Sporting Classics of Monaco

1 May 2010

Lot 269

1952 Ferrari 212/225 Sport Coupé by Vignale

To be auctioned on Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sold for €644.000

  • Chassis no. 0170ET
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Est. 240 bhp, 2,953 cc single overhead-camshaft V-12 engine, five-speed gearbox, front suspension by independent double wishbones with a transverse leaf spring, rear suspension via rigid axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,250 mm (88.6")

A larger displacement, more powerful version of the 212 Export competition model was introduced in 1952 and christened the 225 “Sport.” The 225S is regarded as an interim link between the early Ferraris and the long-lived 250 series and performed with distinction during its prime, with podium and notable finishes in numerous events, including the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and a stunning 1-2-3 achievement at Monaco in 1952. Drivers such as Taruffi, Marzotto, Villoresi, Castelotti and the illustrious “Pagnibon” were the who’s who of sports and GP racers of the early ‘50s, only adding to the 225’s prestige.

All Ferraris of the early era were coachbuilt by various Italian design houses, but none were more distinctive and delicately executed than those by Vignale. This particular Ferrari 225, chassis 0170 ET, is one of a limited few competition berlinettas bodied by Vignale, indicated as such by the even-numbered chassis, reserved by Ferrari for the racing variants. It started life as a 212 and was purchased in 1952 by Dr. Augusto Caraceni, son of Domenico Caraceni, the famous Rome-based tailor who furnished everyone from Humphrey Bogart to Aristotle Onassis. In April, the car was test driven by the factory, undergoing suspension upgrades in the process. On 3rd May, Caraceni entered the XIX Mille Miglia with co-driver Franco Meloni. Although they did not finish the race, Caraceni continued racing with great success throughout the summer, including several hillclimbs and the Coppa Intereuropa in Monza. He won his class in the Aosta-Gran San Bernardino hillclimb and became the Italian hillclimb class champion for 1952.

In early 1953, the car was returned to the factory in Maranello, and its engine was upgraded to 225 specification. Subsequent owner Jan Bos-Eyssen of Holland raced the car through 1956, primarily at Zandvoort. In 1964, the car was sent overseas to the U.S. and remained in the New York/Connecticut area until its owner in 1974 commissioned a restoration by Ferrari expert François Sicard. Thereafter, the car remained in the United States until 1986, and its detailed ownership history is well documented and available to interested bidders.

Over the ensuing years, the car has been enjoyed actively by its owners, both in the U.S. and Europe, and has proven itself a superb entry in shows and races, participating in the Monterey Historics (1984), the Mille Miglia Storica (1990, 1992 and 2002), the Historic Grand Prix in Monaco (1997), the 1992 Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti and the Ennstall Classic in Austria (2005 – 2007). It has been featured in Classic & Sports Car (1987), was pictured in the 1952 Ferrari Yearbook, and has been shown in everything from the Ferrari Concours in Carmel to a period of display at the Monteverdi Auto Museum in Switzerland.

The current engine fitted in 0170 ET is a larger, more powerful three-litre 250 GT V12 engine (type 128B) with internal number 508, which is likely out of a 250 GT Boano. Any Ferrari competition berlinetta is special of course. As one of the rare, alluringly bodied Vignale cars built, this wonderful and rare 225 Sport is dripping with charisma and is eminently suitable for historic circuit racing, for use on the popular 1000-mile touring events held around the world or, perhaps most significantly, a desirable entry for the all-time classic Mille Miglia Storica or Monaco Historic Grand Prix.

FRENCHTEXT

Moteur V-12 arbre à cames en tête, env. 240 ch., 2,953 ccm boîte à cinq rapports, suspension avant indépendante à triangles superposés avec ressort unique transversal à lames, suspension arrière à pont rigide avec deux ressorts à lames longitudinaux, freins hydrauliques à tambours aux quatre roues. Empattement: 2,250 mm (88.6")

Une nouvelle version de la 212 Export de compétition, à cylindrée et puissance plus importante, fut présentée en 1952 et baptisée la 225 “Sport.” La 225S est considérée comme un lien transitoire entre les premiers modèles Ferrari et la longue série des 250, elle obtint de beaux résultats à l’époque avec des podiums et classements remarquables dans nombre de courses, y compris les Mille Miglia, la Targa Florio et un superbe triplé aux trois premières places à Monaco en 1952. Les 225S furent conduites en course par l’élite des pilotes de son époque: Taruffi, Marzotto, Villoresi, Castelotti et l’illustre “Pagnibon” ce qui ne fit qu’ajouter à son prestige.

Toutes les Ferrari des débuts de la marque furent carrossées par diverses maisons Italiennes mais aucunes autres ne furent plus remarquables et de style plus délicat que celles signées Vignale. La 225 présentée ici, châssis 0170 ET, fait partie d’une poignée de berlinettes de compétition carrossées par Vignale, identifiables comme telles par le numéro de châssis pair, alors attribué par Ferrari seulement aux versions course. Elle commença son existence en tant que modèle 212 et fut achetée en 1952 par le Dr. Augusto Caraceni, fils de Domenico Caraceni, le renommé tailleur Romain qui habillait nombre de célébrités comme Humphrey Bogart ou Aristotle Onassis. En Avril, l’auto fut testée par l’usine, reçevant alors des améliorations de suspensions. Le 3 Mai, Caraceni prit part aux XIXémes Mille Miglia avec Franco Meloni comme co-pilote. Bien qu’ils n’aient pas atteint l’arrivée, Caraceni continua à courir et ce avec succès pendant l’été participant à plusieurs courses de côte et à la Coppa Intereuropa à Monza. Il remporta sa catégorie dans la côte Aoste-Grand Saint Bernard et devint champion d’Italie de la montagne pour sa catégorie en 1952.

Début 1953, l’auto retourna à l’usine de Maranello, et son moteur fut mis aux normes 225. Par la suite son nouveau propriétaire Néerlandais Jan Bos-Eyssen courut avec jusqu’à fin 1956, surtout à Zandvoort. En 1964, la voiture fut expédiée vers les Etats Unis et demeura a New York et au Connecticut jusqu’à ce qu’en 1974 son propriétaire la confie à l’expert Ferrari François Sicard –Français résidant au Connecticut- pour une restauration. Après cela l’auto resta aux U.S.A. jusqu’en 1986, et sa succession de propriétaires est bien documentée et peut être consultée par les enchérisseurs potentiels.

Pendant les années qui suivirent elle a eu une vie très active avec ses propriétaires successifs, aux Etats Unis et en Europe, et a participé avec panache aussi bien dans des concours que des courses telles que les Monterey Historics (1984), les Mille Miglia Storica (1990, 1992 et 2002), le Grand Prix Historique de Monaco (1997), la Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti (1992) et le Ennstall Classic en Autriche (2005 – 2007). Elle a eu les honneurs d’un article dans Classic & Sports Car (1987), sa photo dans le “Yearbook” Ferrari 1952 et a été exhibée dans des sites aussi divers que le Concours Ferrari à Carmel (Californie) et le Monteverdi Auto Museum en Suisse.

Le moteur actuellement monté dans 0170 ET est un moteur de plus grande capacité et plus puissant, un trois litres 250 GT V12 (type 128B) avec le numéro interne 508, il provient sans doute d’une 250 GT Boano. Toute berlinette Ferrari de compétition est bien sûr spéciale. Ceci dit celle-ci, cette merveilleuse 225 Sport, l’une des rares et séduisantes carrossées par Vignale, dégage un très fort charisme et est idéale pour la compétition historique en circuit, pour les divers rallyes touristiques de par le monde, elle est surtout une concurrente très désirable pour les grands classiques que sont les Mille Miglia Storica ou le Grand Prix Historique de Monaco.

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