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1950 Vintage Ferrari Uovo Heads for Auction at $5 Million
In the early days, if you wanted to mod a Ferrari, you could ask the official company, or the retailers to get the job done. From a visual perspective, they’d deliver the unexpected; a drool worthy body work with so-called “custom parts” etc. However, performance wise, it’d be a complete disaster. The parts would be too damn heavy. Especially if you were to participate in the race, you’d be held back by the sheer downforce.
The Tale of Count Marzotto’s 1950 Ferrari 166 MM/212 Uovo
Uovo is roughly dubbed as “Egg” in Italian language, but the professionals know it better otherwise. This vintage roadster may look like an egg, but back in its days, it took part in over a dozen or more races. It was the car worth its riders’ pride and ego. The engine would roar like a chainsaw and purr like a cat, cautioning rest of the rivals of its unrelenting performance.
Count Giannino Marzotto, a young textile heir (*with oodles of money of course) commissioned the 1950 Ferrari 166 MM/212 Uovo job to coachbuilder: Paolo Fontana. Yep, in the good old days, you could quite possibly commission an expensive Ferrari overhaul project to coachbuilders, and these sons of guns would do a remarkable job as compared to modern modders and “professional” car riggers.
‘Carrozzeria Fontana Co.’ performance was already preceded by its impeccable reputation, and they certainly wanted to make an impression on Count Marzotto. One special reason for doing so was that The Marzottos were a rich and powerful family. They were an important asset to Ferrari too because each season, the Marzotto brothers would buy multiple ‘prancing ponies’ from the official car dealership.
Giannino Marzotto was also an avid racer, so when he set his eyes on the Ferrari Uovo, he obviously took it to the tracks. They say that he only took part in two races; both of them were not what the count expected. The 1950 Ferrari 166 MM/212 Uovo’s clutch gave away in the first race, and the second race was a horrible disaster because of the accident.
Meet the Jet Without Wings – Ferrari Uovo Goes Under the Knife
Thanks to Paolo Fontana, Ferrari Uovo regained its magnificent décor due to a blend of lightweight aluminum + copper alloy body, and additional modifications. The Marzotto brothers repeatedly got in touch with the coachbuilders to help improve the Uovo’s outstanding performance. The brothers and the modders proudly called it the jet without wings.
The Egg shape was a tangible part of the entire modification project. They wanted maximum aerodynamics and a perfect visual package at the same time. Eventually, Ferrari Uovo became known for its competitive performance in Europe and North America. More so, the car has been under single ownership for 30 years. It was exhibited at Enzo Ferrari expos, but other than that, rest of its public appearances were seldom.
Count Giannino won two races in the ‘Mille Miglia’ tournament; it was feat of expertise and a remarkable affinity to tame the 1950 Ferrari Uovo exhilarating output. The Marzotto family rose to fame, and so did their demand for Ferraris. The inseparable duo earned its name in the racing circle because of its success on the race track.
Usually a rich family heir comes with an unshakable condescending image of a spoiled brat, but that wasn’t the case with Giannino Marzotto reputation. He, alongside his brothers, was regarded as the gentleman racer in the golden racing era.
1950 Ferrari 166 MM/212 Uovo Specs Sheet
You can pull off a detailed 1950 Ferrari 166 MM/212 Uovo specs sheet from the internet. For quick reference, I am stating some of the main highlights below.
- Engine: 024M Category
- Configuration: 60⁰ V12 Engine
- Power & Fuel Consumption: 170 B.H.P – (1 Liter Per 73 B.H.P)
- Displacement: Approx. 2,341 CC
- Valvetrain: 2 Valves/ SOHC
Ferrari Uovo Additional Drivetrain Configuration Specs
- Duo-Aluminum Panels
- Body: Copper + Steel Frame with Tubular Structure
- Front Hydraulic Brakes with Servo Assisted Drums
- Drive Orientation: Rear Wheel Drive
- Gear Transmission – High Speed 5 Gears Ratio
Additionally, the Uovo’s windshield was made from crystal glass. They tried to position it as upright as possible within the angled chassis structure. In his own words, Count Giannino Marzotto recalls the experience of driving the Ferrari L’ Uovo as, “I felt very comfortable in my Uovo – led by the three carburetors with 186 Bhp, whose sheer speed appeared competitive with that of the 4.1 Liter Ferrari.” He continued, “Although the torque and acceleration could be lower, but the handling was much better. This was a privilege as a driver!”
Some say that Uovo was forced to an early retirement – they based the worn out tires and the tire mechanism as a reason for retirement. Experts at the ‘Maranello’ dealership suggested that Ferrari Uovo 1950 could have emerged for a second round, had they performed maintenance and additional work. A lot of people wished for this spectacular ride to keep racing under the family name, but sadly, all great things come to an end eventually.
All Is Not Lost for the Count Marzotto’s Ferrari 166 MM/212 Uovo
At a base price of $5 Million, I’d say that things are still looking bright for the car’s potential future owner. Auctioneers speculate that it will be sold somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 Million during the upcoming RM Sotheby’s auction event in August 2017. But that is yet to be seen.
If you are privileged and rich enough to participate in the auction, you can do so in person. Online auction bidding and entrance is not permitted through third party websites. If it is entirely unavoidable, you can place a volunteer bid at the Sotheby’s Auction head office through a phone call and an early deposit. In addition, you also need to fill extra documentation 48 hours prior to your auction.
Above all, best of luck and may the odds forever be in your favor!