Barchetta

Despite a legacy extending to the original Alfa Disco Volante of 1952, a renowned Touring masterpiece of a different bloodline altogether played an important part in realising the new Disco Spyder. The Spyder’s commissioning buyer also owns the 1950 ex-Gianni Agnelli, ex-Olivier Gendebien Ferrari Tipo 166 MM (left).

Bodied by Touring and using its pioneering lightweight Superleggera technology, the 166 MM is among the truly great barchetta designs, a minimalist triumph with effortless, graceful lines, competition-proven mechanicals, and only the barest of road equipment. For many a post-war enthusiast, it’s the absolute definition of the term ‘sports car’.

This is the car the buyer was visiting in the Touring restoration shop, undergoing correction to repairs completed elsewhere for a previous keeper, when he was taken with the Disco coupe -a car inspired by yet another legendary Touring work of the same period, first shown in a similar, stripped-down open barchetta style.

A modern interpretation, however, for genuine highway use, would certainly require modern measures of weather protection, a real windscreen, perhaps a boot… and, as you can see, it does. And the refurbished 166 MM won the 2015 Entrant’s Award for Best of Show at the illustrious Villa d’Este concours.