Ferrari 166 MM Awarded Coveted “Spirit of 1000 Miglia Trofeo” at The Amelia 2022 Concours

The 1000 Miglia returned to the USA for The Amelia 2022 concours in Florida earlier this month. The organization’s Spirit of the 1000 Miglia Trofeo was awarded to the 1949 Ferrari 166 MM (Mille Miglia) owned by Brian and Kimberly Ross of Cortland, Ohio. The trofeo and seven Spirit of 1000 Miglia medallions were presented by Mark Gessler, Amelia concours judge and member of the Registro 1000 Miglia Scientific Committee.

Below are the cars selected for Spirit of 1000 Miglia honors and details provided by the The Amelia concours.

Spirit of 1000 Miglia Trofeo 
1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta (s/n 0006M)
owned by Brian and Kimberly Ross of Cortland, Ohio, USA
and Spirit of 1000 Miglia medallion Nr. 19

Enzo Ferrari originally sold cars only when he needed to pay his racing expenses or the factory wages, accounting for so few cars built during the formative years of the marque. That changed in November 1948 at the Turin Show when Ferrari unveiled its first show cars ever exhibited. On the stand were both the 166 MM and 166 Inter; a pair of racing and road variations, respectively.

Between 1948 and 1951, Ferrari sold some 38 Inters plus around 46 examples of the 166 MM in various body styles created by various coachbuilders. This is the third barchetta built. It is certified by Ferrari Classiche and was driven to 34th overall in the 1949 1000 Miglia by Giovanni Vaccari. It also participated in the 1951 1000 Miglia and other period races.

1952 Fiat SIATA 1500 Spéciale coupé
Owned by Don and Carol Murray of Scottsdale, Arizona USA
Spirit of the 1000 Miglia medallion Nr. 20

This unique alloy-body Italian competition berlinetta was commissioned by Milanese racing driver, Ovido Capelli of Scuderia Ambrosiana and built by Gilco. Gilco was a well-known manufacturer that provided tubular racing chassis to Maserati and Ferrari. According to an expert, this is the first race car designed and built entirely by Gilco.

Roberto Montali purchased it in 1954 and competed in the 1954 and 1955 1000 Miglia races. The car was purchased and brought to the United States by an American service man and registered as a SIATA in 1957. After passing through several owners, the car was purchased by the Don and Carol Murray in 2014. The car participated in the 2017 1000 Miglia and was subsequently restored.

1939 BMW 328 (s/n 85241)
owned by Stéphane Sertang of Belgium
Spirit of the 1000 Miglia medallion Nr. 21

Delivered new to Vorina-Auto in Helsinki, FInland on May 27, 1938. Race history in Scandinavia from the 1930s through the 1950s.  Since 2017 the current Belgian owner has driven and raced it in the 1000 Miglia, Zoute Grand Prix and the Rallye des Légendes.

1953 SIATA 208 CS (s/n CS072)
Stephen and Kim Bruno of Boca Raton, Florida USA
Spirit of the 1000 Miglia medallion Nr. 22

Siata was a Turin, Italy based company that manufactured parts for Fiat and other makes. Founded by Giorgio Ambrosini in 1926, the company began producing cars under its own name after WWII. Typically, the cars used a modified Fiat drivetrain and chassis. The company ran into financial trouble in the mid-1950’s and closed its doors in 1970.

The 208 came about largely because Siata was able to buy 56 of the two-liter Fiat 8-V powertrains, of which the company produced another 114 for its own short-lived and ill-fated sports car, the Otto Vu. This rare car is one of only 18 Siata Coupes powered by the 110hp 1996cc Fiat 8V motor and one of nine bodied by Balbo (the first of the series was completed in early 1952 in time to compete in the Mille-Miglia).

1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Castagna Drophead (s/n 121215037)
Bruce and Rebecca Vanyo of Greenwich, Connecticut USA
Spirit of the 1000 Miglia medallion Nr. 23

Alfa Romeo introduced the 1752cc six-cylinder powered cars designed by Jano in 1929. Adept on both road and racing circuits, the car in top factory racing engine trim, could comfortably exceed 161kph (100 mph). The 6C 1750 is significant for introducing in-house manufactured saloon bodies along with those produced by firms such as Touring, Castagna and Zagato, among others.

Three models were available: the single overhead cam Turismo with 122” wheelbase and a maximum speed of about 70mph, the twin overhead cam Gran Turismo with 108” or 114” wheelbase and a top speed of about 80mph, and the Super Sport – a supercharged Gran Turismo producing 85hp and a top speed of 95mph. Regardless of the version, the car remains today one of the most compelling and desirable of all Alfas. Throughout the production run, Alfa built a total of 2,579 1750’s through 1933.

1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport Berlinetta (s/n 915005)
Owned by the Maine Classic Car Museum of Arundel, Maine USA
Spirit of the 1000 Miglia medallion Nr. 24

Alfa Romeo introduced the 6C 2500 as a replacement for its range-topping 6C 2300 – with the exception of a few changes to the chassis, the main evolution was a larger 6-cylinder engine of 2443cc. The 6C 2500 was built as a Turismo (five-passenger sedan), Sport, and Super Sport versions from 1939-1943. Of the more than 600 produced, this is the first 6C Sport Berlinetta bodied by Carrozzeria Touring and one of five equipped with the 105hp “SS” triple-carb engine.

1955 Porsche 550 Spyder (s/n 550—030)
owned by The Brumos Collection of Jacksonville, Florida USA
Spirit of the 1000 Miglia medallion Nr. 25

Porsche 550-030 was the subject of “Operation Caracas,” the first time Porsche transported a car by plane for an international race, the 1955 Sports Car Grand Prix of Caracas on the 6.17 mile temporary downtown street circuit. Huschke von Hanstein raced the car to eighth place overall and a class victory.

After Caracas, “550-030” sold to Alejando Sosa Izquierdo, the local Porsche dealer. It was displayed in the showroom of Corporation Venezolana Del Motor and, in 1959, sold to Carlos Tai who brought it to the US and raced it twice. Tai sold the car to Juan Montalvo of Florida, who traded it for a Ford truck! In1964 it was purchased by Brumos Porsche’s Bill Bencker.

He was driving to a race when the crankshaft failed. Dan Davis purchased the unrepaired car in 1989. The engine was rebuilt by Vernon Crotts. Tim Herman restored the car in 1991-92. “550-030” has remained in The Brumos Collection in Jacksonville since acquired by Davis.

Porsche 550A (s/n 550-031)
owned by Old Stone Garage of Durham, North Carolina USA
Spirit of the 1000 Miglia medallion Nr. 26

Chassis 550-0031 was sold to Walter Ringgenberg, a Swiss hotelier and friend of Ferry Porsche’s.  Ringgenberg ran the car with journalist Richard von Frankenberg for a series of record runs at Montlhéry race track. The two drivers set no fewer than six world records in the brand-new 550 RS Spyder. They broke the 1500-cc category, 200-mile, three-hour, 500-mile, and six-hour records. The fastest of these records was set with a mesmerizing average speed of 131 mph. 

Ringgenberg sold the 550 to Michael and Pierre May. Michael May was an engineering student with a particular interest in motor racing.  May realized that if he used a device that had the profile of an upside-down aeroplane wing, he could generate downforce pushing the car more firmly onto the track. At the 1956 Nurburgring 1000km, he proved to be four seconds faster than the new 550A Spyder models with his pioneering invention.

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