Sold for $2,805,000 at 2013 Bonhams - Quail Lodge Auction.Sold for $3,300,000 at 2015 RM Sotheby's NY Auction : Driven By Distruption.Sold for $3,455,432 (€2,871,000) at 2017 RM Sothebys : Ferrari - Leggenda e Passione.
Chassis #: 0313 EU
Engine #: 0331 EU
The Ferrari 250 series would be considered one of the very best the factory in Maranello would ever produce. But its beginnings would be rather slow and not very momentous. In many respects the beginning would look anything but what it would become. But that beginning would provide Ferrari aficionados, and car-lovers alike, a small and very special series of 250s, perhaps none more exclusive than the 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe created with bodywork by Vignale.
The new 250 series would make its debut alongside the 375 America at the 1953 Paris Auto Salon. Spurred on by Luigi Chinetti, Enzo Ferrari would make the decision to move into the touring car industry and the 250 would be the company's answer. In time, the 250 would prove to be an incredible introduction into the touring series of automobiles. The first 250s designed and built by Vignale would be very dramatic and fascinating, but it would be this complicated design that made these early 250s a class of automobile unto themselves.
In the early 1950s, Carrozzeria Vignale and Ferrari were tightly linked together. A number of famous Ferrari berlinettas of the period would be fashioned by Vignale and its head designer Giovanni Michelotti.
Ferrari was very much focused on his racing efforts. The company was becoming more and more successful in Formula One and was also doing very well in sportscar racing. However, to be able to fund the racing efforts Ferrari needed to look to other possible sources of income. Ferrari was, understandably, tight-fisted with his cars and what made them so competitive but, within his hands, was the key to the company's future.
Influenced by Chinetti, Ferrari would throw his support behind the idea of creating a series of touring sportscars available for customers to buy. Creating cars for the influential men and women meant his racing efforts could be funded by the sales of cars instead of solely the prize money earned on the track. The company needed a design that would introduce Ferrari to the public and that would inspire a great number of clients. Michelotti would be given the task of designing a body that would firmly establish the line within the conscience of the people.
The 250 Europa chassis would take from the experienced gained with the 250 S and then the 250 MM. However, Ferrari would make a change when it came to the engine. The Colombo-developed V12 had been used in such racing cars as the 166. However, with the 250 Europa, Ferrari would make a change using the Lampredi V12 that had been developed for its Formula One program and that would also be used in endurance sportscar racing. Displacing 3.0-liters and producing 200bhp, the engine certainly had the power. Michelotti just needed to fashion a body style that would capture the raw power in the imaginations of the people.
Vignale bodies were a rare blend of performance and sophistication and this would be plain to see when the car made its debut at the Paris Auto Salon. Its target audience was obvious. With its egg-crate, forward-leaning grille and smooth upper lines, the Formula One influence would be undeniable. However, the low-positioned headlights, mixture of sharp and contoured edges and its rich leather interior certainly spoke of luxury and grace. The design would truly be a visual amalgamation of performance and beauty. It would be a very complicated design.
Although Vignale was Ferrari's coachbuilder of choice in the early 1950s and would be commissioned to create the body styles for the Europa when it would first be introduced to the public, almost all of the models to be built would be clothed with Pinin Farina bodies. Therefore, each one of the Vignale-bodied Europas would be one-off designs. One of those one-off designs would be 0313EU.
Chassis 0313EU would be finished and shipped to Luigi Chinetti in New York in January of 1954. Upon arriving in the United States, Chinetti would take the two-tone tobacco Europa and would have it refinished in red and black. It would then be put on display with other Ferrari competition cars at the 1954 New York Auto Show.
Following its display in the Auto Show, 0313EU is believed to have stayed with Chinetti until it was purchased by Mike Garber of Framingham, Massachusetts. In April of 1958 the car would be sold, this time to George Parker of Rome, New York. By 1960 the car would be in southern California and refinished in purple. Besides the change in color, the car would also have a change in engine. The original Lampredi V12 would be removed from the car and supercharged Chevrolet would be installed in its place. And, even though the car was a one-off design it would be without its bumpers and would even have some damage to its nose.
In 1967, Leonard Renick would become the owner of the Ferrari. Renick was the manager of Phil Renick Cadillac based in Fullerton, California. One year later, the car would be the property of Philip Stanton and would be put on display in a local show in the Los Angeles area still with its Chevrolet V8 engine installed.
The car would continue to change hands a number of times until it would become the property of Tom Shaughnessy of San Clemente, California. Purchased in an un-restored state, Shaughnessy would take and present the car in its 'as discovered' state at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering.
In 2009, the car would be sold to its current owner and would be shipped to Switzerland to begin restoration. The work would be daunting and practically almost impossible in some cases. The major challenge presented the shop doing the restoration would be the fact the original engine had long since be separated from its chassis and actually had come to be placed inside another 250 Europa, chassis 0325EU. The restoration crew would persist and would complete the work right down to the original Bruno Siena and Tobacco shades of finish for the body. The leather interior would even be supplied from the very same Swiss company that had provided the leather back in 1953.
The entire restoration process would be documented and would fill two large binders. Numerous documents, invoices and pictures accompany the car as a result of its restoration. The restoration would be complete when a correct engine, which came from chassis 0331EU, would be installed into the car. The car would then emerge from its restoration in December of 2011.
In May of 2012, the 250 Europa would be shown at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Cernobbio, Italy. The Europa would go on to win Trofeo Foglizzo, which is awarded for best interior design. In November of that year the car would be featured in a Belgian magazine 'Red Racing Green.
Ferrari Classiche certified in February of 2013, chassis 0313EU would be presented for auction at the Bonhams Quail Lodge event. Unique in just about every way, the 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Vignale would draw estimates ranging from $2,800,000 to $3,400,000. It would leave the auction under new ownership after having been sold for $2,805,000 including buyer's premium.Sources:
'Lot No. 160: 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe Coachwork by Vignale', (http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20994/lot/160/?page_anchor=m1%3D1%26k1%3D160%26b1%3Dlist). Bonhams. http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20994/lot/160/?page_anchor=m1%3D1%26k1%3D160%26b1%3Dlist. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
'All Models: 250 Europa', (http://www.ferrari.com/English/GT_Sport%20Cars/Classiche/All_Models/Pages/250_Europa.aspx). Ferrari.com. http://www.ferrari.com/English/GT_Sport%20Cars/Classiche/All_Models/Pages/250_Europa.aspx. Retrieved 13 August 2013
'1953 Ferrari 250 Europa News, Pictures and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z6321/Ferrari-250-Europa.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z6321/Ferrari-250-Europa.aspx. Retrieved 13 August 2013.By Jeremy McMullen