Sunday 7 July 2024

Unique 1950 Ferrari 166MM/212 Export ‘Uovo’ to star in the 2024 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, 28-29 August.

‘Uovo’ is Italian for ‘egg’, perfectly describing this futuristic car’s attention-grabbing design and presence at the UK’s most exclusive automotive garden party, which will cause a stir.

Described as one of the most famous Ferraris ever built, it 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 was certain that improved aerodynamics could unlock even more performance.

So, with his brother Vittorio, he ordered two Ferrari 212 Export chassis to be delivered with engines and running gear but without bodywork.

He discussed his ideas with coachbuilder Paolo Fontana plus talented young engineer and designer Franco Reggiani.

The idea for a sleek, low and rounded coupé, backed up by a very rigid frame to ensure the suspension could work without undue disturbance from rough roads, started to take shape.

Reggiani, who had worked in the aeronautical industry during the war, was eager to achieve a lightweight car of a beautiful shape, with 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 that held 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 of the car, following guidance from Enzo Ferrari, saying that sitting towards the rear helps the driver have a better perfection of oversteer.

Although Marzotto had ordered 212 Export chassis, they were late arriving, so they used an existing 166 MM Touring Barchetta chassis.

When the two 212 Exports finally arrived, the engine was removed from one of them to be fitted in the new car.

It was based on the original 1.5-litre V12 Ferrari but now had a capacity of 2.6 litres and produced 190bhp.

A vital feature of the Uovo was its extra-large fuel tank, configured for long-distance road races, which allowed the driver to cover more than 300 miles between stops.

This was a critical factor in the Uovo's 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.

It subsequently spent a few years racing in North America before being retired into a private collection.

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

Salon Privé Concours Chairman Andrew Bagley said:

“This exceptional car has been something of an undiscovered gem for decades.

“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 seeing 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 only now 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 on +44 (0) 7795 213 361 or on:

For all event information, please visit 
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