Open Roads, The European Summer Auction | Lot 157
1959 Ferrari 250 GT Coupé by Pinin Farina
Sold After Auction
| Lugano, Switzerland
14 - 22 July 2020
- A well-documented, meticulously restored, 250 GT Coupe that retains its original engine
- Ferrari Classiche Certified, documented by marque historians Marcel Massini and Tony Willis
- Extensive concourse exhibition and publication history
- Stunning colour scheme of Grigio Scuro over Pelle Biege (VM 3218) leather
- Offered with extensive service records, history file, concourse trophies, restoration photo album, and provenance records including Classiche booklet and Massini report.
Please note that this lot will need to be collected in Lugano, Switzerland.
When Ferrari introduced the 250 GT Coupe at the 1958 Paris Motor Show, the marque signaled their first, and most decisive step toward true series production. On this new series coupe, Pinin Farina coachwork replaced the Boano- and Ellena-built cars of years previous. Most importantly, the 250 GT delivered exactly what the market desired and cemented Ferrari’s managerial fortitude to continue volume production—with 353 produced between 1958 and 1960, the 250 GT was the marque’s best-selling product. A gentleman’s Ferrari in every sense, the 250 GT coupé is the definitive Italian grand tourer of the late fifties. More at home cruising the coastline of the South of France than rocketing down the Mulsanne Straight, these cars were built for the individual that respected Ferrari’s racing pedigree yet wanted something more civilized and comfortable than its racing counterparts.
Under the hood was Ferrari’s renowned 3.0-litre Colombo V-12, producing 240 hp at 7,000 rpm and topped with three twin-choke Weber carburetors. Born and developed in the crucible of motorsport, this engine provided the coupe with a top speed just shy of 150 mph, and it could reach 60 mph in seven seconds, which is impressive for a car of its class and faster than many comparable offerings from Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Maserati.
Chassis 1427 GT, offered here, is the 180th built during the model’s production run—and has, among other details, been recently finished in true-to-original Grigio Scuro—the proper color present when the chassis was delivered to Bologna, Italy resident Giulio Cerri in 1959. The provenance and finer details of chassis 1427 GT’s history post-1979 are relatively well documented, and the accompanying report of marque historian Marcel Massini strengthens an extensive collection of records which weave an alluring standard of meticulous owners unwavering in their enjoyment and commitment to this special Ferrari. Additional documents courtesy of UK-based Ferrari historian Tony Willis have also been included to supplement Massini’s work regarding this chassis.
Having been repainted red at some point during the interceding years, an accompanying bill of sale dated April 8th, 1981 transferred ownership of this 250 GT coupe from a Mr. Nathanial Kennedy of Simsbury, Connecticut, to Ms. Devon Dehyle of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA. Though not included on the Massini report, this document is believed to genuine. By 1986, Ms. Dehyle had sold the car to Prof. Ruggero Santilli—it’s most noted custodian—who had the car fully restored between 1987 and 1989 by an alliance of marque specialists in the Greater Boston Area. The car was repainted and reupholstered in a Swedish-style livery of blue and yellow on account of purported discussions between Mrs. Santilli and a Pininfarina executive. Interestingly, Santilli’s first day with chassis 1427 GT in 1986 (still painted red), and its subsequent restoration are both covered in respective articles featured in contemporaneous editions of the Ferrari Club of America’s Pracing Horse newsletter. Accompanying period correspondence between Santilli and none other than Enzo Ferrari himself indicate the aging il Commendatore’s appreciation for the restoration, and Emilio Goldoni’s personal invitation for Santilli to tour the marque’s storied Maranello factory. Over two decades of ownership records and documentation seem to indicate that Prof. Santilli was a fastidious owner who spared no expense in keeping the car to an exemplary standard—a multitude of enthusiast publications and concourse trophies from exhibitions throughout the American South substantiate the community’s appraisal of chassis 1427 GT’s condition during this time.
At some later point after leaving Santilli’s ownership in 2013, the car was brought to the United Kingdom and repainted in a two-tone paintjob utilizing a Grigio Scuro (dark grey) roof and contrasting Grigio Conchiglia (light grey) body. The interior was contemporaneously restyled in tan leather with light grey piping—a similar but imperfect rendition of the coupe’s present interior—which has since been furnished again in a the true-to-factory VM 3128 Pelle Biege by UK Hide of Surrey, UK. Between 2014 and 2018, this exemplary 250 GT coupe was the subject of an extensive, no-expenses-spared restoration, notwithstanding the aforementioned cosmetic work; the braking, steering, electrical, and suspension systems, exhaust, and numbers-matching powertrain have all been addressed and overhauled by marque specialists within the United Kingdom, including Joe Macari, Prestige Restoration, and Bell Classics among others—with an aim to return the chassis to a proper “period-correct” state. Recent invoices accompanying this lot substantiate over £140,0000 and 700 hours invested in pursuit of that aim.
All present brightwork and rubber seals appear in appropriate condition befitting this chassis’ Ferrari Classiche Certification and concourse-grade restoration. Per accompanying Classiche literature, the numbers-matching engine, gearbox, axles, and other major components are each present on this exemplary chassis. A set of period-correct chrome 16x5.5-inch Borrani wire wheels are presented as spotless, and are presently wrapped in bespoke Michelin tires.
A 250 GT Pinin Farina coupe is a car that every Ferrari enthusiast should own and appreciate. As an exemplary, well documented, widely exhibited, professionally restored, and Classiche certified 1959 coupe, chassis 1427 GT would be a premier acquisition for any collector looking to fulfill this mandate.