Ferrari 166MM/212 Export ‘Uovo’ to Star at Salon Privé Concours

Ferrari 166MM/212 Export ‘Uovo’ to Star at Salon Privé Concours

A unique 1950 Ferrari 166MM/212 Export ‘Uovo’ will be a headline attraction at this summer’s Salon Privé Concours, presented by Aviva Private Clients at Blenheim Palace, from 28-29 August. ‘Uovo,’ Italian for ‘egg,’ perfectly describes this futuristic car’s attention-grabbing design. Its presence at the UK’s most exclusive automotive garden party is certain to cause a stir.

Described as one of the most famous Ferraris ever built, the ‘Uovo’ was created by a young and enthusiastic team as an ultra-aerodynamic one-off designed to perform better in high-speed road races such as the Mille Miglia. Racing driver Giannino Marzotto, a two-time Mille Miglia winner, was the driving force behind ‘Uovo.’ He admired Ferrari’s V12 engines but believed improved aerodynamics could unlock even more performance. Together with his brother Vittorio, he ordered two Ferrari 212 Export chassis, delivered with engines and running gear but without bodywork.

Marzotto discussed his ideas with coachbuilder Paolo Fontana and talented young engineer and designer Franco Reggiani. They envisioned a sleek, low, and rounded coupé backed by a very rigid frame to ensure the suspension could work without undue disturbance from rough roads. Reggiani, who had worked in the aeronautical industry during the war, aimed to achieve a lightweight car with a beautiful shape, featuring a steeply reclined windscreen and a rounded, tapered profile. Despite being incredibly difficult to work with, he crafted the bodywork using ‘Peraluman,’ a lightweight aluminium alloy incorporating magnesium. Reggiani designed a low nose, a narrow body to slip through the air, and pronounced and rounded front and rear wings framing a slim cockpit. Uniquely, instead of traditional A-pillars, the car had braided steel cables holding the roof in place, while the windscreen was shallow and made from Perspex, rather than glass. He also positioned the driver’s seat towards the rear, following guidance from Enzo Ferrari that sitting towards the rear helps the driver better perceive oversteer.

Although Marzotto had ordered 212 Export chassis, they were late in arriving, so an existing 166 MM Touring Barchetta chassis was used. When the two 212 Exports finally arrived, the engine from one was fitted into the new car. Based on the original 1.5-litre V12 Ferrari, the engine now had a capacity of 2.6 litres and produced 190bhp.

A key feature of the Uovo was its extra-large fuel tank, designed with long-distance road races in mind, allowing the driver to cover more than 300 miles between stops. This was a key factor in its success in the 1951 Mille Miglia and its breakthrough victory at the 1951 Coppa della Toscana. It then scored a memorable victory in the 1952 Trento-Bondone, driven by Giulio Cabianca, and subsequently spent a few years racing in North America before being retired into a private collection.

This unique car appeared as one of the legends of the marque at Ferrari’s 50th-anniversary celebrations at the Museo Enzo Ferrari in 1997, but ‘Uovo’ remains a concours rarity. The 2024 Salon Privé Concours, presented by Aviva Private Clients, provides a rare opportunity to inspect this car up close.

“This exceptional car has been something of an undiscovered gem for decades,” said Salon Privé Concours Chairman Andrew Bagley. “It is an icon that has spent its life largely hidden behind closed doors, so I am thrilled that we have secured it to be one of the star draws at Blenheim Palace this August. I know it will be a memorable attraction for our guests, who will relish the opportunity to finally see this wonderfully unique and iconic Ferrari up close.”

Entries are almost closed for the 19th edition of the Salon Privé Concours presented by Aviva Private Clients, with entries now only accepted for the following classes:

  • Porsche ‘RS’ Pre-2004
  • Legendary Liveries

Those who would like to enter a car into the 2024 Salon Privé Concours presented by Aviva Private Clients should contact Concours Coordinator Nick Wilkes at +44 (0) 7795 213 361 or

Source: Salon Privé
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