Ferrari 250 GT garage find @ Goodings Amelia Island Auctions

Ferrari 250 GT garage find @ Goodings Amelia Island Auctions

Discovered from Long-Time Ownership at Amelia Island Auctions


1958 FERRARI 250 GT COUPE Coachwork by Ellena

Estimate:  $650,000 - $800,000
Chassis:  0837 GT
Engine:  0168C


Car Highlights:

“The Lost Ellena” Recently Discovered in 59-Year Ownership

One of Only 50 Coupes Built by Carrozzeria Ellena on the 250 GT Chassis

Delivered New to Luigi Chinetti Motors in Camoscio (Chamois) over Beige Leather

Chicago-Area Garage Find Preserved in Largely Original, Intact Condition

Never-Before Restored, Exhibited, or Offered for Public Sale

Documented by Ferrari Historian Marcel Massini

Technical Specs:

2,953 CC Tipo 128C SOHC V-12 Engine

Three Weber 36 DLC3 Carburetors

240 BHP at 7,000 RPM

4-Speed Manual Gearbox

4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes

Front Independent-Wishbone Suspension with Coil Springs

Rear Live Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs


When Pinin Farina’s prototype for a 250 GT Coupe debuted at Geneva in March 1956, it was announced that this model would be produced by its designer and Mario Boano’s carrozzeria would manufacture a limited series of bespoke cabriolets. However, due to what many historians claim was an inadequate production capacity at Pinin Farina, Ferrari swapped the assignments and Boano transitioned to producing its own version of the Pinin Farina-designed coupe.

 

Boano’s most noticeable change from the original Pinin Farina prototype was the elimination of a small flare in the beltline that trailed the edge of the rear door. This change gave the car a cleaner and arguably more elegant appearance. Accounts vary, but it is believed that Boano built approximately 88 such bodies before accepting a contract with Fiat and passing the job of 250 GT Coupe production to his son-in-law, Ezio Ellena.

 

In all, Carrozzeria Ellena built just 50 Coupes for Ferrari. All but the first few were distinguished by a higher roofline that was intended to make the car more comfortable for taller drivers. This change was made primarily in consideration of the American market, where most Ferrari customer cars were destined.

One such Ellena was chassis 0837 GT which, until its discovery last year, was missing and presumed lost.

 

According to Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, 0837 GT was the 34th Ellena-bodied 250 GT Coupe built. The US-market car was delivered to Luigi Chinetti Motors of New York in March 1958, finished in the handsome color combination of Camoscio (Chamois) over light beige leather upholstery. The exterior paint, a Lechler product known by code 1038, was named after the Chamois, a goldish brown relative of the antelope found throughout Europe.

 

By the early 1960s, the Ferrari had relocated to the Midwest and was acquired by RRR Motors Inc. in Homewood, Illinois. Well known in sports car circles, RRR Motors was a Ferrari and Alfa Romeo dealer, as well as a regional Goodyear distributor. During this period, the dealership’s proprietor, George Reed, was active in the racing scene, campaigning various Ferraris, 300 SLs, and Corvettes under his “Reed’s Race Rats” banner at venues such as Sebring, Road America, and Watkins Glen.

 

Around this time, RRR Motors Inc. owned 0837 GT and another Ellena Coupe, chassis 0755 GT. For unknown reasons, the dealership swapped the cars’ identities, even going so far as to scrub the serial numbers from the engine pads.

 

On October 23, 1964, RRR Motors Inc. sold this Ellena Coupe, now identified as 0755 GT, to Gerald S. Krupa of Palatine, Illinois. Documentation on file confirms that Mr. Krupa traded in his 1962 Pontiac Convertible, valued at $1,500, and financed the $3,000 balance to acquire the six-year-old Ferrari.

 

The Ferrari was used for about a year before being parked with engine trouble. Mr. Krupa removed and disassembled the engine, but soon found himself overwhelmed by the task of rebuilding the V-12 and let the years pass with the car sitting static, under cover, in his home garage. It remained there for four decades and was rediscovered only last year, after he passed away.

 

The consignor acquired the long-hidden Ellena from Mr. Krupa’s estate and has since uncovered its original identity – as it has been known, erroneously, as 0755 GT since at least 1964. The original “0837 GT” chassis stamping was found on the frame rail and the engine was identified as original by Marcel Massini. Its internal number (0168C) remains intact and undisturbed. The number “837” was found in several locations, including the front grille and inside the door panels. Although the exterior was repainted red many years ago, the dashboard and door caps are still finished in the original Camoscio paint.

 

The Ellena’s interior is particularly well preserved, a result of the car’s limited use and decades spent in storage. The light beige leather upholstery, carpeting, and headliner remain in excellent original condition, possessing a beautiful patina.

 

The odometer showed 40,381 miles at the time of cataloguing. Charming details dating from 1964–1965, such as the Illinois license plates, city tax sticker, and doorjamb service tag attest to the car’s Chicago-area provenance and last years of regular use.

 

While the engine has been reassembled and installed in the car, it will require a rebuild and the Ferrari will need to be mechanically recommissioned before use. A worthy candidate, either for sympathetic preservation or as the ideal basis for a complete concours-quality restoration, this 250 GT Coupe is a most exciting find.

 

Over the past six decades, a surprising number of original Ellena-bodied 250 GT Coupes have been lost, either through accident damage, or having sacrificed their original bodies to build replica Testa Rossas and Tour de France Berlinettas. The discovery of any original example missing for 60 years is significant, let alone an example such as this, which has survived in fine, unrestored condition.

 

Text & Image: Gooding & Company

AMELIA ISLAND AUCTIONS
February 29 - March 1, 2024


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