Image: 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB ‘SEFAC Hot rod’
Where it all started: Enzo’s first production model heads up incomparable set of Maranello greats as Salon Privé celebrates Ferrari’s 75th anniversary
Notables include 1947 125 S (first production Ferrari ever built, on loan from factory), 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (second model produced/factory test car), 1961 250 GT SWB ‘Hot rod’ (rare lightweight special) and 275 GTB/C (one of only 12 competition models)
More than half Ferraris presented carry revered Classiche certification
Main 75th Anniversary Class complemented by 75-Ferrari owner gathering and 40-plus Classiche group
Salon Privé’s Ferrari 75th Anniversary Class, a star attraction at its Concours d’Elégance presented by Aviva next week (31/8-2/9), will bring together arguably the most important set of classic Ferraris ever seen in the UK. The sheer breadth of the group is mesmerising, ranging from the first production car that rolled off the line - on a rare outing from Ferrari’s own collection - to seldom-seen rarities that illustrate the company’s innovative and envelope-pushing approach to design and engineering from the ‘50s through to the ‘80s.
‘There have been many concours events in the past where rare Ferraris have been on display,’ said Salon Privé’s chairman, Andrew Bagley. ‘But next week on Blenheim Palace’s South Lawn, Salon Privé audiences will see a truly extraordinary collection of unique and ground-breaking Maranello cars – more than half of which with the prized Classiche certification - that defies comparison. If you are as passionate about classic Ferraris as we are, attendance is a must.’
Notable entrants to Salon Privé’s Ferrari 75th Anniversary Road and Race classes are listed at the end of news story, but the following are just some of the highlight models in more detail.
1947 Ferrari 125 S
This is where it all started - the first car to carry the famous Cavallino trademark. After leading much of Alfa Romeo’s grand prix success pre-war, Enzo Ferrari founded Ferrari S.p.A in 1947, and the 125 S presented on Blenheim’s South Lawn is the actual car that launched the Ferrari legend, being the very first to emerge from its Maranello factory.
Then, perhaps more so than now, the heart of the new model was its engine. A V12 unit of 1 ½-litre capacity was almost unprecedented. Itala, Fiat and Auto Union had all dabbled with the concept, but other than a single outing in the 1927 Milan GP for a so-powered Fiat race car, none had yet succeeded. Ferrari changed all that, and working with Gioachino Columbo, developed an engine perfectly suited to Formula 1’s 1 ½-litre supercharged class, and also one that would serve as the basis of a production sports car.
With a total capacity of just 1496cc, meaning 124.73cc per cylinder (hence the ‘125’ moniker), the 125 S’s engine produced 118bhp at a dizzying 6800rpm. Such a small-capacity V12 engine bestowed the fledgling model with advantages in both performance and reliability, and while Enzo Ferrari declared the model’s debut at the Piacenza circuit as a ‘promising failure’, over the following four months the 125 S won six out of its next 13 races, the first of which being the Rome GP.
Only seven 125 S models were made in its short life, all of which wore two-seater sports-type bodywork designed by Milan-based Touring over a steel tubular-frame chassis. Salon Privé’s 125 S, being the first Ferrari to roll off the line, is now owned by Ferrari, and for it to appear outside of the factory – let alone outside of Italy – is extremely rare indeed.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – chassis 3387 GT
The Ferrari 250 GTO needs no introduction, but Salon Privé’s car belongs on hallowed ground, being only the second non-prototype car to come out of the factory, which subsequently used it as a test and development vehicle to prove certain features used in series production.
Unveiled in 1962, the 250 GTO was essentially a race car with number plates, which could also perform impeccably as a true Grand Routier road car. Designed by Giotto Bizzarrini, and based on the 250 GT SWB, the GTO made its public debut at the annual pre-season Ferrari press conference in January 1962.
Powered by the race-proven Tipo 168/62, 2953cc V12 from the 250 Testa Rossa, the GTO was rated at 296bhp and delivered drive to its rear axle via an all-new 5-speed synchromesh gearbox. Performance was prodigious, 0-60mph arriving in 5.4 seconds, the ¼ mile in 13.1 seconds, and a barely believable 174mph being achievable on the right circuit.
The GTO’s all-aluminium body had been wind-tunnel tested – covering new ground for Ferrari, which was fearful of its rivals stealing a march - resulting in the model’s long, low nose with its distinctive air intakes and removable covers.
But while the GTO was a fearsome road car, its reputation was carved out on race circuits around the world, delivering a roll-call of victories that few could match. A second overall at Sebring marked the GTO’s race debut, followed by class wins in the International GT Championship in 1962, ’63 and ’64. By the time the car bowed out of manufacturer campaigns, it was one of the last front-engined cars to remain competitive in top-level motorsport.
As well as being the second production 250 GTO of 37 cars that Ferrari built, chassis 3387 GT was used as a rolling test-bed for later series cars. During early testing at Monza, the car received a small tail spoiler, a modified fuel filler and vents built into the rear fenders.
Originally delivered to Ferrari’s North American importer, Luigi Chinetti on March 16th 1962, the car was immediately pushed into service with Chinetti’s North American Race Team (NART), with drivers Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien finishing second overall in the aforementioned Sebring 12 Hours that year. The car was then returned to the factory and prepared for the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Bob Grossman and George Robert Jnr. achieved a sixth place overall and third in class.
Today, chassis 3387 GT is presented in its original Sebring 12 Hour specification, after being fully restored by Joe Macari and Ferrari Classiche.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB ‘SEFAC Hot rod’ – chassis 2973 GT
We’re all familiar with Ferrari’s legendary 250 GT SWB, but the car set to create a stir at Salon Privé’s concours next week is no ordinary example of the much-lauded model.
Towards the end of the 250 GT SWB’s production life, Ferrari S.p.A was in desperate need of cash to fund future development and maintain its upper hand, especially in sports car racing. For the first time in Scuderia Ferrari’s history it went public under the name ‘Ferrari SEFAC S.p.A’ (Società Esercizio Fabbriche Automobili e Corse Ferrari), and as investors clamoured to buy a piece of Maranello magic, sufficient cash became available to start work on the GT’s successor, the 250 GTO.
But in the meantime, races still needed to be won, so up to 20 250 GT SWBs, known as SEFACs, followed by the nickname ‘Hot rod’, were produced. Not all cars received the full menu of modifications, but those that did were demonstrably different from the standard model. They were fitted with the lighter Tipo 539/61 chassis with smaller diameter tubing and extra pick-up points for the rear suspension, supporting bodywork made of exceptionally thin 1.1mm aluminium. Powering the car was a Testa Rossa-spec engine with higher-lift camshafts, larger intake tracts and exhaust headers, and six twin-choke Weber 46 DCF/3 carburettors. The net result was 300bhp, a 0-60mph time of 5.0 seconds and a top speed of 160mph.
Chassis number 2973 GT was purchased new by Ecurie Garage Francorchamps in 1961, the last 250 GT SWB to be used by the team before it adopted the upcoming 250 GTO model. It was an impressive finale, with the car being driven to victory by Willy Mairesse and Georges Berger in that year’s gruelling Tour de France. Mairesse, this time with Lucien Bianchi, then followed up with an impressive second in ‘61’s 1000km de Montlhéry.
Salon Privé’s car remained in France, passing through three more owners, before being sold to Parisian, Price Sanguzko in 1970. In his ownership the car was restored, before passing into British ownership in the 1990s. The current owner acquired the car in 2015, when it was prepared for historic racing, making its debut in the hands of Joe Macari and Tom Kristensen in the 2016 Kinrara Trophy.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider – chassis 2591 GT
Salon Privé’s beautiful 250 GT SWB California Spider is unique in being the only one of 56 models produced (and one of only 37 with the coveted covered-headlamp design) to be specified in right-hand-drive, and one that was rarely seen in public up until recently.
Ferrari had become increasingly wise to the burgeoning North American market for open-topped performance cars through importer Luigi Chinetti on the east coast and John von Neumann in California. With the launch of the 250 GT SWB in 1959, Ferrari had the ideal platform for a Spider variant with prodigious performance from its 240bhp 3.0-litre V12 engine, and sharp, responsive handling from a model that had dual appeal on road and track. Designed by Pinin Farina, the California Spider was first unveiled at the Geneva Show in 1960 and rapidly became a hit with the rich and famous - Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood and James Coburn all falling for its charms. But its appeal was more than skin-deep, as privateer race teams soon realised its potential on racetracks in Europe and North America.
Built in 1961, Salon Privé’s car was originally delivered to a young Italian racing driver, who believed that every Ferrari was a racing car, and every racing car should have its steering wheel on the right-hand side. In 1967, it was sold to car collector Dennis De Ferranti, who was based in Ireland, and then Wales. However, the car was seldom seen until 2013 when it was discovered by specialist Tom Hartley Jnr, who purchased the car from De Ferranti, and sold it to its current owner soon afterwards. GTO Engineering was then commissioned to carry out a full restoration, bringing the Spider back to its original colours, and subsequently gaining a Ferrari ‘Red Book’ Classiche certification.
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C – chassis 09041
Yet another rarity to grace Blenheim’s South Lawn is a highly sought-after 275 GTB/C, the ‘C’ denoting one of just 12 models that were developed for competition use, with this particular car being one of four built to RHD specification. Making this car even more unusual, is that it was never used for competition – which perhaps explains it’s remarkable originality.
Based on the 1965 275 GTB road car, the GTB/C (‘C’ representing ‘Competizione Clienti) was designed for customers as a dual-purpose road and track car. Factory records reveal that no two cars were specified the same, and in some cases, cars were modified still further following purchase. But chassis 09041 retains all its factory features. Mechanically, these included dry-sump lubrication, three bespoke Weber 40 DF13 carburettors, a raised compression ratio and modified pistons, connecting rods, exhaust valves and crankshaft. The 275’s transaxle casing and bellhousing were re-formed in magnesium alloy, while a close ratio gearset and strengthened limited slip differential was fitted. Further weight-saving measures extended to removing all sound-deadening and replacing all glass, apart from the windscreen, with Plexiglass. Completing this car’s competition spec is a 140-litre fuel tank.
Purchased by its current owner in 2018, Salon Privé’s 275 GTB/C is the fifth of the 12 cars produced and retained all of its original major components and bodywork during a subsequent full restoration. This careful preservation has been verified in its Ferrari ‘Red Book’ Classiche certification.
1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder – chassis 09985
Can there be a more stunning Ferrari to look at than the 365 California Spyder? Salon Privé’s example is one of only two RHD cars produced, and one can only imagine the stir it would have caused on Britain’s roads in 1967, when it was first registered.
Originally launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 1966, the 365 California Spyder was the first of the 365 models to replace the 500 Superfast and 330 range, with the fixed-head 2+2 variant arriving a year later. Based on the 500’s chassis, the 365 California’s Columbo-designed 4.4-litre V12 engine was derived from the previous year’s 365 P competition car and offered a 320bhp output enabling 150mph-plus performance.
Designed by Tom Tjaarda at Pininfarina, the California’s clean lines adopted the 206 GT’s arrow-shaped side air intakes which artfully diverted your eyes from the door opening, and created a timeless, elegant profile that suited its moniker to a tee.
Finished now in the same Blue Sera colour over a beige Conolly leather interior it would have sported when new, chassis 09985 was purchased by a Far East collector after passing through three UK owners. The car was then displayed in California’s Blackhawk Museum for over 10 years before being purchased by specialist Tom Hartley Jnr. The car was then sold to its current owner, who commissioned a full restoration at Bob Houghton, after which it was awarded Ferrari ‘Red Book’ Classiche certification.
1957 Ferrari 250 GT Spider Competizione – chassis 0999 GT
In early 1957, Jacques Swaters’ Ecurie Garage Francorchamps in Brussels, Belgium placed an order for a Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet that was to look quite like no other. More than 65 years later, that same car is set to wow Salon Privé audienceés.
Painted in Rosso Corsa, Salon Privé’s 250 Spider was only the second model produced out of a run of 40 cars, but it was the only one that left Pinin Farina’s Turin works in ‘café racer’ specification. Originally given the serial number 0663 GT, the car was fitted with covered headlights, quarter-bumpers, a competition windscreen, passenger seat tonneau and exterior fuel-filler. Two years later, the 250 returned to Ecurie Garage Francorchamps, where it gained a more traditional full windscreen and convertible roof.
Around this time, the chassis number was changed to 0999 GT, presumably reflecting the changes to its aesthetic. The car remained in Europe and the UK for the next 20 years before leaving for the US, where it was restored in the mid-1990s by Motion Products in Wisconsin. Since then, the car has appeared twice at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance and has been part of an important race car collection in the US.
Over half of the Ferraris present at next week’s Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance have Ferrari Classiche certification, meaning that the cars have been awarded a Certificate of Authenticity by the Ferrari factory.
Classiche certification is available to all Ferrari road cars built more than 20 years ago, as well as Ferrari F1 cars, sports cars and sports prototypes of any age. The certification draws upon Ferrari’s extensive archive to establish that eligible cars conform to the original factory design and specification.
The benefits of such a system include protecting a car’s heritage, increasing its sale value, and accessing prestigious events where originality is favoured.
Salon Privé’s Ferrari 75th Anniversary Class highlights:
Ferrari 75th Anniversary Road I
1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupé by Pinin Farina 0305 EU
1956 Ferrari 250 GT TdF Berlinetta by Zagato 0515 GT
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider by Scaglietti 2591 GT
1965 Ferrari 275 GTS by Pininfarina 07449
1967 Ferrari 275 GTS/4 ‘NART’ Spyder by Scaglietti 09751
Ferrari 75th Anniversary Road II
1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso by Pininfarina 4469 GT
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB by Scaglietti 07597
1966 Ferrari 330 GTC by Pininfarina 09069
1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder by Pininfarina 09985
1968 Dino 206 GT Berlinetta by Scaglietti 0204
1980 Ferrari 308 GTS by Scaglietti 29279
Ferrari 75th Anniversary Race
1957 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder Competizione by Pinin Farina 0999 GT
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB SEFAC ‘Hot rod' by Scaglietti 2973 GT
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti 3387 GT
1965 Ferrari 365 P by Fantuzzi 0828
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C by Scaglietti 09027
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C by Scaglietti 09027
Two more must-attend Ferrari events at this year’s Salon Privé
Reinforcing this year’s Salon Privé event as one of the most important for Ferrari enthusiasts, two more significant displays will complement the Ferrari 75th Anniversary Class. On Saturday, September 3rd, 75 Salon Privé customer cars will be arranged on Blenheim Palace’s South Lawn in what is set to be a truly breath-taking display of Maranello’s heritage.
Also on September 3rd, and continuing through Sunday 4th, will be a unique opportunity to view over 40 Classiche-certified Ferraris on the Duke’s croquet lawn.
With a programme that includes Ladies’ Day presented by Boodles on Friday, the Salon Privé Club Trophy presented by Lockton on Saturday, and Sunday’s Classic and Supercar event, all the elements are in place for another unmissable Salon Privé Week.
Salon Privé Week 2022
31 August – Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance presented by Aviva
1 September – Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance presented by Aviva
2 September – Salon Privé Ladies’ Day presented by Boodles
3 September – Salon Privé Club Trophy presented by Lockton
4 September – Salon Privé Classic & Supercar at Blenheim Palace
Tickets can be purchased via the website: www.salonpriveconcours.com