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Sold for US$ 1,210,000 Including Commission
Bonhams Auction, Monterey, CA. 2014
Chassis no. 0008
The Ex-Chris Amon, Brian Redman, 'Tino' Brambilla, Graeme Lawrence, Back-to-back Tasman Championship-winning
In addition to campaigning its multiple World Championship-winning Grand Prix cars throughout the 1950s into the mid-1960s, Ferrari also dabbled consistently with the subsidiary Formula 2 class. This category in those years provided an arena in which developing young drivers could match their prowess against the established Grand Prix stars.
From 1964-66 Formula 2 regulations demanded production-based engines of no more than 1-litre capacity. The FIA then announced an upgrade to take effect in 1967, increasing Formula 2 engine size to 1.6-litres that provided a better stepping-stone class just below full 3-litre Formula 1. Ferrari had not participated in the 1-litre category, and when the marque's new Formula 2 Dino 166 design made its public debut at the Turin Salone dell'Automobile exhibition in February 1967, it had been eagerly-awaited.
The car was an immediate sensation, a gorgeous scaled-down version of Ferrari's always admired Formula 1 monoposti, most particularly of the 'Aero' monocoque 1½-litre designs of 1964-65, with its latest 65-degree V6 engine slung in a tubular sub-frame at the rear. The engine had bore and stroke dimensions of 86mm x 45.8mm, displacing 1596.3cc. One-piece cam covers with cast-on 'Dino' lettering – derived from the hand-written signature of Mr Ferrari's late only legitimate son, Alfredo (Alfredino – 'Dino') – housed twin chain-driven overhead camshafts to each cylinder bank.
They actuated three valves per cylinder (two inlets and one exhaust) set in Heron-type cylinder heads. The power unit used Lucas fuel injection and Marelli Magnetti transistorized twin-plug ignition. It was rated initially at 200bhp, produced at an ear-splitting 10,000rpm. Ferrari could argue that it was production based since the Dino V6 engine series – originated for racing in 1957-58, had been spun off into the 2-litre Dino 206 street Coupe just like the example offered in today's sale.
This Formula 2 Ferrari Dino 166 made its delayed racing debut on July 9 that year, when British driver Jonathan Williams made his single-seater Ferrari debut at the French circuit of Rouen-les-Essarts. The F2 Ferrari Dino clearly handled and braked well, but proved under-powered against 4-cylinder British opposition, engined by Cosworth-Ford. Although the car would then often be seen testing at Modena later that year, it did not race again until a 4-valve per cylinder V6 engine had been developed for it.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Ferrari factory team driver Chris Amon sparked interest in the island nation for Ferrari to contest the forthcoming 1968 Tasman Championship – a much-publicised series of International races (supported by several leading Formula 1 stars) in New Zealand and Australia in the opening months of the forthcoming year. The Formula 2 Dino 166 chassis nacelle was adopted, with an 18-valve dual-ignition 2.4-litre V6 engine installed, the Tasman Formula dictating a capacity ceiling of 2500cc. The big short-stroke Tasman V6 engine's bore and stroke had been altered to 90mm x just 63mm, 2404.7cc, for this application. With an 11.5:1 compression ratio Ferrari claimed a meaty 285bhp at 8,900rpm and muscular mid-range torque.
With youthful Ing. Gianni Marelli in technical charge of their tiny team, Ferrari fortunes relied upon a singleton entry – ostensibly using Dino 166/246T chassis '0004' - for Chris Amon in the Antipodean series, and they proved that the 11-year-old Jano V6 could still be a race winner in the right circumstances. In fact Chris Amon won the New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe, then the next round at Levin, he finished second at Christchurch and in the Australian GP at Melbourne, and fourth at Teretonga, New Zealand, and Warwick Farm, Australia. He ended that 1968 Tasman tour as runner-up in the Tasman Championship, beaten only by Jim Clark's Lotus-Cosworth 49T.
The following 1968 Formula 2 campaign in Europe saw the chassis offered here – serial '0008' – emerge brand-new with 1600cc V6 F2 engine, to be driven by Chris Amon in the Barcelona round of the European Formula 2 Championship at Montjuich Park, in which he promptly finished third.
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