1960 Ferrari 250 GT 'Series II' Coupé at Bonhams Padua Auction

1960 Ferrari 250 GT 'Series II' Coupé at Bonhams Padua Auction

Est € 540,000 - 640,000
£ 470,000 - 560,000

Chassis no. 2003 GT
•Delivered and resident in Italy from new until 2017
•Desirable series II example 
•Matching numbers 
•Massini report on file 

By the early 1960s, road car production had ceased to be a sideline for Ferrari and was seen as vitally important to the company's future stability. Thus the 250, Ferrari's first volume-produced model, can be seen as critically important, though production of the first of the line - the 250 Europa, built from 1953 to '54 - amounted to fewer than 20. Before the advent of the Europa, Ferrari had built road-going coupés and convertibles in small numbers, usually to special customer order using a sports-racing chassis as the basis. Ghia and Vignale of Turin and Touring of Milan were responsible for bodying many of these but there was no attempt at standardisation for series production and no two cars were alike. 

The introduction of the 250 Europa heralded a significant change in Ferrari's preferred coachbuilder; whereas previously Vignale had been the most popular carrozzeria among Maranello's customers, from now on Pinin Farina (later 'Pininfarina') would be Ferrari's number one choice, bodying no fewer than 48 out of the 53 Europa/Europa GTs built. Pinin Farina's experiments eventually crystallised in a new Ferrari 250 GT road car that was first displayed publicly at the Geneva Salon in March 1956. However, the Torinese carrozzeria was not yet in a position to cope with the increased workload, resulting in production being entrusted to Carrozzeria Boano after Pinin Farina had completed a handful of prototypes. 

True series production began with the arrival of Pininfarina's 'notchback' Coupé on the 250 GT chassis, some 353 of which were built between 1958 and 1960 within the sequence '0841' to '2081'. However, the relatively small scale of production meant that cars could still be ordered with subtle variations according to customer choice, as well as enabling a handful of show cars and 'specials' to be constructed on the 250 GT chassis. 

A number of important developments occurred during 250 GT production: the original 128C 3.0-litre engine being superseded by the twin-distributor 128D, which in turn was supplanted in 1960 by the outside-plug 128F engine which did away with its predecessor's Siamesed inlets in favour of six separate ports. On the chassis side, four-wheel disc brakes arrived late in 1959 and a four-speeds-plus-overdrive gearbox the following year, the former at last providing the 250 GT with stopping power to match its speed. More refined and practical than any previous road-going Ferrari, yet retaining the sporting heritage of its predecessors, the 250 GT is a landmark model of immense historical significance. 

This example was completed in September 1960 and sold new in Milan to its first owner, Niccolò De Nora (ATS Automobili) on the 20th of that month. Originally finished in Grigio Conchiglia with Nero part-leather interior, chassis number '2003' is a 'Series II' model equipped with the superior Tipo 128F engine, disc brakes, and overdrive transmission, as confirmed by copies of its factory specification sheets on file. 

'2003' also comes with a Massini Report listing its subsequent owners, all in Italy, up to 2017 when the Ferrari was sold to the current vendor in France. There is also a photograph of Enzo Ferrari seated on '2003' in the pits at Monza in 1961 (copyright Massini). The Massini Report notes a change of exterior colour to white and interior re-trim in red leather (by 1981); an engine rebuild (in 2011); and an overhaul of the rear mechanicals including the suspension and fuel tank (in 2013). There are related invoices on file from Malucelli, the Ferrari and Maserati specialist in Forli.

Still white with red interior, the latter having been re-trimmed by Luppi around 15 years ago, the Ferrari presents very well; the coachwork is nice, the interior is in very good condition, and the engine works well. Sold with a copy of its cancelled Italian registration document, '2003' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire an example of this landmark, yet undervalued, Ferrari GT that helped cement Maranello's continuing relationship with Carrozzeria Pininfarina. 

auction Date: 27 Oct 2018, 14:30 CEST