Ferrari – Leggenda e Passione

9 September 2017

1958 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series I by Pinin Farina

  • Chassis no. 0791 GT
  • Engine no. GP 07
  • Gearbox no. 44 C


  • The 14th of 40 Series I Cabriolets built
  • Purchased new by John R. Fulp Jr.
  • Owned for 40 years by Robert Donner Jr.
  • Fully restored to its original colour combination
  • The iconic gentleman’s Ferrari


The 14th of 40 Series I 250 GT Cabriolets built, chassis 0791 GT was delivered new to its native Italy through Parauto S.r.l of Genova in March 1958. Finished in a very attractive colour combination of Bianco (MM 10019) over Blu (VM 3315) Connolly leather, its colour scheme perfectly suited the car’s personality as a fashionable open-top Ferrari. The car did not remain in Italy for long, and was sold to Luigi Chinetti Motors in New York.

First owner John R. Fulp Jr. of Greenville, South Carolina, was a young and highly successful gentleman racer with respectable showings at both Sebring and Le Mans; he raced and owned a number of incredible Ferraris throughout the 1950s. However, as 0791 GT was not built for racing, it is likely that his Series I Cabriolet was enjoyed more modestly on public roads. Fulp kept the car until the fall of 1959, when it was traded back to Luigi Chinetti for a 410 Superamerica (1311 SA).

The Cabriolet returned to Paris, France, when it was sold by Chinetti to James Harrison, an American living there. In Paris, it was refinished in silver over red by Charles Pozzi, and at that time the dashboard layout was also revised to be similar to that of a 400 Superamerica. Harrison kept the car in the United States and was living on Park Avenue in 1969 when issues with the engine arose, leading him to source a newer, outside-plug replacement motor through Chinetti. The car was then moved to Florida in July of 1970, but remained with Harrison at his home in Palm Beach.

By 1971, the car was sold by Harrison to its third owner, Robert Donner Jr. He was also a noted gentleman racer and a much-admired figure in American sports-car racing circles who owned and raced a number of significant Ferraris, including a 250 GTO. In 1975, Donner rebuilt the engine and refinished the car in red over red and it quickly became his go-to warm-weather driver. A resident of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Donner drove this car in the Colorado Grand no less than a dozen times. As an aside to its warm-weather driver duties, it appeared at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering in 2007, where it was displayed in a special class of Series I Cabriolets.

Following Donner’s passing, the car was purchased by enthusiasts on the West Coast and received a minor cosmetic restoration, before being sold to its fifth owner who returned it to Europe. At that time it was returned to its as-delivered specification of Bianco over Blu, and fitted with a correct type 128 C engine, sourced from Ferrari Classiche.

After being acquired by its current owner, the car was entrusted to RM Auto Restoration of Blenheim, Ontario, for further sorting in an effort to bring the car to show-ready condition for display at concours events, where it certainly would be most welcome. Today, the car presents in excellent condition throughout, thanks to not only its recent detailing, but also to its gentlemanly colours, seldom seen on a Ferrari of this type.

With fascinating ownership history, including two very notable figures in American sports car racing, chassis 0791 GT is a wonderful grand touring Ferrari in all regards, and would be an astute addition to any collection.





• Esemplare numero 14 di 40 prima serie costruite
• Tra i proprietari figurano anche John R. Fulp Jr. e Robert Donner Jr., che l'ha tenuta 40 anni
• Riportata alla sua colorazione originale
• Considerata unanimemente la Ferrari dei gentlemen

La quattordicesima 250 GT Cabriolet delle prima seria, telaio 0791 GT, viene venduta nuova, in Italia, dalla Parauto Srl di Genova (marzo 1958). Verniciata in una combinazione molto elegante, carrozzeria Bianco (MM 10019) e interni in pelle Connolly Blu (VM 3315), ha un abbinamento che si sposa perfettamente con lo stereotipo di auto aperta e alla moda, di cui questa 250 è un perfetto esempio. La Ferrari non rimane in Italia molto tempo, però, visto che presto viene venduta alla Luigi Chinetti Motors di New York.

John R. Fulp Jr. di Greenville, Carolina del Sud, nonché primo proprietario, è un giovane gentleman driver di talento, con piazzamenti di tutto rispetto sia a Sebring che a Le Mans. Negli anni '50, Fulp ha corso con un'incredibile quantità di “rosse”, alcune delle quali anche di sua proprietà. Tuttavia, siccome la 0791 GT non era stata costruita per le gare, è molto probabile che il pilota l'abbia goduta fuori dagli autodromi. Fulp tenne l'auto fino all'autunno del '59, quando Luigi Chinetti gliela ritirò, permutandola con una 410 Superamerica (1311 SA).

La cabriolet torna nuovamente in Europa quando Chinetti la vende a James Harrison, un americano a Parigi. Ridipinta in argento (con interni rossi) da Charles Pozzi, nello stesso periodo la plancia viene ridisegnata per assomigliare a quella della 400 Superamerica. Ancora una volta negli Stati Uniti, visto che Harrison ha una casa in Park Avenue, New York, è proprio qui che nel '69 si verifica un problema al motore che lo costringe a cercarne uno più recente, ma a candele esterne, dal solito Chinetti. Infine, nel luglio del 1970, decide di portare la cabriolet nella sua casa di Palm Beach, Florida.

Nel '71 l'auto passa al terzo proprietario, Robert Donner Jr., altro gentleman driver molto ammirato negli ambienti sportivi americani per le Ferrari che aveva avuto modo di possedere o di guidare, tra cui addirittura una 250 GTO. Nel '75 Donner ne ricostruisce il motore, la ridipinge di rosso, in tinta con gli interni e la utilizza come auto per le sue vacanze al caldo. Residente a Colorado Springs, con questa “scoperta” Donner partecipa almeno a una dozzina di Colorado Grand, per poi iscriverla addirittura al The Quail, il raduno automobilistico in cui viene esposta nella categoria Cabriolet Prima Serie (2007).

Dopo la scomparsa di Donner, l'auto viene acquistata da alcuni appassionati della West Coast e, dopo un piccolo restauro estetico, passa di mano per la quinta volta. Il nuovo proprietario la porta in Europa per l'ennesima volta, ora però con la sua colorazione originale e un motore tipo 128 C, finalmente quello giusto, proveniente direttamente da Ferrari Classiche.

Dopo essere stata acquisita dal suo attuale proprietario, la 250 è affidata a RM Auto Restoration di Blenheim, Ontario: l'ultimo sforzo per renderla pronta a partecipare a nuovi concorsi, dove sicuramente non sfigurerà. Oggi l'automobile si presenta in condizioni eccellenti, per le recenti migliorie, certo, ma anche per i suoi colori da vero gentleman, visti molto di rado su Ferrari di questo tipo.

Con uno storico di proprietari di tutto rispetto, tra cui due corridori noti per le loro partecipazioni in gare americane e non, quest'auto, con telaio 0791 GT, è una meravigliosa Ferrari sotto tutti i punti di vista. Oltre che un pezzo pregiato da aggiungere alla propria collezione.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more