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In Tazio 6: we go out for a drive in Portugal’s first Ferrari

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In this, the year Ferrari turned 75, we look back at one of the very early Ferraris. This particular car, a 1950 Ferrari 166 MM barchetta, was in fact the first privately-owned Ferrari in Portugal.

Scuderia Ferrari dates back to 1929, but Enzo Ferrari only started producing cars under his own name in 1947. Enzo’s early cars were race cars. His business plan looked simple: sell race cars to wealthy private owners, and with the profits, the Scuderia Ferrari could go racing as well. Over time, Ferrari started producing strict road cars as well.

Photo Manuel Portugal


But this one follows the early philosophy. When the Ferrari 166 MM barchetta, with beautiful bodywork made by Touring Superleggera, came out, it was intended to be a race car. That, however, was not how the owner of chassis #0056M saw things. Wealthy industrialist José Barbot ordered it in 1950, to drive around town in Portugal. That would be as if someone today would order the Ferrari 499P Hypercar to drive down the Strip in Las Vegas. Possible? Yes. But hardly what the car was built for.

Photo Manuel Portugal

Short-lived love affair

Barbot had the honour of having the first privately-owned Ferrari in Portugal, on June 10th, 1950. Seemingly, he came to the same conclusion that this maybe was not the best car for town cruising. Just two months in, in his ownership, Barbot sold the 166 MM barchetta to Guilherme Guimarães, just as a wealthy and an amateur racer on top of it. Just as Enzo liked them: loaded and willing to take his fabulous cars to their limits in the weekend. In 1951, Guimarães started racing #0056M under the alias ‘G. Seramiug’.

See Also

Photo Automovél Clube de Portugal

Racing in Africa

This was the start of a long career in motorsport for this Ferrari 166 MM barchetta. A career that not only would lead to Africa, but also saw the car upgraded on some occasions. The original 2-litre V12 made way for a more potent 2.7-litre V12 by 1960.

Photo Manuel Portugal

The car is now in the care of the Caramulo museum. Donned with his finest helmet and driving gloves, our man Hugo Reis took to the twisty roads. In Tazio 6, you can read all about the mark this Ferrari made in his heart.

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