In the early years, the lifeblood of Ferrari was competition. Road-going versions of the competition sports cars were built and sold to support Ferrari's racing effort. Ferrari's competition teeth were cut along with their continuous progress of the small-displacement V12, engineered by Gioachino Colombo, the first of which was deployed in 1947 as the 125S. At 1,500 cc the power produced was considered extraordinary for its day and size, and quickly cemented Ferrari's reputation for technical sophistication. A progression of even larger engines were developed based on this original design, with many types attaining impressive racing victories, notably the 166MM and 212 Export.
A larger-displacement, more powerful version of the 212 Export competition model was introduced in 1952, christened the 225 "Sport", following the long time Ferrari practice of naming their models consistent with the displacement of a single cylinder. In the case of the 225S, with its 12 cylinders, that translated to 2.7 litres overall.
All Ferraris of the early era were coachbuilt by various design houses and none were more distinctive than those styled by Vignale. Virtually no two Vignale-bodied Ferraris are precisely alike and the six 225S berlinettas were no exception.
Enzo Ferrari and Alfredo Vignale shared a consuming passion for their work, each insisting upon final approval of even the most seemingly insignificant details. Among the individual designers working at Carrozzeria Vignale was the young stylist Giovanni Michelotti. Michelotti was to enjoy a brilliant career and is regarded today as the father of the trademark ovoid "egg crate"-type Ferrari grille that has signified Ferrari DNA for years to come.
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.
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.
I am not a natural flatterer, I like to think that I "tell it like it is", politely I hope. So when I tell you that I am very impressed by the contents of your website, it is just not English politeness. I of course love the subject matter but you deal with it in an energetic and respectful manner. I am overwhelmed by the research that has gone into compiling the list of coachbuilders/bodybuilders for Europe and North America. I have never heard of the vast majority of them.
Congratulations on an excellent website.
- N. Maltby of Car Scene International
We use Coachbuild.com almost daily as our main reference source!
- Schloss Dyck Classic Days
We use Coachbuild.com all the time for references!
- Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
We are very impressed by your website!
- Bicester Heritage UK
We have 10732 visitors online