Monterey | Lot 346
1963 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 Series III by Pininfarina
$428,500 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
14 August 2021
- Offered from the collection of Ron Tonkin
- Presented in its factory-correct Amaranto over Natural leather color combination
- The 692nd GTE built; rare and desirable Series III example delivered new to the U.S.
- Certified by Ferrari Classiche in October 2012; retains all of its major original, numbers-matching components
- Just two owners since new; acquired by Ron Tonkin in early 1979
The Ferrari 250 GTE was not only the most stylish, comfortable, and luxurious four-passenger car you could buy in the 1960s: Its commercial success may be the reason the Ferrari name lives on today. Staying true to its competition roots, the 250 GTE was revealed at the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans in the hands of the course marshal before making its official debut at the Paris Salon later that year.
To create the 250 GTE, Ferrari used essentially the same chassis as the 250 GT LWB “Tour de France,” but the 240-horsepower, 3.0-liter Colombo V-12 engine was moved eight inches forward; it was mated to a four-speed manual transmission with overdrive. Pininfarina's elegant design raised the rear section of the roof, providing more cabin space for rear seats while maintaining the same wheelbase and increasing the front and rear track. The GTE was one of Ferrari's most successful road cars, as 954 examples spanning three Series were delivered over a four-year production run. In addition to some cosmetic changes, Series III cars benefitted from the addition of coils to the leaf spring rear suspension.
Delivered new in March of 1963, chassis number 4197 GT was the 692nd 250 GTE produced. Falling into the third and final series of production, this desirable United States-delivery example was the 41st Series III completed at Maranello. The car was distributed via Luigi Chinetti Motors to the Nashville, Tennessee dealership of Madison Smith, and within a month had been sold to its first owner. In 1979, Ron Tonkin acquired the car from its original owner, then reportedly indicating approximately 26,500 miles.
Over the past 42 years, this wonderful and alluring 250 GTE Series III has been carefully maintained to a standard befitting its rarified pedigree. Invoices on file dating back to October 1979 illustrate regular servicing completed by Tonkin’s staff. Some notable highlights from the car’s extensive and meticulous service file include a cosmetic restoration in August 1982, engine rebuild completed in August 1985, and major service in May 1995.
In October of 2012, the car was successfully certified by Ferrari Classiche as a numbers-matching example retaining its original engine, gearbox, and differential. The car presently sits on a correct set of Borrani wire wheels, and is accompanied by a toll roll, Ferrari Classiche Red Book, and compendium of service invoices.
In preparation for sale, this elegant 250 GTE has been treated to a comprehensive servicing by Ferrari Master Technicians on staff at Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo. Combining stately looks, race-bred performance, and incredible practicality, a 250 GTE is a wonderful car to drive an denjoy and the perfect foray into 250-series Ferrari ownership.