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FERRARI 212 EXPORT BARCHETTA—A CAR WITH REAL LEGS PART 1

TALK ABOUT LEGS! I believe I’ve identified the car having  the most consecutive appearances in a single year of Road and Track: The year was 1952 and the car was a particular Ferrari 212 Export Barchetta. Here, in Parts 1 and 2 today and tomorrow, I offer tidbits of this car’s racing appearances, magazine cover, and road test in July, August, September, October, and November 1952 Road and Track.

Pebble Beach, April 20, 1952. The tight, twisty road circuit through the Monterey Peninsula provided venue for sports car racing in the early 1950s (until its inherently deadly nature was recognized).

“Stubbs, in the Ferrari, moved in close to Pollack in Carsten’s winning Allard in the corners.” This and other images from Road and Track.

“The Del Monte Trophy (100 miles, 48 laps),” the magazine wrote, “seemed a foregone conclusion. Bill Pollack, in the big-bore Cad-Allard, wasn’t about to be caught. Arnold Stubbs, home on leave… [from Korea?], ‘got his hand back in’ gracefully in Phil Hill’s Tour De France-winning Ferrari…. Phil Hill [in Hornburg’s 3 1/2-litre modified Jag] looks better in every race.”

“Phil… hovers paternally over his newly acquired Ferrari…”

Golden Gate Road Races, May 31, 1952. “Phil Hill Loses Race,” the magazine reported, “But is Day’s Hero….” 

The Guardsmen Trophy Race is on! Bill Pollack’s Allard is already past the camera, as is most of Hill’s Ferrari. 

It was “the first time out for Phil in this mighty little Italian racer…. Pollack got out in front at the start and stayed there…. Never too far behind Pollack were Hill, Parkinson [in a modified Jag], and Graham [in another Allard], dueling fiercely to see who could push Pollack the farthest and the hardest.” They were soon lapping much of the field, with attendant traffic playing a role. 

“Phil Hill follows Bill Stroppe (Willys-MG) thru sharp turn. Edwards (blown MG TC) in rear.” 

“By now the crowd was on its feet cheering Phil, the [2.6-liter] underdog—urging him on.”

Yet more traffic.

“But he wouldn’t be Phil Hill if he didn’t give it everything, so he kept winding the Ferrari… 5000, 6000, nearly 7000 rpm. And on the last lap he dropped a coil off the right bank of the 12 cylinder car. He limped home… on six cylinders… amid mighty cheers from the crowd.”

The Barchetta earned four magazine appearances at Golden Gate, counting that partial one in the starting photo. 

September 1952 Cover. The magazine observed, “The brothers Hill seem pretty well fixed for sports cars…. Little need be said about Phil Hill, who is often featured in Road and Track race reports and who continues to drive his 212 Ferrari in every event he can get to. Jerry Hill rarely participates in out-and-out road racing, but his custom finished XK-120 Jaguar coupe is a feature car at many a West Coast Concours d’Elegance.” 

Torrey Pines Road Race, July 20, 1952. “The San Diego Cup Race,” the magazine noted, “was open to all cars over 1500 cc, which meant everything was bombing around the course… from Alfred Coppel’s neat competition MG, to Sterling Edward’s Chrysler-engined special.” And Hill’s 212 Barchetta. 

“Phil Hill drew applause with his perfect driving style and expert tuning of the 2.6 Ferrari. He finally lapped the entire field.” This is one of the Barchetta’s two magazine photos at Torrey Pines.

Tomorrow in Part 2, we get to the magazine’s November 1952 Road Test of the 212 Barchetta (with yet more period photos), plus a SimanaitisSays recollection of the same car from a mere nine years ago. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2022 

One comment on “FERRARI 212 EXPORT BARCHETTA—A CAR WITH REAL LEGS PART 1

  1. RJ Carey
    May 19, 2022

    Amazing to me how hard it is today to find information on these old racers. Either that or I’m just doing a bad job at looking for the right places… Anyways, thanks for sharing this!

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