Enzo Ferrari cut his teeth in the 1920s and ’30s with Alfa Romeo, first as a driver for the company’s racing team and later as its manager. As Alfa’s fortunes rose and fell with the machinations of interwar politics and the fragile Italian economy, il maestro took on a greater role in the team’s identity, and it was accordingly soon named Scuderia Ferrari.
After leaving Alfa Romeo in the late 1930s and starting his own eponymous company after the war, Ferrari continued to focus on racing, with the Scuderia operating as his exclusive competition concern. By all accounts, Ferrari’s overarching purpose and thrust lay in the field of motorsports.
Surprisingly, then, in 1948, nearly from the get go, Ferrari introduced a more luxurious road-going version of his 166 sports car, the Inter. Named for its continental grand touring aspirations (as opposed to the U.S.-bound Sport and Export racing versions), the Inter was bodied in coupe, berlinetta, and cabriolet forms by numerous coachbuilders, usually luxuriously trimmed with leather upholstery.
While Ferrari sports cars of this period featured nearly identical chassis specifications, the models were more immediately distinguishable by the growing displacements of their Colombo V-12 engines. The Inter was introduced on the 166 series of cars that started the odd-numbered Ferrari chassis identification system in 1948, but the model did not truly come into form until the 212 series arrived in 1950.
Approximately 82 examples of the 212 Inter were produced in total, and they were clothed in some of the period’s most interesting coachwork designs. These cars were the earliest embodiment of the coachbuilt upper-echelon Ferrari. To be auctioned Dec. 10th.