950 Ferrari 195 S Inter Superleggera: 12 Cylinders and a Soul

January 20, 2016

*See images of the 950 Ferrari 195 S before and after restoration by clicking the above photo gallery

The cars Enzo Ferrari created were, first and foremost, built to race. The passions of il Commendatore were wrapped up in the high-revving song of a performance engine and the competitive clash of skilled drivers jousting in purpose-built machines. Even his street cars were designed to be at home on both winding road courses and cobblestone boulevards.

In the early days, the street cars weren’t that different from the racing machines. The “Colombo” V12 that established Ferrari’s reputation was suitable for either application. The engine had modest displacement for a 12-cylinder, but its design guaranteed impressive power as the revs climbed. The V12 utilized a single-overhead camshaft per bank, two valves per cylinder, a twin distributor and coil ignition system, and either single or triple Weber carburetors depending on the application.

The V12 engine was, of course, central to Enzo Ferrari’s vision for his company.

“When I started, against the advice of all, I wanted a 12-cylinder,” Enzo wrote in the introduction to a special Italian-language booklet dedicated to Ferrari engines from 1946-1985. “The engine, through all the changes due to my ambitions, is still recognizable by its numbers, as are its children and grandchildren. The design walked the path of eight, six, and four cylinders, but 12 remains my traditional theme and certainly the most beloved.”

Wrapped in sleek aluminum bodies designed by some of Italy’s finest coachmakers, the 195 series of 1950 and 1951 were fantastic examples of the dual-purpose nature of that era’s Ferraris. Stylish on the street and aimed at well-heeled drivers looking for a luxurious grand tourer, the Ferrari 195 models were also raced by amateur and professional alike. Giannino Marzotto scored a memorable win in a 195 S at the 1950 Mille Miglia.

The Ferrari 195 models were an evolutionary step above the 166 series of the late 1940s. They had a longer wheelbase, and the V12 was enlarged from 2.0 to 2.3 liters, yielding greater power. Like the 166, the 195’s suspension layout consisted of an independent front suspension with transverse leaf spring, a solid axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs in the rear, and lever action shock absorbers. Large aluminum drum brakes with steel liners brought the car down from speed. Weight came in at a trim 2,100 pounds, give or take.

A 195 series Ferrari is rarely seen today outside of exclusive concours events, but this 1950 195 S Inter Superleggera shown above will be offered for sale at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2016.

The Inter’s 2.3-liter V12 came with a single twin-choke Weber carburetor and a factory rating of 130hp at 6,000 rpm (although some were fitted with triple carburetors).

Superleggera (super light) refers to the tubular steel and aluminum sheet metal construction method that shaved pounds and gave small manufacturers like Ferrari the flexibility to quickly design and build several variants of a given car. The term is associated with the coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. The super-light construction was used on many early Ferraris and other Italian sports cars of the period.

This right-hand-drive car is the first chassis in the 195 Inter series and a former Torino show car. With its Blue Scurrio paint color, Camel interior and singular features, it is an elegant testament to the timeless appeal of those early Ferraris. The 195 S Inter shows the power of focused industrial design, with artful lines, tasteful ornamentation and a long hood that promises the punch of a large engine.

This 195 S Inter is beautifully restored. The only thing necessary to return the car to concours specification is the original “city-style” exhaust. This car was suitable for street or track 65 years ago, and likewise today it would be at home at rallies and vintage car driving events such as the Mille Miglia, Colorado Grand, Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti or the Shell Ferrari-Maserati Challenge.

The car comes with tool kit, jack and manuals, along with a complete report by Marcel Massini that includes ownership history and original Ferrari Build Sheets. Few 195 models were built, and no two were exactly alike. This authentic and documented 195 S Inter offers collectors a rare opportunity to own a truly unique milestone Ferrari.

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