The Ferrari 166 Sport Corsa was the first car to wear the Ferrari badge.
The Ferrari 166 Sport Corsa bodywork was not considered a standout in the crowd.
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The road to making his first cars was not an easy one for Enzo Ferrari. World War II had devastated Italy’s infrastructure, material shortages were the rule, and political turmoil kept much of the country on edge.

Still, after securing the services of engineer Gioachino Colombo in the summer of 1945, Ferrari used his charisma and contacts to get the materials he needed and kept his cadre of men focused on the task of automaking. Haunting the team working on that first car were poorly machined components from suppliers, ignition problems, and myriad other maladies.

“I had to be ruthless in order to pull the 125 through its childhood illnesses, which were neither few, nor insignificant,” wrote Giuseppe Busso in Ferrari Tipo 166. Busso was a talented technician who took over briefly for Colombo in early 1946.

Ferrari’s first 125 ran under its own power on March 12, 1947. In early May, it raced in Piacenza, where it did not finish. Two weeks later in Rome, Franco Cortese’s win started the legend that became Ferrari.

The Ferrari 125 S model was one of the earliest Ferraris.
The Ferrari 125 S model was one of the earliest Ferraris.

These first Ferraris were mostly homely looking machines with crude bodywork formed into a torpedo-shaped fuselage with cycle fenders. Exceptions included the very first 125 and its two-seat roadster body, and the 1948 Mille Miglia winning Allemano coupe.

The 125 designation represented the swept volume in cubic centimeters of one cylinder of the all-aluminum V-12. Only the earliest Ferraris were 125s. Enzo’s men quickly increased bore and stroke to create the 159. By early 1948, engine capacity grew to 2.0-liters so the V-12 could be used in Formula 2; the resulting 166 Sport won the Mille Miglia and numerous other races.

Even though victories were mounting, Ferrari’s cars were just faces in the crowd. They looked much like everyone else’s machines. It wouldn’t be until the 166 MM “Barchetta” that Ferrari gained an identity.

Learn about these other great Ferrari Sports Racing Cars:

166 Sport Corsa
250 GT Tour de France
330 P4
166 MM Racecar
335 S
350 Can Am
225 S
250 Testa Rossa
212 E Montagna
340 Mexico
250 GT Spyder California
512 S
250 MM
250 GT SWB Berlinetta
312 PB
375 MM Racecar
196 SP
365 GTB/4 Competition
500 Mondial
250 GTO
512 BB LM
750 Monza
330 LMB
F40 LM
121 LM
250 P
333 SP
410 S
250 LM
575 GTC
500 TRC
275 GTB/C
360 GT
290 MM
Dino 206 S
Enzo FXX

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