The Ferrari 250 GT was the company's first volume-production model. The first of the line was the 250 Europa, built from 1953 to 1954 with fewer than 20 examples built. Prior to the Europa, Ferrari had built road-going convertibles and coupes in small quantities, often to special customer requests and mounted on a sports-racing chassis. Many of these early examples received coachwork from Ghia and Vignale of Turin, and Touring of Milan. However, there were no real attempts at standardization for series production and no two cars were alike. Road car production was a sideline for Ferrari, but by the early 1960s this all changed and it was seen as vitally important to the company's future stability.
Vignale was Ferrari's preferred coachbuilder, but this changed with the introduction of the 250 Europa, as Pinin Farina (renamed 'Pininfarina' from June 1961) would be Ferrari's number one choice. Of the 35 Europa and Europa GTs built, Pinin Farina built no fewer than 48 examples. In March of 1956, the 250 GT road car was put on display at the Geneva Salon. At this point in history, Pinin Farina was unable to cope with the popularity and demand, so production was entrusted to Carrozzeria Boano after Pinin Farina had built a few prototypes.
Between 1958 and 1960, approximately 353 examples of the Pinin Farina 250 GT coupes were built, within the sequence '0841' to '2081'. Custom examples, competition versions, and Speciale cars were also built during this time, including the 250 GTO.
The engine powered the 250 GT was based upon the 1.5-liter unit that powered Ferrari's first sports car, the Tipo 125C. The original Colombo-designed Tipo 128C 3.0-litre engine was superseded by the twin-distributor 128D and powered the 250 GT production cars. In 1960, this engine was supplanted by the outside-plug 128F engine which replaced the prior siamesed inlets in favor of six separate ports. Four-wheel disc brakes became standard in 1959 and a four-speed-plus-overdrive gearbox arrived in 1960.
250 GT Series 1 Cabriolet Carrozzeria Pinin Farina produced 40 Series I Cabriolets on the 250 GT chassis between 1957 and 1959. With a list price of $14,950 when new, they were the most expensive 250 GT by a significant margin. The price was over $3,000 more than the California Spider and $2,500 more than the Tour de France Berlinetta.
Carrozzereia Boano built the first 250 GT Cabriolet for the 1956 Geneva Salon de l'Automobile exhibition. Its introduction coincided with the Pinin Farina Coupe built in a small production series by the same Boano Company. Luigi Chinetti, Ferrarir's American East Coast importer, displayed the Boano Cabriolet at the New York Show.
After witnessing the Boano Cabriolet, Pinin Farina produced a Cabriolet of their own, shown in March of 1957 at the Geneva Salon. This styling exercise was given a function in the crest of the left-side door, allowing space for the driver's elbow. It wore an Italian red exterior color, which was soon re-spared green when it became Ferrari's British works driver Peter Collins's personal car. Additionally, it was subsequently fitted with British made Dunlop disc brakes.
The Pinin Farina Cabriolet was followed by an even sportier-looking Spyder, followed by a more prototype street version. The final of the four Speciale 250 GT Cabriolet prototypes was a green-finished example that was sold to Prince Saddrudin Aga Khan in May 1957.
An American named Oscar 'Ozzie' Olson received the first 'true production' 250 GT Cabriolet Pinin Farina in mid-summer 1957. The air vents of the preceding prototypes did not appear on the Cabriolet's flanks, and many of the production examples that followed did not have the flanks either.
These Cabriolets rested on the same chassis frame as the 1956-1958 Coupes, along with the same engine and underpinnings. The chassis was comprised of two large, tubular side members with a live rear axle and double wishbones at the front. The engine was a slightly tuned version of the 'short block' V12 engine and delivered around 240 horsepower. Several of the later examples were given disc brakes. Most of the 36 production Pinin Farina penned bodies had the covered headlights, a bonnet scoop, small taillights mounted on top of the rear fender, raked windscreen, pronounced rear haunches, and bumperettes on the front of the car. The last few examples received more traditional tail lights, and the bumperettes were removed as they offered very little production. While there were many similarities to the exterior, many customers chose unique interior designs, and they vary from car-to-car. Many received Connolly leather hides, a console-mounted control panel, and a wrinkle-finish dashboard with Veglia gauges and pastel-colored warning lights.
In 1958, a new convertible was introduced as the 250 GT California. Production of the Series 1 came to a close in 1959 when they were replaced by another Cabriolet, known as the Series II Cabriolet. The Series 1 250 GT Cabriolet remains as one of the first Ferraris to be built in any significant number by Pinin Farina. by Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2019
Related Reading : Ferrari 250 GT History
Production of the 250 Series began in 1954 and continued on through the early part of the 1960s. There were numerous variations of the 250 and would ultimately become Ferraris 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 1950s. Also, the 250 was the first four-seater. Ferraris.... Continue Reading >>
Though from the same family, the same blood coursing through the veins, Ferrari's California Spyder and Cabriolet would approach their lives, their callings from two completely different points of view. The California would be the wild child; all abo....[continue reading]
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Ferrari 250 GT with chassis number 1087 began life wearing a Pinin Farina coupe body. In 1974 it was given a Fantuzzi body from 330 TRi/LM chassis number 0808 and sold to a US based individual thru Sauro Mingarelli in Bologna. In 1988 it was given an....[continue reading]
Before Ferrari introduced its 250 GT California it produced a Cabriolet that would help its successor become the icon that it would. Sporty for sure, the Series 1 Cabriolet would also boast of elegant and refined lines that not only made it aggressiv....[continue reading]
This particular Ferrari Series I Cabriolet is the 13th example built. It was Pinin Farina job number 19459 and entered their workshop on October 18th of 1957. When it was finished, it wore Grigio Metallizzato (Metallic Gray) exterior with black leath....[continue reading]
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