Ferrari 250 GT Series II Pininfarina Coupé 1960
Coachwork by Pinin Farina
Chassis no. 1625
•In Belgium all of its life
•Matching numbers (chassis, engine, gearbox, rear axle)
•Cognolato restored in the mid-2000s, engine by Corrado Patella
•Winner of the Prix d'Élégance at the Zoute Concours d'Élégance (2014)
•Ferrari Classiche certified, 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's 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A number of important developments occurred during 250 GT production: the original 128C 3.0-litre engine being superseded by the twin-distributor 128D, which in turn was supplanted in 1960 by the outside-plug 128F engine which did away with its predecessor's Siamesed inlets in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.
The example offered here, chassis number 1625', left the factory in January 1960 destined for California, USA but was actually delivered to Jacques Swaters' Garage Francorchamps in Belgium. It is a rare 2nd Series example, the most sought after series in the 250 GT Pininfarina coupé range. first owner was Mr Theo de Montpellier, who purchased the car on 4th February 1960, subsequently passing to Mr Louis Galand. The third owner is not known.
According to a registration document on file, fourth owner Mr Jean-Marie Cap acquired the Ferrari on 24th December 1976. From 15th May 1978, the car was owned by Ferrari collector Mr Ennio Gianarolli, who kept it on display as part of his collection but did not register it. The current owner purchased '1625' on 7th February 2005.
In March 2005, the Ferrari was despatched to Carrozzeria Nova Rinascente in Vigonza, Italy to be restored by the internationally renowned Dino Cognolato and his team of specialist craftsmen. The Ferrari received an exemplary restoration of the chassis, body, and all brightwork including the bumpers, front grille, window surrounds, door plates, etc, and the multiple Ferrari and Pininfarina badges.
The mechanical side of the rebuild was entrusted to Corrado Patella's Omega Officina, another recognised specialist in the restoration of Ferrari of road and competition cars. Corrado Patella carried out a full mechanical restoration, which included the engine, carburettors, gearbox, overdrive, axle, suspension, brakes, radiator, etc. The electrical system was overhauled by Elettrauto Franco, which also restored and the refurbished all the dashboard instruments. Luppi of Modena re-trimmed the interior, while the carpets and headlining were renewed by Dino Cognolato. Equipped with new 16" Borrani wire wheels, the fully restored Ferrari left Cognolato's workshop in March 2009, since when it has won the Prix d'Élégance at the Zoute Concours (in 2014). Accompanying documentation consists of the all-important Ferrari Classiche 'Red Book', restoration invoices, and Belgian Carte Grise, and the car also comes with its tool kit and jack.
Lastly, the owner has kindly provided us with his driving impressions: 'Once the driver is comfortably installed behind the Nardi steering wheel, he or she is afforded an unobstructed view of the dashboard in a perfect combination of ergonomics and aesthetics. Once started, the engine emits an evocative yet subdued growl, and is supremely flexible on the road. The clutch is not heavy and the gearbox is a delight, its synchromesh beyond reproach, while the overdrive facilitates fast cruising without having to overtax the engine. Handling is excellent, and the four-wheel disc brakes mean that the limits of the car's performance can be explored safely.'
These many attributes and the presence of a generously sized luggage compartment simply invite one to travel; this Ferrari 250 is not designated a Gran Turismo without good reason. Possessing a rare elegance, this beautiful Pininfarina-style Ferrari will appeal to the connoisseur of aesthetics every bit as much as to the enthusiast driver
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