a gear-driven camshaft instead of the conventional chain drive. When the numbers were found to match, it became apparent that this was a factory prototype, built that way from the start, and not retrofitted somewhere down the line.
166 MM Touring Barchetta Speciale s/n 0052 M has a deep racing history, having competed at Le Mans, the Targa Florio, Mille Miglia and took the chequered flag at the 12 Hours of Paris. The restored machine, which appeared on the September/October '06 cover of Cavallino Magazine, re-emerged to the public at the 2007 Cavalinno Classic, and the guys at Ultimatecarpage.com were there to snap some photos. Check it out.