London | Lot 159
1953 Ferrari 212 Europa Coupé by Pinin Farina
£1,017,500 GBP | Sold
| London, United Kingdom
5 September 2018
- Exquisitely beautiful Pinin Farina coachwork on a rare LHD chassis
- Photographed for the factory and featured in period Ferrari literature
- Decades of wonderful known history; documented by Marcel Massini
- Recent concours restoration by marque specialists Epifani Restorations
- Ferrari Classiche certified; original engine, gearbox and bodywork
- Accompanied by an owner’s manual, factory brochure and tool kit with jack
In October 1952, Ferrari began a gradual transition away from the 212-based platform with the debut of an Inter Cabriolet by Pinin Farina, chassis no. 0235 EU. This was the first appearance of the EU suffix, signifying ‘Europa’ and indicating a new range of continental-positioned GT cars. The well-appointed 212 Inter had always featured a longer 2,600-mm chassis, in comparison to the racing 212 Export; these dimensions were exaggerated even further on the 2,800-mm chassis that would soon arrive on the forthcoming 250 Europa.
Just 78 examples of the 212 Inter were produced between 1951 and 1953; 26 of the final 29 cars received the EU chassis designation as Europas, and only four of these were constructed as left-hand-drive examples.
Chassis no. 0279EU, offered here, features the most desirable late-production specifications, including three competition-style Weber 36 DCF3 carburettors, good for an additional 40 hp over earlier models. The beautiful coupé body was produced by Pinin Farina, one of 17 finished by that firm, and was finished in delightfully subtle Azzurro with a pale grey roof and Marrone leather interior.
After appearances in period Ferrari factory literature, in which it was pictured at rest in the public gardens of Modena, the car was shipped to the U.S. and sold by Chinetti Motors to its original owner, the aptly named Bruno Ferrari of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Ferrari sold the car in 1960 and it moved to California, where it had several owners over the next three decades before joining the current owner’s esteemed collection in 2006. Interestingly, it was actually exhibited at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 1961, at a time when that event was little more than a small local charity sports car show – and a used 212 Europa was right at home!
In 2010, a complete restoration was undertaken for the previous owner by well-known marque specialists, Epifani Restorations of Berkeley, California. Only recently completed, the painstaking seven-year, $500,000 process was a nut-and-bolt restoration from the frame up, in which every component was correctly refinished to its original condition. This included the original numbers-matching engine and gearbox, which were fully rebuilt, and the body being refinished in the original colour scheme, with all brightwork correctly re-plated, while the interior was upholstered in tan leather. A fuel cell was fitted inside the correct fuel tank, in a nod to the consignor’s preference for both showing and enthusiastically driving his automobiles. Lovely touches included a period-correct Condor radio, as well as a Chinetti Motors-stamped owner’s manual, tools, jack, factory brochures and, of course, the all-important Ferrari Classiche Red Book, attesting to the car’s level of originality, retaining its original engine, bodywork, brakes and suspension and gearbox, along with a replacement differential of the correct type. Furthermore, it is important to note that the roof has been wrapped in an off-white, to match the 250 Europa shown in Ferrari’s official brochure. This can easily be removed should its next custodian so desire. Underneath, the roof is painted pale grey as it was originally.
Among the surviving Europas, few are more spectacular than this beautifully drawn, achingly pretty coupé, which has benefitted from superb care and an exquisite concours-quality restoration, requiring only a new owner to drive it onto the show field. Bearing Ferrari Classiche certification, it is a vintage Ferrari for which absolutely no excuses need be made.