Ferrari 212 Export and Inter models came along in 1951 as a replacement for the 195 series, the first 19 examples being the competition Export versions. Ferrari continued to produce 212 212 Inters and Exports into 1953, completing 78 Inters and 26 Exports.
Movie Story Line
In 1955, Twentieth Century Fox owned the movie rights to a novel, the Racers introducing Hollywood and America to road racing. The film’s story involved Kirk Douglas, as Gino Borgesa, a bus driver and mechanic, whose dream was to become a championship racing driver. Borgesa entered his car in the Monaco Grand Prix, only to crash out during qualifying avoiding a dog. Turns out the dog belonged to the beautiful ballerina (played by Bella Darvi) who felt sorry for Borgesa and offered him to help finance the purchase of a replacement car (The Burano, Ferrari s/n 0102E). Borgesa went to win the MIlle Miglia, becoming a works pilot for Burano and eventually championship driver. The move cst also included Gilbert Roland, Lee J. Cobb, Cesar Romero and Katy Jurado. The Racers was directed by Henry Hathaway who, along with back-up director Henry Weinberger, filmed action scenes for the movie at such European venues as the Nurburgring, Reims, Spa, the Targa Florio in Sicily and Monza, a first for an American director.
No mechanical changes was made to the 212 Export s/n0102 E but revised bodywork: it received a lower and longer front and a prominent, protruding oval grille, a more bulbous rear end was tacked on, the trunk opening was reduced in size, and phony air inlets were added to the rear fender tops, a fake outside exhaust system, with dummy mufflers was added on each side but the working pipes always run out the rear of the car, the cockpit remained unchanged.
Wearing racing number 555, serial number 0102 E had a token entry in the 1954 MIlle Miglia in hope of getting some film footage, but it was not allowed to compete. Right after, the modified 0102 E was sent to California where shooting of the movie was completed.
Chassis 0102 E Origins & Highlights
Before chassis 0102 E was a “Burano” in the Racer movie, it was a Barchetta (Italian for “little boat”) style roadster, built by Touring of Milan, the third of seven Ferrari 212 Export Barchettas by Touring. It was completed in 1951 and sold new to Franco Cornacchia, Ferrari’s agent in Milan whom passed it to a gentlemen racer, Pietro Palmieri.
• On August 21, 1951, Palmieri drove it to a second overall and first in class finish at the third Giro Delle Calabrie on race number 823
• A week later he took a fourth overall and first class finish at the Coppa Adriatica on the Senigallia Circuit
• On September 15th, 1951 Drivers Bobby Baird and Jean Lucas turned a sixth place finish and best in class at the Royal Automobile Club’s Tourist Trophy in Dundrod, Ireland.
In the 1970 and 1980s, its Hollywood days behind it, chassis 0102 E bounced around with a series of owners in California, Michigan, Illinois and Missouri, and it ran the Mille Miglia Storica in 1988 and 1989.
Bacchelli & Villa Restoration
In October 2007, Martin Gaensler of Gersthofen, Germany, sent chassis 0102 E to Bacchelli & Villa for a mechanical restoration. With a Prancing Horse nose badge and with fresh engine, Gaensler drove it on the 2009 and 2011 Mille Miglia Storica. The car was issued Ferrari Classiche’s “attestation for cars of historical interest” (white book – and meaning cars modified in period) but it couldn’t receive full certification (red book) because of its Burano body modifications.
Between 2007 and 2009, Gaensler had more work done at Bacchelli & Villa: the Burano -modified original body was removed and a new duplicate Burano body was built on the same chassis by Bacchelli & Villa. At that time, it was deemed that the original Touring/Burano coachwork had become too fragile for future use but, thankfully, Bacchelli & Villa kept the original Burano modified Touring body in the warehouse.
In 2015, chassis 0102 E found Tom Peck in California, its present owner, whom travelled to Italy to relinquish the original Ferrari/Touring/Burano coachwork. After considerable deliberation and computer analysis, and using full size drawings and period pictures, it was decided to convert the original Touring body back to its 1951 barchetta beginnings, so Peck returned to its original chassis just as Palmieri ran it on the 1951 Giro delle Calabrie in race number 823.
Back to Pebble Beach
The new improved 0102 E was seen for the first time at the Ferrari Club of America National Concours in Daytona Beach on April 2017, receiving te Platino Award and the Phil Hill Award for the Best Competition Ferrari in the Concours. It was also on the lawn at Pebble Beach in August 2017. It was also selected to be painted as the Pebble Beach poster for 2017 in celebration of Ferrari’s 70th anniversary.
So today 0102E has come to full circle. It ran with its original body from 1951 when new, until 2009 albeit with its Burano modifications for most of those years, and now, once again, sans the Burano mods, beginning in 2015. The new Burano body built by Bacchelli & Villa in 2009 came with the car and is with Tom Peck.
Source: Cavallino, Issue 220, August – September 2017