This particular Ferrari ‘Uovo’ is one of the most historically significant Ferrari’s on the planet. When this car was built in 1950, Enzo Ferrari’s burgeoning Italian motor company had only existed for three years. There were four Italian brothers renowned for their racing prowess, and together they owned 20 Ferraris. The four Marzotto Brothers, Vittorio, Giannino, Paolo, and Umberto, used their family’s fortune to become famous racers and help Ferrari get off the ground early on.
According to the auction listing on Sotheby’s, the 1950 Ferrari Uovo was the most significant car amongst the Marzotto Brothers Ferrari collection. On the car’s second outing it experienced a crash. This required a complete rebuild of the bodywork, work that can be seen in these photos. After the rebuild, the brothers wanted improved aerodynamics and a decreased weight of the vehicle. The result was the nicknamed the ‘egg’, or ‘Uovo’ in Italian. It was a design unlike anything the world of Italian racing had ever seen.
The inspiring tale of how the 1950 Ferrari 166 MM/212 ‘Uovo’ came into being is unlike any other:
Heavily inspired by Reggiani’s previous aeronautical training, the Uovo took the shape of a jet, minus the wings. The bare Ferrari frame was superimposed over a tubular structure reversed and bonded with Peraluman plates, which created a light but rigid outer shell. One hundred and fifty kilos lighter than similar Ferraris of the time, it was fitted with twin shock absorbers and a regulator for its Formula 2 brakes. The car was fitted with a 156-liter gas tank with a range of over 550 kilometers. The windshield was as upright as possible and was made from crystal. Marzotto was pleasantly surprised to find that the crystal provided excellent visibility, due to not creating “annoying reflections.”
Marzotto’s only wish for his excellent creation was that the hood be 15 cm lower – the raise was due to the factory not delivering the ordered monoposto radiator in time. Conceived and executed by Giannino from start to finish, the Uovo is the epitome of a car envisaged by a racing driver without limitation of imagination and financial means. Curiously, Marzotto took Enzo’s advice to place the driving position as far back as possible, allowing the driver to feel the tail movement at its height – although this did cause severe oversteer.
It debuted at the Giro di Sicilia, still unpainted in bare aluminum and with an enormous aircraft headlight on the left. It led with a 20-kilometer advantage on the second but was forced to withdraw because of a broken O-ring in the differential. It is the period photographs from the start of that year’s Mille Miglia at Brescia that showcase just how groundbreaking the design was. Many photographs of the car from this event exist and in almost every photograph, the unique Ferrari appears to be at the crowd’s center of attention.
You can find a complete history of this exquisite vehicle on the Sotheby’s auction website, along with details of how to place a bid on this exceedingly rare Ferrari.