In 1957 Ferrari produced its first real convertible model for the road, the 250 Granturismo Cabriolet, bodied by Pinin Farina. Only 40 of these first series soft top Ferraris were built before being replaced with the updated Series II in September of 1959. This car is one of only 202 second-series 250 GT Cabriolets built between 1959 and 1962. Also bodied by Pinin Farina, these cars were more comfortable and refined, as not to be confused with the competition-oriented 250 California Spyders of the same era.
This example is number 58, and came off the assembly line in December of 1960. Originally delivered to Ferrari of California, the car had four owners prior to the acquisition by the current owner. Initial restoration work was accomplished in Costa Rica, and the current owner completed the restoration in Pennsylvania. Everything, including the 'Grigio Fumo' paint, is as the car was originally built.
As the company's most successful early line of vehicles, the Ferrari 250 was produced for over a decade from 1953 to 1964 and resulted in several variants. The Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II was launched at the Paris Salon of 1959. The Series II was made more practical for grand touring with a more accommodating and luxurious interior and larger boot. The car had the latest Colombo 128F V-12 engine with outside plugs, coil valve-springs and 12-port cylinder heads that produced 240 horsepower. Other performance attributes were improved as well, since the Series II was also equipped with disc brakes, tube-type shock absorbers and a new four-speed gearbox with overdrive. Production started in 1959 and lasted until 1962; during this time, the Series II Cabriolet was the most expensive car in the 250 GT range. In total, 201 Series II Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolets were produced.
The Geneva Motor Show of March 1956 represented a milestone for Ferrari, as the Italian company debuted the seminal 250 GT, regarded by many automotive historians as the first true series-produced model to emerge from Maranello. Although the Geneva prototype was bodied by Boano, Pinin Farina became, with only a very few exceptions, the sold designer of Ferrari production cars. The engine and chassis combination would form the backbone of Ferrari production car output over the various 250 GT model for a decade. Based on the chassis of the 250 Europa and powered by the Colombo-designed Tipo 125 2,935cc V12, this very original example was first sold to Alfredo Honegger in Bergamo, Italy, and came to the United States in 1966.
In 1957 Ferrari produced the 250 Granturismo Cabriolet bodied by Pinin Farina. Only 40 of these first-series soft-top Ferraris were built before being replaced with the updated Series II, launched at the Paris Auto Show in 1959.
The current owner bought this second-series model in 2003 and started a long and detailed restoration that required the complete dismantling of nearly every part. The previous owner had not used the car for over 30 years and rust had taken hold. It completed an eight year restoration in 2012. The car is powered by a 240 horsepower, 2,953.2 cubic inch single-overhead-cam V12 engine fitted with triple Weber 40 DCL/6 two-barrel downdraft carburetors coupled to an all-synchromesh four-speed manual transmission. It rides on a 102.4 inch wheelbase with Koni hydraulic shocks and four-wheel Dunlop hydraulic disc brakes.
Sold for $715,000 at 2012 RM Auctions. As racing costs continued to increase for Ferrari during the mid- to late-1950s, Ferrari needed to sell more road-going models to help pay for its extensive racing program. Ferrari had offered road-going models in the past, but they were essentially built to order. Costs were high, volumes were low, and profits were minimal.
At the 1957 Geneva International Auto Salon, Ferrari introduced the 250 GT Cabriolet. It was conceived as Ferrari's semi-luxury touring car and was given better interior appointments and more soundproofing than the California Spyder. The chassis and drivetrain remained similar to Ferrari's racing cars, but the high standard of fit and finish, luxurious leather interior, many passenger amenities, and complete instrumentation, set it apart.
The new 250 GT Series II Cabriolet appeared one year after the 250 GT Coupe and replaced the low-production Series I Cabriolet. The Series II Cabriolet was the company's first commercially-successful, production-based convertible model ever offered by Ferrari.
Mechanically, both the 250 GT Cabriolet and the Coupe were considerably improved over the California Spyder. They had an updated 3.0-liter, Colombo-derived V-12 engine designated Tipo 128 F. The engine offered 240 bhp and was fitted with outside-plug cylinder heads and twin distributors, while an overdrive transmission was made available. The cars had a set of four-wheel disc brakes, while telescopic shock absorbers and 16-inch Borrani wire wheels were also included as standard equipment. The Ferrari could race to 60 mph in less than seven seconds, with a top speed of 140 mph.
This 250 GT PF Cabriolet Series II is chassis number 1805 GT and is the 19th example built out of 200. it was completed by Pinin Farina on April 23 of 1960 and delivered new shortly thereafter to Baron Emmanuel 'Toulo' De Graffenried's official Ferrari dealership, Italauto SA, located in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was then sold by Italauto SA to its first owner, a Mr. Rubois in Switzerland, and was later exported to the United States. From the U.S., it was sold in 1990 to Wolfgang von Schmieder, a German collector residing in Cologny, Switzerland. In the late-1990s, it was on display at the International Auto Museum in Geneva, Switzerland.
A restoration soon followed and was finished in 1999. At the time, it was repainted white, and fitted with a white leather interior. Ownership changed once more in 2002.
The car was shown at the Cincinnati Concours in Ohio in June of 2009. The car is currently finished in Grigio Scuro with a Magnolia leather interior. It has 62,243 miles from new. Recently, the car has been equipped with a rebuilt Borrani wire wheels with Pirelli tires, a new Ansa exhaust system, and a new brake servo and calipers.
The car has a four-speed manual gearbox with overdrive only on third and top gear. It is believed that at some point the motor may have been replaced, as the engine shows the internal number 446 F, which is from the 250 GT Coupe Pinin Farina Chassis 1935 GT.
In 2012, this car was offered for sale at RM Auction's Monterey, CA sale. It was estimated to sell for $600,000 - $700,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $715,000, inclusive of buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2012
Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolet Series II with chassis number 2145GT is a left hand drive vehicle. The car has had only a few owners since new. During the early 1990s it was shown but its owner, Robert Nuzzo of the US, at the Colorado Grand. It has been shown at the Cavallino Classic a few times, and enjoyed a Second in Class award. In 1998 it was purchased by Jeffrey Fisher of Palm Beach Florida. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2013
1960 was the last year for the Pinin Farina Coupe with 353 built from 1958. The Coupe looked much like a Series 2 250 PF Cabriolet although with a hardtop. Both Cabriolet and Coupe had that somewhat understated PF styling prevalent in the period. Under the hood was the iconic Colombo-designed 3-liter Ferrari V12 single-cam motor (several versions of which were used during production), 4-speed, drum brakes (discs arrived in late 1959) and independent front suspension (only) assembled onto the long-wheelbase frame. Built for grand touring in some luxury, and with some elbow room, they were not sprinters but middle-to-long distance runners although 240 horsepower made them really quite capable should any challenge arrive.
Sold for $2,090,000 at 2014 Gooding & Company. There were just 200 examples of the Series II Pinin Farina Cabriolet produced between 1959 and 1962. The asking price of 5,800,000 lire nearly guaranteed its exclusivity. This particular Series II Cabriolet was completed at the factory in May of 1960. It was finished in Grigio Conchiglia (dark gray) with a red vinyl and leather upholstery, an Abarth exhaust system, polished Borrani wire wheels, and Pirelli Cinturato tires.
Melchior Bournique was the first owner who requested the Cabriolet be custom-tailored with side vents, in similar fashion to the Series III 410 Superamerica. The car was also given bumper-mounted driving lights (versus the more usual placement behind the grille) and an optional hardtop.
It is believed that prior to the car being delivered to Mr. Bournique, it was put on display in the XII Rassenga Internazionale dell'Automobile, a concours held in Rome on May 28 and 29, 1960.
On April 18, 1961, the car was sold to Giancarlo Folco of Vicenza. In the 1970s, the car was exported to the United States. During this period, it was given a later 250 engine, 3867 GT, which had original been installed in a 250 GT SWB California Spider.
Mr. Jeffrey D. Rowe of Paris, Texas, and Ontario, Canada became the car's next owner in 1979 or 1980. In December of 2002, Mr. Rowe structured a trade whereby 3867 GT was reunited with its original engine, while the Series II Cabriolet received a period correct, factory-replacement block fitted with the original, stamped timing case from 1817 GT.
Mr. Rowe sold the car in June of 2009. By this point in history, the car had never been completely restored; it had been repainted and reupholstered. The car retained its original red carpets and original sections of the original Shell Grey paint were discovered beneath the sill plates.
A short time after acquiring the car, the Florida-based owner commissioned a comprehensive, show-quality restoration. Upon completion, the car (wearing its original color scheme) was put on display at the Palm Beach Cavallino Classic in January 2014, where it was awarded an FCA Platinum Award. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014
Sold for $1,193,500 at 2014 Bonhams. The Ferrari 250 GT provided the company with much needed financial stability and was Ferrari's first volume-produced model. Production began with the 250 Europa, constructed from 1953 to 1954 (with fewer than twenty cars), before being superseded by the 250GT in 1954, the latter featuring a lighter and more-compact Colombo-designed 3-liter V12 replacing the predecessors Lampredi unit. The single-overhead-camshaft all-aluminum engine produced 2200 bhp and was fitted into a shorter wheelbase featuring a multi-tube frame tied together by oval main tubes. The independent front suspension now employed coil springs instead of the previous transverse leaf type. A four-speed, all-synchromesh gearbox transmitted power to the live rear axle, while hydraulic drums all round looked after braking. Four wheel disc brakes arrived late in 1959 and a four-speed-plus-overdrive gearbox the following year.
Scaglietti and Pininfarina produced open-top Spider and Cabriolet models, with several other carrozzerie working their craft on the 250GT chassis. Exhibited at the 1957 Geneva Salon, the Pininfarina's first 250GT Cabriolet was purchased by Ferrari works driver Peter Collins, who later had the car converted to disc brakes. Several alternative versions followed before series production began in July 1957. Around 40 250GT Series 1 Pininfarina Cabriolets were completed before the introduction of the Series II in 1959.
The Series II Cabriolet was effectively an open-top version of the Pininfarina-built 250GT Coupe, sharing the same chassis and mechanical components. The Cabriolet was built alongside its closed cousin until 1962, with a total of 200 Series II Cabriolets producing during its production lifespan.
This example, chassis 1981GT, was assembled in Maranello and then send to Pinin Farina's works in Torino for the fitment of its Cabriolet body. It arrived in Torino on May 11th of 1960 and was completed in less than two months, on Jul 2nd. It left finished in Azzurro metallic over vinyl and leather Naturale Cabriolet. It was the 49th of 200 Series II Cabriolets built and was sold new to Contraves Italia S.p.A. in Rome, Italy.
The early history of this car is not fully known, but at some point later in its life the car was repainted in the current dark red over black hides and a tan convertible top. By the mid-1980s, the Cabriolet had found its way to Switzerland in the ownership of Kurt Bohrer. While in Mr. Bohrer's care, it was given a complete engine overhaul in 1986 at 51,802 km and another overhaul in August of 1987, a mere 6,448km later.
By 2006, the car was in German in the collection of Peter Groh. It appeared at the Techno Classica in Essen, Germany in April of 2010, and acquired by the current shortly thereafter.
Currently, the car has just over 62,600kms on its odometer. It has its matching numbers Colombo V12 engine, period-correct Michelin X tires with Borrani wire wheels, disc brakes, and a 4-speed manual transmission with overdrive. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014
This 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe with serial number 2017GT is one of the last 250 GT coupes built. With the standard 3-liter V12 engine, the 2+2 is fitted with disc brakes, electronic overdrive and is shown in the Ferrari color of Grigio Conchiglia, or pearl-shell grey. Introduced at the 1958 Paris Auto Show, this was the best-selling Ferrari by the following year. Built by Pinin Farina at its Turin factory, it was right at home both on the open road and in the city.
Sold for $1,500,000 at 2016 Gooding & Company. This vehicle is a Cabriolet Series II with chassis number 2143GT.
In the fall of 1959 Ferrari replaced its Series I 250 GT Cabriolets with this Series II model. The steel-bodied cars gained wide acceptance among those who wanted open air touring with a level of comfort above that offered by the Spyder California. As with all cars in this class, its engine is Ferrari's single overhead cam V12 displacing just under 3-liters.
Sold for $1,292,500 at 2013 RM Auctions. This car was originally delivered in pale green Grigio Conchiglia over a tan leather and vinyl interior to its original owner in Milan. By 1974, the car had been exported to America and disassembled. It was sold around 1980, still apart, before being brokered to Richard Cole in 1987. Over the next 13 years, the car was treated to a restoration. During that time, the car was changed to dark blue Blu Scuro, over an all-leather white interior. The work was completed in time to show it at the 2000 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, where it reportedly received 94.5 points.
Since the Pebble Beach concours, the car has been shown only a few times. It won its class in two subsequent showings. By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2014
This is a series 2 Pininfarina Cabriolet on the 250 long wheelbase frame - some 202 were made between 1959 and 1962; it followed the Series 1 from 1957 to 1959 of which some 40 were made. Between 1958 and 1960 Ferrari also made 353 similar cars to the Series 2 Cab with a hardtop known as the 250 GT Pininfarina Coupe. All are Pininfarina-handsome versions of a theme; a 3-liter V12, front engine, 4-speed, hand-made grand touring car, always with a neat, just-right combination of enough performance and splendid comfort.
Sold for $1,512,500 at 2016 Gooding & Company. It is estimated that 200 examples of the 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolet were built. This particular example, chassis number 1695 GT, has a rather extensive list of ownership history. It entered the Pinin Farina plant for coachwork on December 1st of 1959, and was the fourth example completed. Under the bonnet was a tipo 128E outside-plug engine. The interior features instruments in kilometers, meaning it was specified for the European market. The exterior of the car was finished in Verde Scuro (dark green) paint with an interior trimmed in Marrone (brown) leather. This is an early Series II Pinin Farina Cabriolet and one of the first 100 examples built. It features a dashboard layout particular to the earliest cars, as well as the original mechanical configuration employing Houdaille shock absorbers.
The car was completed at the factory on March 2nd of 1960, and shortly thereafter was delivered to the official Ferrari concessionaire Garage de Montchoisy in Switzerland. It was shown on March 10th, of 1960 at the 30th Annual Geneva Motor Show, were it sat next to two other 250 GTs, a Short-Wheelbase Berlinetta, and a California Spider.
Later in 1960, it was sold to its first owner of record, Mr. Jean de Toledo, who owned the car through 1962. In early 1963, it was sold to another owner in Sweden, before passing through several additional Swedish caretakers over the next 15 years, including ven Andersson, who repainted the car in red and reupholstered the interior in black leather in 1973. In early 1984, it was acquired by Glen Kalil of Palm City, Florida. After several more owners, it was sold in 1989 and exported to Europe when purchased by a Swiss citizen. After several more owners, the recently restored car was purchased in March 2000, at which point the odometer displayed about 60,000 km. During the late summer of 2000, Carrosserie Scoffier in Nice repainted the body in the current shade of Grigio Scuro (dark gray). It was sold once more, before being purchased by Larry Nelson of the US in early 2002. Mr. Nelson returned the car to the United States. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2016
Production of the 250 Series began in 1954 and continued on through the early part of the 1960's. There were numerous variations of the 250 and would ultimately become Ferrari's most successful line of vehicles to date. The 250 is also recognized as the first Ferrari to ever receive disc brakes. This did not take place until the end of the 1950's. Also, the 250 was the first four-seater.
Ferrari's were custom built cars. They were not mass-produced. Ferrari provided the engine and chassis while Italian coach builders provided the body. This meant the specifications varied. Engines also varied in horsepower rating, torque, and displacement. This was no different for the 250 GT which saw many different variations in body style and body types.
Ferrari built the road-going Ferrari's to fuel his passion for racing. Many of the vehicles he built for the road had a competition model. That is, a modified version of the road-going model. An example of this was the 1959 short-wheel base (SWB) Berlinetta (Berlinetta which means coupe) and given an aluminum body. It was debuted in October 1959 at the Paris Salon. GT cars were road-legal vehicles that could also be taken to the track and compete without the need for modifications. Although this was their purpose, Ferrari realized that many customers would not race their vehicle, but rather wanted the power and performance that sports cars offered. To comply, Ferrari built these cars to be powerful and luxurious. The vehicles could still be run on the track, mostly on requiring the adoption of stickers and complying with any safety requirements.
The 250 road-going vehicles mostly shared two wheelbase sizes, a 2400 mm and 2600 mm. The 2400 wheelbase were referred to as the SWB (Short wheel base) while the other was the LWB (long wheel base).
The base engine was a Colombo 60-degree, single-over-head cam, 'vee' type 12-cylinder, with aluminum alloy block and heads, and cast-iron cylinder liners. The displacement was 180 cubic inch (2953 cc). Horsepower production was around 220-260. The front suspension was independent with double wishbones and coil springs. The rear suspension was a live axle.
The first 250 introduced was the 250S and available in either berlinetta or spider configuration. Introduced in 1952, they were powered by a 3-liter Colombo engine producing about 230 horsepower.
At the 1953 Paris Motor Show, Ferrari introduced the 250 Europa and Export. These were the only models in the series that were powered by a Lampredi v-12 engine also seen in Formula 1. The 250 Export had a 2400 MM wheelbase, similar tot he 250 MM. The 250 Europa had a larger, 2800 mm wheelbase which allowed more interior room. During their short production lifespan, only 18 examples were produced. Pininfarina and Vignale were tasked with creating the coachwork.
In 1954 four specialty built 250 Monza were built for racing. They shared many similarities with the 750 Monza's, but were equipped with the 3-liter Colombo engine.
At the 1957 Geneva auto show, Ferrari displayed their 250 GT Cabriolet. Coachwork was courtesy of Pininfarina; the wheelbase was 2600 mm in size. In 1959 the second in the 250 GT Cabriolet series production began after only 36 examples being produced.
From 1957 through 1959 Ferrari produced the 250 GT Berlinetta 'Tour de France' (TdF). The name had been given for the 10-day automobile race. Originally the engine produced 240 horsepower but was later modified to 260 horsepower. Carrozzeria Scaglietti was responsible for creating the bodies based on Pinin Farina's design.
Scaglietti was responsible for constructing the 1957 250 GT California Spyder. These sat atop a long, 2600 mm chassis and aluminum was used throughout the body in efforts to reduce the overall weight. In total, around 45 examples were created before they were replaced by the SWB version in 1960.
There were 250 examples of the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB produced. Production began in 1959 and used the shortened, sportier wheelbase. Giotto Bizzarrini, Carlo Chiti, and Mauro Forghieri were responsible for the development. Some were built for racing while others were meant for daily transportation. Horsepower ranged from 240 to 280. Steel or aluminum bodies were used. The steel bodies were suited for the road-going vehicles, also known as Lusso. The racing trim vehicles were powerful and had low weight. They were vary competitive and are regarded as the most important GT racers of its time. In 1961 the SWB Berlinetta captured the GT class of the Constructor's Championship.
In 1960 a Scaglietti 250 GT Spyder California SWB was shown at the Geneva Motor Show. Built as a replacement for the LWB and based on the 250 GT SWB, around 55 examples were produced.
The Ferrari 250TR was produced from 1957 through 1958 during which only 19 examples were created. The 'pontoon' fender body was designed by Scaglietti and the power was supplied through a Colombo 12-cylinder engine mounted at a sixty-degree angle and outfitted with six Weber 38 DCN carburetors. Power was sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual gearbox. With 300 horsepower, the 800 kg vehicle was able to achieve a 168 mph top speed. From 1958 through 1961, the 250 TR was entered in 19 championship races where they emerged victorious ten times.
The 250 in 250 TR represented the unitary displacement while the TR was an acronym meaning Testa Rossa. Testa Rossa translates to 'red head' which referred to the color of the engine's cylinder head.
The 250 TR series was built to capture the world championship which was experience questionable times. During the 1955 24 Hours of Lemans a fatal accident occurred and the Commissione Sportiva Internazionale (CSI) began investigating ways to make the sport safer for the drivers and the spectators. Their efforts were escalated in 1967 when another fatal accident occurred at the 1957 Mille Miglia. The committee decided upon a displacement limit but they were in disagreement on the size; the proposed figures ranged from 3 to around 3.5 liters.
1958 was the introductory year for the new regulations, which had been announced during the later part of 1957. Ferrari had been building, testing, and racing the 250 GT which had performed well during the 1957 Mille Miglia. The Colombo V12 260 horsepower engine received a larger bore, camshaft, and other improvements resulting in a 3.1 liter displacement and 320 horsepower. Testing continued throughout the 1957 season in both body configuration and mechanical components.
Ferrari had anticipated the new engine size regulations and thus had been sufficiently prepared to capture the world championship. Due to the potential of negative publicity caused by the fatal accidents, other manufacturers, such as Aston Martin, Lotus, Cooper and Jaguar, were hesitant to continue racing. Ferrari believed their closest competitor would be the powerful and technologically advanced Maserati 450 S which featured a quad-cam eight-cylinder engine.
Ferrari quickly began capturing victories during the 1958 season. The 250 TR was a solid vehicle thanks to the preparation and testing. The steel tubular ladder frame was of traditional Ferrari construction; a DeDion rear axle was used on the works racers. Customer cars were outfitted with a live axle. Drum brakes were placed on all four corners of the car. The engine had been modified to comply with regulations and to fit in the engine bay. In reality, the vehicle was an outdated car having only the benefit of proper planning and proven technology. Most cars featured disc brakes which provided superior stopping power. The Colombo engine dated back to the beginning of Ferrari and was antiquated in comparison to the modern power-plants.
Nearing the close of the 1958 season, the competition began to rise. Aston Martin had a lethal combination, a 3 liter DBR1 racer and Stirling Moss as the driver. Even though the Aston Martins did score a victory at Nurburgring 1000 KM, Ferrari was able to capture the World Championship. The legendary Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien easily capture a third victory for Ferrari at the grueling 24 Hours of Lemans. The 250 TR works cars were referred to as TR58, to distinguish them from the customer TRs.
For the 1959 season, the vehicles received slight modifications which made the vehicle lighter and more powerful. The big news was the use of Dunlop disc brakes. The engine received coil valve springs and the horsepower increased slightly to 306. A Colotti designed five speed gearbox replaced the four-speed unit. Pininfarina was tasked with designing a new body and the construction was handled by Fantuzzi. As a result of the improvements, the name was changed to TR59. At their inaugural race, the TR59 finished first and second. This streak did not last and at the end of the season, it was Aston Martin who emerged as the world champion. The TR59 was plagued with reliability issues mostly due to the gearbox. The vehicles were forced to retire early from races, including Le Mans.
For the 1960 season, the TR was modified slightly to comply with new regulations and to rectify the transmission issues. These vehicles are commonly referred to as the TR59/60. Aston Martin had withdrawn from the championship which left no factory opposition for Ferrari. Porsche and Maserati provided competition, especially at Targa Florio and the Nurburgring 1000 km where they scored victories. At Le Mans, Ferrari finished first and second and captured the word championship, beating Porsche by only four points.
For the 1961 season, Ferrari introduced the mid-engined 246 SP. The TRI61 was given a new spaceframe chassis and was able to capture victories at Sebring 12 Hours and Le Mans. With victories between the 246 SP and the TRI61, Ferrari once again captured the world championship.
The CSI implemented stricter rules for the 1962 season which meant the TR was unable to score points for the factory. It was still allowed to race for the overall victory. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
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