A Ferrari 166 MM Spider that raced in the Mille Miglia and was featured in The Racers, the movie starring Kirk Douglas, will be among the featured vehicles at RM Sotheby’s Paris sale, scheduled for February 7 at Place Vauban during Retromobile week.
Also announced for the auction docket is an Iso Grifo A3/C formerly owned by the French popular-music star Johnny Hallyday, who recently died. The Ferrari and Iso Grifo are among 84 vehicles on the auction docket.
The 1953 Ferrari 166 MM Spider is the fifth of 13 such cars produced, and it has what RM Sotheby’s calls “unique” coachwork, although the auction house adds that the coachbuilder’s identity remains unknown, though most believe it was Aurelio Lampredi who did the design and that Ferrari actually did the body in house.
The car, serial No. 0272, competed in the 1953 Mille Miglia with its original owner, Alberico Cacciari, with R.H. Bill Mason, father of Pink Floyd drummer and famed Ferrari collector Nick Mason, in the cockpit. The car also was featured in a 1953 Shell-sponsored movie that Bill Mason directed about the race.
The car also took part in the 1954 Mille Miglia, with MGM stuntmen Emmanuel de Graffenried and Giannino Parravicini as driver and co-driver for the filming of The Racers, which was release in 1955.
After that filming, the car was imported to the United States and later took part in both the Monterey Historics and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, among other events.
RM Sotheby’s notes that the car is being offered for sale with its original frame, engine, gearbox, rear axle, steering box and carburetors, as well as most of its original bodywork. RM Sotheby’s has set a pre-auction estimated value of €3.7 million to €4.5 million ($4.538 million to $5.52 million).
“A 166 MM is truly a joy to drive — smooth and with plenty of horsepower on tap channeled through its mighty V12 and five-speed gearbox,” RM Sotheby’s European auction manager Augustin Sabatié-Garat is quoted in the news release.
“The reliability of this particular early Ferrari racer is clearly demonstrated by its long and continuous competition history and incredible originality, further set off by its unique coachwork and Hollywood connection.”
The Iso Grifo is the eighth of only 10 produced for the 1964 model year. Chassis No. B 0209, it was derived from the two-time Le Mans class-winning A3/Cs and has what RM Sotheby’s calls “the very desirable” ‘riveted’ Peiro Drogo bodywork by Carrozzeria Sports Cars.”
“The bodies were made in ‘avional,’ a special alloy of aluminum, copper and magnesium that is very light and elastic but difficult to weld, meaning it needed to be riveted in a fashion similar to an airplane,” the auction house said.
Famed French entertainer Johnny Hallyday was the car’s third owner, acquiring the Iso in the mid-1960s. It then spent 24 years in Prince Pierre Sangusko’s castle, followed by 15 years in Michel Hommell’s Manoir de l’Automobile museum. Last year, it was shown at the Chantilly concours in the “Great Musicians’ Cars” class.
Showing less than 27,000 kilometers on its odometer, the car has a pre-auction estimate of €2.500.000 to €3.000.000 ($3.06 million to $3.68 million).
“The offering of a riveted Iso Grifo A3/C is extraordinarily rare in its own right. Add to that its exceptional French provenance and former ownership by the late, and much-loved, Johnny Hallyday, and you have a once-in-a-generation opportunity for collectors,” Sabatie-Garat said.