A 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter with a body from legendary Italian coachbuilder Ghia would be the darling of any classic car auction, but this one has never gone under the hammer.
Recently featured on “Jay Leno’s Garage,” the car is claimed to be the longest-owned Ferrari. Its original owner, Rodolfo Junco de la Vega, purchased the 212 in the 1950s and was schooled by the mechanics at the Ferrari factory on how to maintain it. He even met Enzo Ferrari. After his death at the age of 98, the car passed to his son Thaddeus Foster, who declares that the car is still “all original except for the paint and the carpet.”
Ferrari was still a fairly new company when the 212 launched in 1950, but it was beginning to find its stride. The 212 is powered by the now legendary Colombo V-12, displacing 2.5 liters and generating 150 hp. That power is sent to the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission.
The 212 introduced a tubular chassis aimed at creating greater rigidity, which became the basis for a number of variants. Ferrari sold the 212 in Export and more refined Inter specifications, with multiple body styles supplied by multiple coachbuilders. In addition to Ghia, Pininfarina, Touring, and Vignale all supplied bodies for the 212 series.
Production of the 212 lasted only until 1953. The car featured here was built in 1951, but titled as a 1952 car. Because of its originality, it shows that Ferrari wasn’t exactly a precision operation at that time. The bolts are different sizes because mechanics simply grabbed whatever was on hand, Foster explains in the video.
Restored classic Ferraris regularly sell for millions at auction, but as Leno says in the video, nothing drives like an original, unrestored car.
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