1952 FERRARI 212 EUROPA COUPE
Coachwork by Pinin Farina
Chassis no. 0277EU
Engine no. 0277EU
2,562cc SOHC V12 Engine
3 Weber 36 DCF Carburetors
170bhp at 6,500rpm
5-Speed Manual Transmission
Independent Front Suspension - Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*The 12th of only 17 212 Europas built
*Successful participant in both the Mille Miglia and Tour Auto
*Original bodywork and matching numbers engine and drivetrain
*Ferrari Classiche Certified
*Documented by Marcel Massini
THE FERRARI 212
Produced in multiple variations between 1951 and 1952, the 212 achieved significant racing successes but more importantly it put some 110 individual chassis in the hands of clients. The 212 was bodied in a bewildering array of styles from lightweight spyders, coupés and berlinettas to stylish and luxurious cabriolets. Carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale contributed most of the 212's coachwork but the 212 also provided the basis for the first Ferrari by Pinin Farina and important designs by both Touring and Ghia.
Ferrari's original V12 designed by Gioacchino Colombo was only 1.5 liters, just 125cc per cylinder. Its displacement was first expanded to 1,995cc in the Ferrari 166, then to 2,341cc in the 1950. A further increase in the cylinder bore from 65mm to 68mm brought the individual cylinders to 212cc and the engine's displacement to 2,562cc. The chassis was Ferrari's proven design consisting of a double oval tube frame with double wishbones at the front suspended by a transverse leaf spring and a carefully located live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs. The brakes were Ferrari's large hydraulically actuated drums. The transmission was mounted directly behind the engine and had five forward speeds.
There were two basic but frequently intermingled distinctions. The Export model, intended for racing on tighter circuits, had a wheelbase of only 2,250mm. The Inter version was typically built on a longer 2,600mm wheelbase chassis in both racing and Gran Turismo guise. Engines were tailored to clients' needs and to the specified coachwork with different tunes and carburation. The engine's elements were refined steadily including introduction during the 212's production of cylinder heads with individual intake ports, bringing the rated power when fitted with three 36mm downdraft Weber carburetors to 170bhp. It was also during the 212's production that the model designation changed, without notice or comment, to 'EU', foreshadowing the 250 Europa that was to follow it.
While often competing against the large displacement Lampredi-engined 340 Mexico, the 212 earned its keep in racing, including first and second place finishes in the 1951 Carrera Panamericana by Piero Taruffi / Luigi Chinetti and Alberto Ascari / Luigi Villoresi. The 212's competitiveness was further demonstrated by the frequency with which their engines were updated by owners, in an effort to keep at bay newer and larger-displacement competitors.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
While a total of 110 examples of the 212 were constructed, only 17 examples carried the "EU" designation for the Europa model that would later introduce to the world the legendary 250 Europa. Produced at the very end of the 212's production run, 0277EU rolled off the line in Maranello on December 17th, 1952 bound for Pinin Farina's factory in Torino. By July of 1953, the finished Grand Tourer, the 12th of 17 212 Europas built, was furnished to its first owner, Ducros di Ales of France. Resplendent in Blue Francese with Blu leather inside, the elegantly outfitted car, then and now, epitomized Gran Turismo motoring with a fierce, competition-proven chassis and drivetrain cloaked in handsome, purposeful, and luxurious closed coachwork. Whether it was to work and back or for 1000 miles in Italy, this was the way to do itenveloped in rich leather trim with a roof on your head, and a three-part panoramic rear window for enhanced visibility.
By the 1970s the car had found its way into the collection of Charles Pozzi, the official Ferrari importer living in Levallois-Perret (Paris), France. Pozzi maintained the car in his collection for the better part of three decades, occasionally displaying it at exclusive events like the Cartier exhibition "Hommage a Ferrari" in Paris in May of 1987. In 1988, 0277EU was entered in the Mille Miglia. Driven by Daniel Marin and co-driver Moncet under the banner of car number 153, the Ferrari performed admirably crossing the finish line in good time and relative comfort given the roof, roll-up windows, and race-bred underpinnings.
The still very original car was sold to Belgian collector Philippe Lancksweert at the turn of the 21st century. Carefully maintained in his care, the 212 embarked on another test of endurance and mettle when it was entered in the Tour Auto in April of 2006 with Mr. Lancksweert at the wheel, François Granet co-driving and the number four gracing the doors. This challenge was also met and successfully completed.
The recipient of a thorough recommissioning completed last year, 0277EU was repainted to a high standard in its original fetching exterior Blu Francese paint color but is now trimmed in beige leathera combination that suits the car very well. A recent test drive in the car by a Bonhams specialist demonstrated the strong acceleration provided by the 2.6-liter V12, combined with the 212s capable handling characteristics, whilst being ensconced in the comfortable confines of its Pinin Farina coachwork.
Complete with a thorough history report by Ferrari expert Marcel Massini that includes copies of many past ownership documents along with a file of pre-refurbishment photos, as well as its complete Ferrari Classiche Certificazione di autenticità, there are few more sophisticated vehicles in which to complete any number of highly desirable and competitive driving events such as the Mille Miglia, Tour Auto, California Mille, Copperstate 1000 or Colorado Grand. After a day of hard yet eminently rewarding driving, you and your co-driver will be among the lucky few with clean faces and unruffled haira guaranteed way to ensure the best seat at the bar after the rally.