Two 1951 Ferrari 212 Exports competed in the 1951 Carrera Panamericana Race. it was the first year the rules allowed 4-passenger vehicles. The Ferraris finished first and second. The two Ferraris required little maintenance over the near 2,000-mile race.
The 1951 Ferrari 212 Export is powered by a 2,562-cc (2.56-liter) water-cooled, single-overhead cam, V12 engine developing 150 horsepower coupled to a five-speed manual transmission. The 2,530-pound vehicle was fitted with four-wheel drum brakes and top speed is listed at 118 mph.
The car seen here today is the 0161EL, which finished second in 1951. A great deal of mystery surrounds the two 1951 Ferraris, and the whereabouts of the winning Ferrari, 0171 EL, is still unknown.
The local roads for the Carrera Panamericana race consisted of crushed volcanic rock. Tire wear was a major problem for the Ferraris and holes were cut into the rear fender wells to monitor tire conditions. These holes are seen in the car here today. The 0160 EL was restored by Steve Tillack, Redondo Beach, CA, who did extensive research on both Ferraris and even with the aid of Ferrari's own records, was unable to conclude the fate of the 0171 EL, the car that finished first.
Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi drove this particular Ferrari 212 Inter Vignale Coupe (serial number 0161 EL) to a second overall finish in the 1951 Carrera Panamerica in Mexico. The following year it finished seventh overall in the same event driven by a pair of privateers. It is powered by a 2.6-liter V-12 engine delivering up to 150 horsepower. The 212 Inter series of cars were built between late 1950 and 1953 and they sported a great variety of body styles. These varied significantly, even within the examples produced by a single coachbuilder, notably those from the Vignale design studio. A total of 26 Vignale Coupes were built on the 212 Inter chassis.Also photographed at :