3.0-liter, DOHC, 240hp V12
Four-speed manual transmission with overdrive
Ferrari's premier 2+2
The most practical member of the legendary Ferrari 250 family
An exceptional tour mount
The first impression, and one that seems prevalent among those who "know" Ferraris is that the 2+2 is somewhat of a compromise. After a closer look, a little thought, and a long drive, the second impression may cause one to think that its predecessorthe 2-passenger Farina coupewas more of a compromise... Summing up our driving impressions, it can be stated that the Ferrari is one of the easiest cars in the world to drive. Anyone can drive one and enjoy the experience...
Thus proclaimed Road & Track
in their road test of the 250GTE featured in the August 1962 issue.
Intended to extend Ferrari's appeal to a sector of the market already contested by rivals Aston Martin and Maserati, the 250GTE 2+2 was first seen in prototype form at the 1960 Le Mans 24-Hour Race, where it served as the Race Director's car, and had its official world premiere later that year at the Paris Salon.
Close collaboration between Ferrari and Pininfarina in the design of Maranello's first series-production four-seater ensured that no criticism could be leveled at the 250GTE. Independent front suspension, a live rear axle, all-round disc brakes and a four-speed manual/overdrive gearbox completed the basic chassis specification, while the compact, Colombo-designed Tipo 128E outside-plug V12 engine's 240bhp ensured that there was no compromise in performance. Top speed was within a whisker of 140mph, while one example, driven by Ferrari works driver Phil Hill and carrying two passengers, accelerated from a standstill to 100mph and back to rest in 25 seconds, a staggering achievement for an almost fully laden Grand Tourer.
The 250GTE progressed through three series, changes being confined mainly to the front and rear lighting arrangements, before production ceased in 1963, by which time 950 cars had been sold, making this the most popular and commercially successful Ferrari to date.
The 250GTE presented here was delivered new to Peter Monteverdi, the Swiss importer for Ferrari and later the famed car builder. Finished in Nero Daytona over matching black leather, the car eventually found its way to America when it was purchased by Cal Gleason of Lathrop Village, Michigan. By 1977 it was again offered for sale finding its way to Canada where it passed through a few different owners in Ottawa and Toronto. By 1994 the car had returned to the US in the hands of Mike O'Brien of Los Alamitos, California. Shown at the Gathering of GTEs at Concorso Italiano in August of '94, the big coupe no doubt felt at home surrounded by its brethren. By 1998 the Ferrari was back in the Midwest in the collection of Dearborn, Michigan enthusiast Michael Zakarian. Making an appearance at the FCA National Concours in May of 1999 in Atlanta, Georgia, the car remained with Zakarian until 2002 when it headed back to the West Coast with Jason Portman of San Jose who promptly showed it at Concorso Italiano in 2002, its second outing at the event. The car continued its ping-pong course between California and the Midwest when it joined the Oldenburg Family Collection in 2006.
Showing well today, the Series II coupe features desirable Marchal headlights and driving lights inset n the grill. In the back, the single lens taillights from the Series III cars are fitted. Over the years the car has been carefully maintained with a repaint and interior retrim both occurring at some point likely over a decade ago. Mechanically, the transmission and brakes were rebuilt just prior to the car's acquisition by the Oldenburg Family Collection and the engine has been tuned and detailed.
Sharing its bones with the other Ferrari 250s, including the GTO, LM, GT California Spyder, Lusso, TdF, and Testa Rossa, the GTE represents an amazing value. For a fraction of the cost of its topless and competition cousins, and with a pair of extra buckets for the kids and a real trunk for the weekend, the GTE is one of the best and most usable sports cars available. Without reserve