1958 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe by Ellena
Sold For $940,000Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
Lot Location: Monterey, California
RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 24 - 25 AUGUST 2018
- Offered on Saturday
- One of the very best-known 250 GT “Ellenas”
- Formerly the long-term pride and joy of Cy Yedor
- Well-preserved, numerous award-winning older restoration
- Featured in the May 2002 issue of Forza magazine
- Ferrari Classiche certified, with accompanying Red Book
Bearing the distinctive long-nosed “Ferrari look” created by the factory’s principal design house, Pinin Farina of Turin, the first series of 250 GTs included 82 cars coachbuilt by Carrozzeria Boano. At the end of 1957, Mario Boano departed the company to set up the styling department at Fiat and his son-in-law, Ezio Ellena, took over with veteran partner Luciano Pollo.
The renamed Carrozzeria Ellena produced a further run of fifty 250 GTs, known as the Ellena coupes, with improved body proportions and headroom, courtesy of a slightly raised roofline, the adoption of a standard four-speed gearbox shift pattern, larger brakes, a ZF steering system, and the fitment of a single distributor to the engine. Passenger comfort and luggage accommodation were much improved from earlier Ferraris, and the panel and trim fit throughout was described by period road tests as being “superb.”
Equally superb was the performance of the famed Colombo-designed V-12, which, with 240 hp, could propel the Ellena coupe to a top speed of 127–157 mph, depending upon the selected final drive gear ratio. Such performance is not surprising, as the mechanical specifications of the Ellena, including the engine, gearbox, rear axle, suspension, brakes, wheels, and tires, were the same as that of the 250 GT Tour de France, Ferrari’s then-current GT racing car.
Minimal build numbers and the sad fate of many of the parts sources for Tour de France and California Spiders means a low survival rate for the 250 GT Boano/Ellena series. Ferrari historian Marcel Massini estimates that only about fifteen 250 GT Ellena coupes remain in their original form.
The Ellena coupe offered here, the 23rd of the 50 built, was delivered new through the Ferrari representative in Hollywood, California. In the early 1990s it underwent a total restoration by Gary Thieltges, of GT Motors in Glendale, refinishing the car in dark red with a tan interior, then was shown at the 1996 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
The next owner, Cy Yedor, exhibited the car at the Beverly Hills Mercedes-Benz Concours, the Huntington Beach Concours, and the Stanford University Concours the following year, winning its class at all three events.
For the 34th Annual Ferrari Club of America Concours, held in West Virginia, Yedor drove his Ferrari the 2,900 miles to the event, and literally drove away with a Platinum Award, a Coppa Bella Machina, a Coast-to-Coast Award, and the Luigi Chinetti Trophy—an absolutely unparalleled roster of awards, and a testament to the Ferrari’s outstanding mechanical and cosmetic condition. At the 1997 Concorso Italiano at Quail Lodge, the Ferrari was awarded the Luigi Chinetti Award for Outstanding GT, Best of Show, as chosen by the Ferrari Club of America. Yedor also captured the Coppa Bella Machina, Luigi Chinetti.
The car continued its winning streak with a 1st in Class and the Coppa Bella Machina Award at the VII Palm Beach Cavallino Classic and a Platinum Award at the Ferrari Club of America Concours, both in 1998. The winning record was continued in the care of later owners, Mark Templeton (Gold Award, X Cavallino Classic) and Diego Ribadeneira (Platinum Award, XIII Cavallino Classic).
Today, the Ellena’s restoration shows only slight patina; chrome bumpers, mirror, emblems, door and trunk handles, taillight housings, and grille surround are all very good, and the car rides on correct Borrani wire wheels. The interior appears in excellent, well-detailed condition, with the correct Nardi flat-wood steering wheel and IPRA heater. This car is a recipient of the very important Ferrari Classiche certification and is accompanied by original books, a factory tool roll, copies of build sheets, select records from current and previous ownership, and a copy of the May 2002 issue of Forza magazine, where this very car is the subject of a feature article, “A Renewed Appreciation,” on p. 46, recognizing it as one of the few Ellenas to have undergone a total, perfectionist-minded restoration.
This Ellena coupe is a superb example of an important part of the Ferrari road car story.