Chassis Num: 0703 GT
Engine Num: 0703 GT
Sold for $9,460,000 at 2013 Gooding & Company
Throughout 1955 and 1964, Ferrari would go on to win three consecutive GT World Championships. The car that made this incredible streak possible would be the inestimable 250 GT. Over that decade, just 200 competition examples of the 250 GT would earn all of the records that would make the model famous. However, among these rare thoroughbreds the long-wheelbase Berlinetta would prove most successful and desirable. But, even amongst this rare breed there would be a select privileged-few known as the 14-Louver Berlinetta.
The early 250 GT Berlinettas that would be bodied by Pinin Farina would look like merely updated examples of the 250 MM. The design would change in time and Sergio Scaglietti would have a lot to do with that.
Carrozzeria Scaglietti of Modena was very close to the Ferrari factory in Maranello. Scaglietti would be given the task of designing and building some of the early 250 GT Berlinettas. Those early Berlinettas would be the 14-Louver Berlinettas of which just a total of nine would be ever built.
Scaglietti would draw inspiration from a couple of sources. Of course there would be the 250 MM. This would be a good place to start given the achievement of the model in the grueling 3,000 mile long Tour de France. However, Sergio would look to combine this performance with the simple elegance of the early Pinin Farina 250 GT display cars. The result would be the 14-Louver Berlinetta.
The 14-Louver Berlinettas weren't merely produced for their looks. In fact, they would end up being some of the fiercest of all Ferrari GT cars on the track. Class victories at the Giro di Sicilia, Mille Miglia, Tour de France, Coupes du Salon, Reims, Nurburgring and Spa would be just some of the highlights.
Chassis 0703 GT would be one of those nine 14-Louvered Berlinettas. The second-to-last to be produced, 0703 GT would be completed in May of 1957. Finished in Italian racing red, the car would be sold to Albino Buticchi.
Buticchi had started out racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprints in the early 1950s and would gradually build his experience. In 1957, he would earn a 15th place result in the Giro di Sicilia at the wheel of a Zagato-bodied Ferrari 250 GT. Just a little while later in '57 he would receive the new 14-Louver Berlinetta and would immediately enter it in the Mille Miglia. It would be the only 14-Louver Berlinetta in the field. In spite of the very short time Buticchi had with his new car he would go on to finish the grueling event 9th overall and 4th in class. What made the result all the more impressive would be the fact he would take part in the race without a co-driver and as an amateur.
Buticchi would continue to campaign the 250 GT but would have it repainted silver. The new silver-livery would be spotted at the Coppa Inter-Europa held at Monza in September of '57. The field would be impressive as the race would be specifically for GT cars. In spite of the competition, Buticchi would use his Berlinetta to come through in 4th place overall. One of those that would finish ahead of him would be Lualdi in another 14-Louver Berlinetta.
In early 1958, the car would be sold. The new owner would be Oreste Fezzardi of Genova. He would take part in just one race with the car. The event would be the Varese-Campo dei Fiori hill climb and he would end up securing a 2nd place result in his class.
The car would again be sold in January of 1959. It would continue to change hands and would end up in the Naples area until 1968 where it would be discovered by Tom Meade, a California car enthusiast. Meade had moved to Italy to work in brokering Italian sports cars and would also work in custom coachwork and custom updating. Meade would repaint the Berlinetta and would do some work with the Scaglietti coachwork which included installing 250 MM-style rear taillights and Tour de France side vents.
In 1969, the 14-Louver 250 GT would make its way to the United States and Indianapolis, Indiana where famed dealer John Delamater would acquire the car and then sell it to Norman Silver of High Point, North Carolina. This meant the rare 250 GT would join a collection of other rare Ferraris. 0703 GT would remain with Silver until 1977 when it would be sold to John Apen of Tucker, Georgia. The car would remain with Apen for a period of 20 years and would take part in events all over the country. It was nothing for Mr. Apen to drive cross country to an event, take part in a number of historic races and then drive all the way home. This served as a testament to his confidence in the 250 GT and the car's robust nature.
In 1997, Mr. Apen would finally sell the 250 GT and it would end up joining a private collection in the Pacific Northwest. A little more than a decade later the car would undergo restoration with Dennison International. Dennison International has an award-winning reputation and would take two years to complete the task. When finished, one of the last details would be the livery of the car. It would be decided the car would be finished just as it appeared when it was about to make it debut at the 1957 Mille Miglia.
The quality of the car and the restoration would end up being rewarded when 0703 GT would end up earning 2nd in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Highly original, even including matching engine and chassis numbers, 0703 GT remains one of just eight of the 14-Louver Berlinettas known still in existence and is, therefore, amongst a very select class. Truly a dual-purpose sports car, Sergio Scaglietti, it would have to be said, achieved his aim of blending the performance of the 250 MM with the style and elegance of Pinin Farina's original 250 GT show cars. The result then is a mixture of power and grace.
Presented for sale at the 2013 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction, 0703 GT would be estimated to draw between $9,000,000 and $11,000,000. When the bidding had come to an end, the final sale price would be $9,460,000.By Jeremy McMullen