Ferrari 166 Inter Specs, Price, And Horsepower

The Ferrari 166 Inter stands as a pivotal model in Ferrari’s illustrious history, bridging the gap between dedicated race cars and luxurious road vehicles. Introduced in 1948, it was among the first Ferraris designed for the road, combining high performance with elegant design. In this review, we will look into the 166 Inter’s features, from its pioneering V12 engine to its bespoke coachwork, exploring why this model not only shaped Ferrari’s future directions but also left a lasting mark on the automotive world.

A Complete Ferrari 166 Inter Review

Here we will find out the technical specifications, performance, design, and historical significance of the Ferrari 166 Inter, providing insight into its enduring legacy and appeal.

1. Historical Significance of the Ferrari 166 Inter

The Ferrari 166 Inter is a cornerstone in the storied history of Ferrari, marking the brand’s foray into producing road cars alongside its famous racers. Introduced in 1948, this model was derived from the successful Ferrari 166 MM race cars, and it was designed to offer the same high performance on public roads. As one of Ferrari’s earliest grand tourers, the 166 Inter featured a 2.0-liter V12 engine, designed by the legendary Gioacchino Colombo, which delivered around 110 horsepower and speeds up to 100 mph—impressive figures for that era.

What set the 166 Inter apart was its customization through various renowned Italian coachbuilders like Carrozzeria Touring, Ghia, and Vignale, each providing unique body styles from coupes to cabriolets. This not only showcased Ferrari’s engineering prowess but also Italian craftsmanship, cementing the brand’s reputation for luxury and performance.

Produced in limited quantities, with only about 37 units made, the 166 Inter is highly prized by collectors today. It laid the groundwork for future Ferrari grand tourers and helped establish Ferrari as a symbol of luxury sports car manufacturing.

2. Design and Aesthetics of the 166 Inter

When it comes to design as signature as that of Ferrari, one can’t help but admire the attention to detail that comes through even in its most historic models. The Ferrari 166 Inter is no exception and brings out the best in exterior styling and interior craftsmanship.

Exterior Styling

The Ferrari 166 Inter impresses from the beginning with its grand tourer (GT) car classification. Characterized by a Barchetta body style coupled with a coupé variant, the car strikes a perfect balance between sportiness and elegance.

Confidence meets style in the 166 Inter’s exterior. To begin with, the car’s FR layout gives it an aggressive stance that screams performance. But the aesthetic appeal doesn’t stop there. The vehicle stands on a sizeable wheelbase, measuring between 2420 – 2620mm. This not only enhances the car’s stability but also impacts its visual appeal, giving it a low, grounded profile.

Interior Craftsmanship

The Ferrari 166 Inter doesn’t disappoint when it comes to interior aesthetics. While specific details about the interior of this model can be elusive, given the era of its production, there’s no denying that a rich legacy of Italian craftsmanship unfolds within its confines.

The cabin of Ferrari 166 Inter incorporates an intentional juxtaposition of luxury and minimalistic design. Keeping true to the racing pedigree, the car comes with a simple, uncluttered cockpit focused on functionality. The instrument cluster is straightforward and the driver-centric layout ensures every control is within easy reach.

The charm of the 166 Inter’s interior lies in its simplicity—an homage to a time when driving was more about the feel of the road and less about in-car entertainment. However, it bears the unmistakable mark of Italian high-end craftsmanship, being a predecessor to the future line of GT cars.

3. Ferrari 166 Inter Performance

Here’s a closer look at the performance aspects of the Ferrari 166 Inter:


The Ferrari 166 Inter was equipped with a 2.0-liter V12 engine, an early masterpiece designed by the legendary Gioacchino Colombo. This engine is noteworthy for its advanced engineering characteristics at the time, including a light alloy block and heads, which contributed to its relatively low weight and high efficiency. The configuration featured a single overhead camshaft design and was originally developed for Ferrari’s racing cars, ensuring robust performance in a road-going package.


This 2.0-liter V12 engine produced approximately 110 horsepower. While this might seem modest by today’s standards, it was quite formidable in the late 1940s. This level of power allowed the 166 Inter to deliver spirited performance, making it one of the fastest and most dynamic vehicles of its time.


The power and lightweight design of the Ferrari 166 Inter enabled it to accelerate briskly for its era. Although specific 0-60 mph acceleration times are not well-documented due to the period and the nature of the car, it was known for its quick response and agility, characteristics that were highly praised in automotive circles.

Top Speed

The top speed of the Ferrari 166 Inter was around 100 mph (160 km/h), a significant figure that demonstrated the capabilities of its V12 engine and lightweight construction. This performance made it a standout vehicle, capable of competing on both the streets and the racetrack, and it solidified Ferrari’s reputation for producing fast, reliable, and highly desirable sports cars.

4. Ferrari 166 Inter Price

Today, the Ferrari 166 Inter is highly prized by collectors due to its rarity, historical significance, and the cachet of owning an early Ferrari road car. Prices for a 166 Inter can vary widely based on condition, provenance, and originality. Well-preserved examples with documented histories and matching numbers can fetch substantial sums at auction.

Recent auction results have seen Ferrari 166 Inter models sell for anywhere between $500,000 to over $1 million, depending on their condition and historical importance. Cars with a significant racing history or those bodied by particularly notable coachbuilders command the highest prices.

Investment Potential

The Ferrari 166 Inter is considered an excellent investment in the classic car market. Its significance as one of the first Ferrari road cars, combined with its beautiful design and the prestige of the Ferrari brand, ensures that it remains desirable to collectors. 

5. Technical Specifications of the Ferrari 166 Inter

  • Engine Type: Naturally aspirated V12
  • Engine Position: Front-mounted, longitudinal
  • Displacement: 2.0 liters (1995 cc)
  • Configuration: 60-degree V12
  • Fuel System: Triple Weber 32 DCF carburetors
  • Power Output: Approximately 110-120 horsepower at 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: Not typically specified due to the period
  • Top Speed: Approximately 100 mph (160 km/h)
  • Acceleration: Specific 0-60 mph times are not well-documented but the car was recognized for brisk acceleration for its era.
  • Type: 5-speed manual
  • Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
  • Frame: Tubular steel frame
  • Body Styles: Coupe and cabriolet, with coachwork by various renowned Italian designers such as Carrozzeria Touring, Vignale, and Ghia.
  • Steering: Worm and sector steering gear
  • Front: Independent with unequal-length wishbones, transverse leaf spring, and hydraulic shock absorbers
  • Rear: Live axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and hydraulic shock absorbers
  • Brakes: Drum brakes on all four wheels, typical of the era
  • Wheel Type: Wire-spoke wheels
  • Tire Size: Standard sizes for the period, specifics often varied with different coachbuilder designs
  • Overall Length: Typically around 4,000 mm, but varied slightly with different body styles
  • Wheelbase: 2,420 mm
  • Weight: Approximately 900 kg, varying slightly with different coachbuilder designs

6. Advantages and Disadvantages of the Ferrari 166 Inter

The Ferrari 166 Inter, a beautiful grand tourer from the 1950s, also has its own set of pros and cons to consider:


  • Historical Significance: The 166 Inter played a crucial role in establishing Ferrari’s reputation for building high-performance and stylish cars. Owning a piece of automotive history is a major perk for collectors.
  • Elegant Design: Just like other Ferraris, the 166 Inter’s Pininfarina design is timeless and elegant. It’s sure to turn heads and be a conversation starter wherever you go.
  • Collectible Value: Well-maintained 166 Inters are rare and highly sought-after by collectors, making them potential investments that hold or appreciate in value.
  • Engaging Driving Experience: While not by modern standards, the 166 Inter offered a powerful and exciting driving experience for its time, perfect for cruising scenic roads.
  • Gran Turismo Capabilities: The car was built for grand touring, offering a comfortable cabin for long journeys – ideal for weekend getaways or road rallies.


  • Extremely High Cost: Even by Ferrari standards, the 166 Inter is a very expensive car to buy and maintain. Finding replacement parts and qualified mechanics can be challenging and costly.
  • Rarity: Finding a 166 Inter for sale can be difficult due to its limited production numbers. Be prepared for a lengthy search and potentially higher prices.
  • Demanding Handling: Classic cars like the 166 Inter often have less forgiving handling compared to modern vehicles. It might require more skill and experience from the driver, especially on unfamiliar roads.
  • Limited Safety Features: By today’s standards, the safety features in the 166 Inter are minimal. Anti-lock brakes, airbags, and traction control, common today, were absent back then.
  • Impracticality: As a grand tourer, the 166 Inter likely has limited cargo space and might not be suitable for everyday errands or hauling passengers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Ferrari 166 Inter?

The Ferrari 166 Inter is a grand tourer sports car built by Ferrari in the late 1940s. Known for its high-performance V12 engine and luxurious styling, it represents a significant part of Ferrari’s rich automotive history.

Is the Ferrari 166 Inter a good investment?

Yes, the Ferrari 166 Inter is seen as a rewarding investment due to its value appreciation over time, luxurious design, and historical significance. Its rarity also contributes to its high auction prices and global appeal to collectors.

How does the Ferrari 166 Inter perform?

With its powerful V12 engine and grand tourer class, the Ferrari 166 Inter offers a spirited performance. Its design combines luxury and power, making it renowned in the automotive world.

What are the challenges of owning a Ferrari 166 Inter?

The Ferrari 166 Inter’s rarity means higher maintenance costs. Therefore, owners must be dedicated and prepared to invest not only in acquiring the car but also in its upkeep and preservation.

What succeeded the Ferrari 166 Inter?

The Ferrari 195 Inter succeeded the Ferrari 166 Inter, providing luxury car enthusiasts with an alternative that continued Ferrari’s tradition of producing high-performance and visually appealing automobiles.

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