Art of the Automobile
21 November 2013
1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Carrozzeria Pininfarina
To be auctioned on Thursday, November 21, 2013
Sold for $2,035,000
- Chassis no. 2473
- Engine no. 2473
- Rare in the extreme
- The only example that is factory certified as having covered headlamps and a hard top from new
- Beautifully restored to concours standards
- Matching numbers and Classiche certified
The 250 series was Ferrari’s crowning achievement of the 1950s and early 1960s. The highwater marks of this series have defined the “Prancing Horse” in the decades since, and in many ways, it has set the stylistic and cultural tone, which has grown exponentially model after model. From the lovely Lusso and the sporty California Spider, to the Tour de France and, of course, the Series II Cabriolet, the basic construction formula was nothing short of perfect: a high-revving V-12 engine, a shiver-inducing exhaust note, and an almost unbelievably sexy design that would envelop the chassis in two-door form.
From the outset, personalization and the owner’s wishes were paramount at Ferrari, as they influenced everything from the color and leather choice to the mechanical specification. As the years progressed, those bespoke touches have served to distinguish one example from another, and they have catapulted certain models into particularly rarified air. The stunning 250 GT Series II Cabriolet is no exception. It debuted in 1959 with a Pinin Farina design that was crafted completely by hand, and it was executed entirely at the discretion of the designer’s senses of touch and sight. The lines, smooth and flowing from front to rear, exhibited an air of sophistication, and they were complemented by dual exhausts at the rear, a hood scoop, sporting wire wheels, and all the trappings that defined the finest Ferrari “grand touring” cars.
Chassis 2473, presented here, is particularly special, as it wears covered headlamps, which is a very unusual and especially attractive feature that is known to have been applied to about six cars in total. Of those, however, this is the only one certified by the factory and its all-important Ferrari Classiche department as having been delivered new in this fashion, along with the lovely hardtop it is pictured with in the accompanying photos.
The car was originally slated for an April 1961 production date, but a special request by the customer caused a delay in the production of the car, resulting in a July delivery. It was originally sent to Franco Brittanic Autos, the official Ferrari dealership in Paris, France, in July 1961. As the 123rd Series II Cabriolet built, it wore Bianco (12.435, white) over a Pelle Bleu (VM 3087, blue) leather interior.
In 2008, the Cabriolet was shown at the Retromobile event in Paris, France, and it was still retaining its original blue leather interior. All of the original mechanical components were present, making it a prime candidate for a restoration. It was purchased shortly thereafter, and it made its new home with its current owner in Italy.
Since that time, the car has been fully restored by Rossocorsa, a Ferrari specialist in Milan, Italy. While Rossocorsa was responsible for the mechanical aspects of the restoration, the bodywork was outsourced to Carrozzeria Granturismo, in Milan. This Ferrari was complete with many of its original components, including the hard top and headlight covers, and all of the parts that were with the car were retained. Its condition was then brought to concours standards, and the results are truly outstanding. Rossocorsa also took the time to have the car Classiche certified, to ensure that it was mechanically original, that it had matching numbers, and that it was in keeping with that factory’s standards of authenticity. In addition to the Classiche documentation, over 200 photos were taken of the car during all the stages of the restoration, to chronicle exactly what work was done; all of this information will be included in the sale.
All told, only 200 Series II Cabriolets were ever constructed, which is a remarkably small number when one compares it to its contemporary, the 300 SL Roadster, but nevertheless, it was the start of series production for Ferrari on a grander scale. Chassis 2473 stands out among its colleagues, and it is blessed by the factory as an especially important example. It encapsulates Enzo Ferrari’s vision with utter perfection: a grand touring car that was intended for high-speed touring on the Continent, with a high-performance engine under the hood and the good looks and excitement to make a statement while speeding along a winding corniche or parked in front of the 21 Club.
AddendumPlease note that an import duty of 2.5% of the purchase price is payable on this car if the buyer is a resident of the United States.
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