1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Pininfarina
$1,400,000 - $1,700,000
RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 6 - 7 MARCH 2020 - Offered on Saturday
- Ferrari Classiche Certified; accompanied by Red Book
- Matching-numbers chassis, engine, gearbox, and differential
- Exceptional concours-quality restoration in striking, rare original colors
- Well-known ownership history with several long-term caretakers
- One of seven delivered in Grigio Fumo over Pelle Beige interior
As the 250 GT model line continued to develop at the twilight of 1959, Ferrari introduced a second generation of Pinin Farina–bodied luxury cabriolets, essentially a grand touring version of the concurrent competition-derived 250 California spider. Featuring four-wheel disc brakes and the outside-plug engine developed during the Testa Rossa campaigns, the new cabriolet was the most tractably powerful 250 GT to date, claiming both fine road manners and strong performance.
Only 200 examples of the second-series cabriolets were built, lending the model equal parts rarity and elegance. These mid-production 250 GTs offer the best of both ends of the spectrum, as their striking open coachwork envelopes more modern chassis components in a combination that today’s collectors can particularly enjoy on vintage touring events.
Chassis no. 2587, the 131st of the 200 examples built, was completed in July 1961. It was originally finished in Grigio Fumo over a beige vinyl-and-leather interior, as it appears today, and was equipped with the overdrive transmission. The cabriolet left the Pininfarina plant after final assembly in July 1961 and was sold as a direct sale from the factory to Mr. Daniel Belozlan, a Frenchman residing in California. Belozlan eventually became one of the longest-term cabriolet owners, maintaining his car until 1986, when it was sold through Richard Straman to Richard W. Gent of Euclid, Ohio.
Mr. Gent had the car restored by Joe Piscazzi in red with a beige interior, and afterwards it was exhibited at the Ferrari Club of America (FCA) International Concours in 1989 and 1990. A handful of further owners on the East Coast followed, including William Kevin Collins of Louisville and Robert Weis of Pittsburgh, who exhibited it at several of the Cavallino Classics in West Palm Beach, earning FCA Platinum honors as well as, in 2000, Coppa Bella Macchina and Coppa Strada GT.
Around 2004 the cabriolet was acquired by Gary Lilienthal of Boston, who displayed it at several events in New England. It was eventually purchased from him by the previous owner, under whose ownership it was completely disassembled down to bare metal and freshly restored to original, factory-correct appearance, including the proper original colors and a fresh leather interior. The matching-numbers drivetrain was fully disassembled and rebuilt; the front and rear suspension were also disassembled and inspected, the generator and dynamo rebuilt, and the transmission was resealed. Then the car was presented at the Ferrari 70th Anniversary special display at Casa Ferrari during the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It was acquired by the current owner, an esteemed private collector, in August 2018. Most recently, the car won the Excellence in Class award at the 2019 Cavallino Classic Sports Sunday at Mar-a-Lago Concours, in addition to being shown at the 2019 Cincinnati Concours d’Elegance and the prestigious 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Prior to being shown at Pebble Beach, the Ferrari was sent to the award-winning team at RM Auto Restoration in preparation for Pebble Beach judging standards. Work included the installation of a new convertible top, a complete, new exhaust system, the fabrication and installation of a new original-style fuel tank, and gauges repaired to ensure full functionality. New rubber and seals were installed, select wiring was replaced, the front and rear disc calipers were rebuilt, the steering box was adjusted, brake calipers and engine hardware were cad plated, correct-style hose clamps were installed in the engine bay, and lastly, all three carburetors were rebuilt and later tuned on the dyno to ensure they were to proper specification.
Presented in superb concours-quality condition and complete with Ferrari Classiche certification, detailed records, photographs, promotional materials, owner’s manuals, and tool roll, this is an utterly outstanding second-series Pininfarina cabriolet sure to impress any and all admirers.