The one-off, 1954 New York Auto Show
1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupé
Coachwork by Vignale - Design by Giovanni Michelotti
Chassis no. 0313 EU
Engine no. 0331 EU
2,963cc SOHC V-12 Engine
200bhp at 6,000rpm
4-speed Manual Transmission
Independent Front Suspension, Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*Unique Coachbuilt Ferrari
*One-off Michelotti design for Vignale
*Exacting restoration with extreme attention to detail
*Ferrari Classiche Certified
*Award winner at 2012 Concorso Villa d'Este
The Ferrari 250 Europa
Ferrari firmly established itself as a 'volume' manufacturer with the 250 series, which would go on to encompass some of the most legendary cars in Ferrari history. It began slowly, with the model's introduction at the 1953 Paris Auto Salon, simultaneously with the 375 America. It was Ferrari's first real 'touring' road car and was the key to Enzo Ferrari's plan, encouraged by his North American importer Luigi Chinetti, to attract well-to-do customers to buy road cars to finance the company's core focus, racing. The 250 Europa was fitted with a 3-liter V-12 designed by Gioacchino Colombo and which was a development of the engine first seen in the 166, Ferrari's first car. It would continue through development to power Ferraris into the 1960s.
Ferraris of the period were, as pre-war cars had been, chassis to be clothed by independent carrozzerie. Giovanni Michelotti penned some wondrous designs for Vignale in the early 1950s, none more so than those built to clothe Ferrari chassis. While Ferrari would become intimately linked with Pinin Farina (later 'Pininfarina') in years to come, when it comes to the early road going Berlinettas it is the style of Michelotti as realized by Vignale that defined much of what people saw as the non-racing side of Ferrari. These cars at their best are dramatic and flamboyant, most often seen in two-tone color schemes and full of fascinating and beautifully realized details in the arrangement of lights, vents and chrome trim.
The Vignale bodies lent an air of sophistication to chassis which were still, even by the middle of the decade, really more suited for competition driving than journeys to the opera. Nevertheless, they did their job in drawing wealthy businessmen, playboys and entertainers, seducing them with dashing lines and the sound of that jewel of a V-12 engine, whose companions were heard in races around the world. There would be only 20 250 Europas built until the model was succeeded by the Aurelio Lampredi-engined 250 GT Europa in 1955.
The Motorcar Offered
Visitors to the 2nd World Motor Sports Show held in January 1954 were treated to the sight of an aggressive, diminutive yet elegant looking sports coupe along a wall- sandwiched between a low 'spider' and an open-wheel formula racing car. That very car was chassis 0313 EU, on offer here. Finished in a sophisticated two-tone color combination of Tobacco with Bruno Siena over beige leather, this coupe was sold to the US importer Luigi Chinetti, and shipped to New York that very month. When on display at the show it had been repainted red with black, perhaps to make it fit better with the competition cars beside it.
It is presumed to have stayed with Chinetti for some time, as according to the very complete history of 0313 EU compiled by famed Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, the car was owned by Mike Garber of Framingham, Massachusetts by 1958 and in April of that year was sold to George H. Parker of Rome, New York by Gaston Andrey. It is next recorded to have been resident in San Diego, California in 1960 and reported to have been painted once more, this time in purple. Compounding this assault on aesthetics, the original Ferrari V-12 was temporarily removed and a supercharged Chevrolet engine installed. This was a not uncommon occurrence in the time, as owners sought to both add power inexpensively and eliminate the maintenance requirements of Italian V-12 engines. In addition the bumpers were removed, along with the rear bright trim and the nose repaired after slight damage.
In 1967 the Ferrari was sold to Leonard Renick, Manager of the Fullerton, California dealership Phil Renick Cadillac which was also a Maserati agent. Photographs of the car during this period can be seen in Dean Batchelor's book Ferrari Early Berlinettas and Competition Coupes as well as in Marcel Massini's seminal work, Ferrari by Vignale. The recorded owner of the Europa in 1968 was Philip Stanton of Los Angeles, California who displayed the still V-8 engined car at a local show. Next, it was sold to Brian Burnett of Ferrari of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, California in 1976 who sold it along to Constantine Baksheef and Alec Sokoloff of Palo Alto. In this period, the original engine for this car, stamped 0313 EU, was sold to Giovanni Londi of West Covina, California and later sold on to Patrick Smiekel who installed it in a Ferrari 250 Europa chassis #0325 EU.
Baksheef and Solokoff sold 0313 EU to Tom Shaughnessy of San Clemente, California in an unrestored state and it was featured 'as found' in the 2004 issue 7/8 of the newsletter of the Ferrari Club of America Southwest Region 'Sempre Ferrari'. That August, Shaughnessy showed the car as discovered at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. It was sold to the current owner in September, 2009 and brought to Switzerland where the restoration of the Ferrari began, carried out in the owner's own private shop.
As can be imagined the work to be done was daunting. However, the body was very complete and original as was the suspension. The attention to detail and correctness was almost obsessive. As an example, to obtain the precisely correct Bruno Siena and Tobacco shades for the body, the owner is said to have searched out and employed a 25-year old nitro-cellulose lacquer paint. The leather used in the interior was from the same Swiss shop which had supplied the original in 1953.
The restoration was documented in two large binders, one of which holds documentation. This consists of the current FIVA documents, copies of the original build and testing sheets (Foglio di Montaggio), copies of period photographs and for sale advertisements from the car's history. Also included in this binder are extensive restoration photographs, documenting the work on all aspects of the car, from mechanical to bodywork to soft trim. All the component identification number stampings are also photo documented. The other is a 'patterns' binder containing all the details researched and decided upon during the work. It includes the panel with the paint sample spray for the body, an example of each original screw, nut, bolt and clamp as taken from the car when it was dismantled so they could be matched exactly on rebuilding, along with samples cut from the original wiring loom, insulation and interior fabrics, all meticulously listed and preserved for guidance in the work to be done.
The Europa was finally restored to Ferrari motive power during this work, with a period, model correct engine, #0331 EU being installed. The restoration was completed in December, 2011 and the following May it was shown at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Cernobbio, Italy where it received the 'Trofeo Foglizzo' for best interior design. In November of 2012 it was the subject of a color feature in the Belgian magazine 'Red Racing Green', Issue #18. It received Ferrari Classiche Certification #3440 F on February 14, 2013 and was the cover car of the April/May 2013 issue, #194, of 'Cavallino' magazine and the subject of the twelve-page main feature, written by historian Alan Boe.
As offered today, this one-off Ferrari comes with its Ferrari Classiche Certification and those truly impressive Documentation and Patterns folders, in hardcover binders with chrome 'Vignale' scripts on their covers. Also present are a copy of the original Owner's handbook, a tool bag, jack bag and two sets of keys with period key fob.
Any Ferrari of this era is a very special motorcar indeed however here is a one-off Vignale-bodied example of the legendary 250-series, boasting an impressive provenance. Its recent restoration has brought the car back to its original configuration, with impeccable attention to ensure that every detail is just so. Eligible for the world's most exclusive Concours events, as well as the best driving tours such as the California Mille and the Colorado Grand, here is a spectacular Grand Touring Ferrari of the 1950s. Even better, in the company of the world's most exclusive collectors' cars, you will never see another like it driving down the road.
- Please note that the early 250 Europas, like 0313EU, were fitted with the Lampredi designed engine, and not the Colombo designed engine as described in the catalog.
Please note that the title for this vehicle is in transit.