Ferrari 225 S Berllinetta by Vignale

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225 S Berllinetta by Vignale





A predecessor to the 250 line was the 225 S introduced at the 1952 Giro di Sicilia. Two of the two-seat sports prototypes were built, an open barchetta and closed coupé, both by Vignale. Seven 225 S cars were entered in the 1952 Mille Miglia, but they were overshadowed by the larger-engined 250 S. A 225 S tested at Imola was the first Ferrari to drive the course.

A larger-displacement, more powerful version of the venerable 212 Export competition model was introduced in 1952, christened the 225 ‘Sport,’ following the long-time Ferrari practice of naming their models consistent with the displacement of a single cylinder. In the case of the 225S with its 12 cylinders, that translated to 2.7 liters overall. Inspired by the concurrently-produced, Lampredi-designed “big block” Ferrari engines, use was made of the roller-type cam followers introduced by Lampredi. The 225S is regarded as something of an interim link between the “early years” of Ferrari and the introduction of the long-lived and legendary 250 series of cars, and the many iterations thereof. The 225S performed with distinction during its prime, with podium and notable finishes in numerous events, such as the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio, and outright firsts in the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti, the Portuguese Grand Prix, and Buenos Aires, as well as a notorious 1-2-3 achievement at the 1952 Monaco Grand Prix. The 225S drivers, such as Taruffi, Marzotto, Villoresi, Castelotti, and the illustrious “Pagnibon,” serve as a veritable who’s who of sports and GP racers of the early ’50s.

The most advanced iterations of the 225S are those constructed on the innovative tuboscocca frame, a special chassis with double outer-tubes joined together with a truss-like arrangement. Not only did this serve to strengthen the platform, the chassis helped form a skeleton of the body shape on which body panels could be mounted. This saved weight with no compromise to structural rigidity and contributed greatly to the now-legendary racing success of the model.

Nearly all Ferraris of the early era were coach built by various Italian design houses (Carrozzeria), and none were more distinctive and delicately executed than those styled by Carrozzeria Vignale. Virtually no two Vignale-bodied Ferraris are precisely alike, and the six 225S Berlinettas were no exception.

Enzo Ferrari and Alfredo Vignale shared a consuming passion for their work, each insisting upon final approval of even the most seemingly insignificant details. Among the individual designers working at Carrozzeria Vignale was the rising young “star” stylist Giovanni Michelotti. Michelotti was to enjoy a brilliant career and is regarded today as the father of the trademark ovoid egg crate-type Ferrari grille that has signified “Ferrari DNA” for years to come, including up to the present day for a number of models.

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