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1949 Le Mans-winning barchetta: Ferrari 166 MM

Barchetta (Italian pronunciation: [barˈketta]), which translates as "little boat" in Italian, is a term used by Italian car manufacturers for two-seat sports cars with either an open top or convertible roof.

The term was originally used for lightweight open-top racing cars of the late 1940s through the 1950s. Since the 1950s, the name barchetta has been revived on several occasions, mostly for cars with convertible roofs that are not specifically intended for racing.

1940s and 1950sEdit

Ferrari 212 Touring Barchetta

The first use of the term "barchetta" was by the editor of the Italian sporting newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Giovanni Canestrini,[1] to describe the new Ferrari 166 MM displayed at the 1948 Turin Auto Show.[citation needed] The name barchetta has been associated with the 166MM model ever since. The 166MM barchetta won the 1948 and 1949 Mille Miglia, and the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Targa Florio, the only car ever to win all three races in the same year. It also won the 1949 Spa 24 Hours. Motor Trend Classic rated the 166MM barchetta sixth out of the ten "greatest Ferraris of all time".[2]

Other barchetta versions of Ferraris include the Ferrari 212 Inter[3][4] and the Ferrari 250 MM (built by Vignale).[5][6][7]

In 1948, the Maserati brothers released the O.S.C.A. MT4,[8][9] a 1452 cc, 130 bhp (97 kW) barchetta.

In 1953, Moretti Motor Company began producing a barchetta version of the Moretti 750.[10][11][12][13][14]

Some barchettas have no windscreen, while others have a shallow, racing-type ("aero") screen.[15]


In 1966, Abarth released the Abarth 1000SP Barchetta, which had a very successful racing career[16][17][18]

The Fiat Barchetta was produced from 1995 to 2005. It is a mass-produced two-seat convertible which was intended as a road car, rather than for motor racing.

In 1991, the Maserati Barchetta was released as a racing car for a single-make racing series.[19] Seventeen cars were produced.

Ferrari 550 Barchetta Pininfarina

Ferrari revived the name in 2001 for their 550 Barchetta Pininfarina, which marked Pininfarina’s 70th anniversary. The car was first shown at the 2001 Salon de l'Automobile and 448 examples were built. It is "[i]n many ways...the legitimate successor to such legendary open Ferraris as the 166MM..."[20][according to whom?] Designed as a roadster for use on public roads and not as a full-bred racing car, the 550 Barchetta has a rudimentary convertible top "whose mechanism is said to require strength, skill, and patience."[20][according to whom?] The top is intended only for emergency use in a sudden downpour and the manufacturer advises against using it at speeds above 70 mph (110 km/h). The top "doesn't look as if it would survive the sacrilege of an automatic car wash."[20][according to whom?]

Bachetta concept cars include the 2005 Lamborghini Murcielago Barchetta,[21] the 2001 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Barchetta[22] and the 2007 Bertone Barchetta Concept (based on the Fiat Panda 100 HP).[23][24]

In popular cultureEdit

"Red Barchetta" is a song by rock band Rush from their album Moving Pictures.


  1. ^ Capps, Don. Tales from the Thirties: Tripoli, 1933. Atlas F1 Magazine. Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  2. ^ "A Perfect 10: The Greatest Ferraris Of All Time". Motor Trend. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  3. ^ "1952 Ferrari 212 Export Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  4. ^ "1952 Ferrari Barchetta - Jay Leno's Garage". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Ferrari 250 MM (1953)". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  6. ^ "1952 Ferrari 250 MM Vignale Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Ferrari 250 MM". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Lot 258: OSCA MT4 Barchetta", Motorbase. Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  9. ^ "1954 OSCA MT-4 Sports Racer", by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide. Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  10. ^ "La Storia Della Moretti". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Moretti". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  12. ^ "1953 Moretti 750 Sport Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  13. ^ Keith Bluemel: "Moretti 750 Barchetta", Barchetta. Archived September 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  14. ^ "Moretti Barchetta", Classic Cars. Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  15. ^ "Brooklands Aero Screen". Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  16. ^ "1966 Fiat-Abarth 1000SP Tipo SE04 Racing Sports-Prototype". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Abarth 1000 SP". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  18. ^ 1966 Abarth 1000SP Barchetta, Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  19. ^ "Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  20. ^ a b c Kacher, George. "2002 Ferrari 550 Barchetta", Automobile magazine. Retrieved on June 25 2008.
  21. ^ "Lamborghini Murcielago Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  22. ^ "2001 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Bertone Barchetta Concept". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Bertone Barchetta". Retrieved 25 March 2018.