The 166 Inter shared its Aurelio Lampredi-designed tube frame and double wishbone/live axle suspension and 2420 mm wheelbase with the 125 S and 166 S. It was replaced by the 2.3 L 195 Inter and 2.6 L 212 Inter in 1950 and 1951.
The first Ferrari GT car debuted at the Paris Motor Show on October 6, 1949. It was an elegant coupe designed by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan who had previously created a number of similar Ferrari and Alfa Romeo models. Customer sales soon started, with 166 Inter models becoming the first Ferraris to be purchased for the road rather than the race track. As was typical at the time, a bare chassis was delivered to the coachbuilder of the customer's choice. Many used Touring, but Ghia's one-off Boano coupe was more daring. Others were built by Stabilimenti Farina, who penned a Cisitalia 202-like coupe. Vignale also joined in, presaging their designs of the coming decade, and two cabriolets created by Pinin Farina and Bertone foreshadowed those companies' later involvement with Ferrari.
The 2.0 L Gioacchino Colombo-designed V12 engine from the 166 S remained, as did its chassis, though the wheelbase would eventually grow from 2420 mm (95 in) to 2500 mm (98 in). Output was 110 to 140 hp (82 to 104 kW) at 6,000 rpm with one to three carburettors.