The story of the relationship between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari is absolutely fascinating. The two great men of the auto industry had what appeared to be a burgeoning friendship until Ferrari pulled out of a deal to sell his company to Ford in the '60s. The latest car featured in Jay Leno's Garage is a 1952 Ferrari 212 Barchetta that tells the very beginnings of that story.

This Prancing Horse was a gift to Ford from Enzo when the two companies were first thinking about merging, according to the curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum. Ferrari really wanted to show off its best so instead of the 212's normal V12, this car was fitted with the larger 2.7-liter unit from a Ferrari 225. The car has been almost unaltered since then. It still wears its original paint, and it's tires date back to 1954.

The great thing about the Petersen is that unlike a lot of auto museums, the people there actually drive the cars and keep them in working order. Once on the road with Leno behind the wheel, this Ferrari really sings. Unfortunately, he can't open it up too much because the 60-year-old tires really hold things back. Scroll down to watch this amazing piece of automotive history and learn it's possible effect on the styling of the original Ford Thunderbird.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      gslippy
      • 6 Months Ago
      He's crazy to drive it on those tires. It wouldn't be so cool if he wrecked that priceless car because it had authentic tires.
      Chris
      • 6 Months Ago
      A beautiful car with an intoxicating sound. When looking at it from the front, and its overall profile, I can definitely see where the Thunderbird got many of it cues from.
        Watchdog
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Chris
        Ford wanted that prancing horse.......a couple years later, out they come with the Mustang.
      Jaybird248
      • 6 Months Ago
      Not only the body mounted exhausts, but the round taillights seem to have found their way onto the first T-Bird. And yes, the front does look like the AC Ace, which in turn, became the Cobra.
      Gregory Z
      • 6 Months Ago
      Put a new set of tires on it and run the hell out of it
      canhere
      • 6 Months Ago
      Fantastic! My new favorite classic.
      finzenchrome
      • 6 Months Ago
      Design influenced not only the T-bird, but to a greater extent the Cobra IMHO.
      Watchdog
      • 6 Months Ago
      Jay has amassed a stable of automobiles and bikes that make me drool like an idiot. He has such a true love and respect for them that makes him quite deserving of his collection.