Designed by Pinin Farina, the 250 GT-based "Boano" and "Ellena" coupes of the late 1950s are considered the first series-built Grand Touring cars produced by Ferrari. During the early 1950s, a bewildering array of storied Italian coachbuilders including Allemano, Ghia, Touring, Vignale and Zagato provided bodies for the earliest road going Ferrari models. Pinin Farina designed its first bodies for Ferrari as early as 1951 and by the mid-1950s, it had truly established "the Ferrari look" as exemplified by the Boano/Ellena 250 GT series. Design cues included a long, low hood and the signature flattened oval radiator opening, all traits that by the mid-1950s had secured Pinin Farina principal Ferrari design house status.
The first Ferrari 250 GT to be completed was chassis 0429 GT, which made its debut in March 1956 at Geneva, followed by an appearance in Brussels. Pininfarina's production facility was at capacity, and a new factory was under construction. The Turin firm built just eight units and in mid-1956, 250 GT production was transferred to Carrozzeria Boano.
At the end of 1957, Mario Boano accepted an offer to set up Fiat's styling department and the 250 GT production was taken over by his son-in-law Ezio Ellena and Boano's former partner, Luciano Pollo.
Boano built 63 examples of the Ferrari 250 GT Coupe between '56 and '57. The bodywork was made of steel, but only sixteen were hammered out of aluminium.
The 63 Boano-built 250 GTs were characterized by their low roof line. The later Ferrari 250 GT Ellena series were characterized by their high-roof line, except for the first eight with serial numbers 0679 to 0697, which continued on Boano's low roofline.
Just like the Pininfarina Ferrari 250 GTE, many Boano cars have been the victim of being a donor car for building up Tour de France, Testa Rossa, GTO or California Spider replicas. Hopefully people have made up their mind now and realize these Boano/Ellena Coupes are most valuable to Ferrari's legacy so one will keep the few pretty Boanos alive and well.
I am not a natural flatterer, I like to think that I "tell it like it is", politely I hope. So when I tell you that I am very impressed by the contents of your website, it is just not English politeness. I of course love the subject matter but you deal with it in an energetic and respectful manner. I am overwhelmed by the research that has gone into compiling the list of coachbuilders/bodybuilders for Europe and North America. I have never heard of the vast majority of them.
Congratulations on an excellent website.
- N. Maltby of Car Scene International
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