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The Quail Auction / 1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GTCoachwork and Design by Pinin Farina Chassis no. 0427 GT Engine no. 0427 GT

Lot 50
1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT
19 August 2022, 11:00 PDT
Carmel, Quail Lodge & Golf Club

US$2,250,000 - US$2,750,000

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1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT
Coachwork by and Design by Pinin Farina

Chassis no. 0427 GT
Engine no. 0427 GT

2,953cc SOHC All-alloy V12 Engine
3 Weber 36 DCZ/3 Carburetors
Approximately 220bhp at 6,600rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Independent Front Coil Suspension - Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Hydraulic Alfin Drum Brakes

*Exhibited at the 1956 Brussels Motor Show and campaigned in period at Spa Francorchamps
*Superb, factory-correct restoration performed by leading Ferrari specialists Ottis and Hoyt
*Ferrari Classiche Certified, matching-numbers engine example, retaining its original bodywork
*Eligible for the most exclusive driving and Concours d'Elegance events around the globe
*The very last 250 Europa GT built, with the desirable GT chassis upgrades



THE FERRARI 250 EUROPA GT

Capitalizing on the raving success of his V12-engined competition cars, Enzo Ferrari began to develop exclusive road-going models for sale to private customers. Mr. Ferrari had begun planning his new car during the war and in 1946 commissioned Gioacchino Colombo to design a small-capacity V12 engine for it. By the time the doors to the 1953 Paris Auto Salon opened, it marked a new dawn for Ferrari. The Ferrari range of road-going cars was being fully renewed with two new models announced, the 250 Europa to replace the 212 Inter born in 1951 and a bigger-engined model, the 375 America.

The 250 was Ferrari's first true Gran Turismo, and it was dressed in the Pinin Farina design that would come to be synonymous with how a Ferrari looked, forever intertwining the 250 with the passionate men of Maranello and Turin. The sobriety of shape and refined elegance of line exuded by the Europa were fully confirmed over and over again by Pinin Farina in later Ferrari GTs, and design cues created by the Ferrari-Pinin Farina partnership during this time, like the long, low hood and oval radiator, continue to appear on Ferrari models of the present day. It was this design that has, for decades, embodied the spirit of cruising through the French Riviera, cocooning occupants and luggage in luxury while effortlessly eating up miles.

First seen at the Paris Auto Salon the following year, in 1954, the new second series Europa GT looked quite similar to the standard Europa, but in reality, the GT was a car with a wealth of new features. The original Colombo-designed short block engine had been brought up to 220bhp at a screaming 6,600rpm through its development in the competition-derived 250 model, the 250 Mille Miglia. Used in the new Europa GT's, it allowed for a shorter wheelbase. This in turn brought down the weight by approximately 10%, and nearly ten miles per hour was added to the top speed of the new Europa GT Coupe.

Perhaps the most desirable upgrade to the Europa GT was the fully revised suspension of the GT, now featuring independent coil-sprung suspension with double wishbones up front, yet only fitted to the late production cars. This made for a much better handling car, with excellent road holding, cornering abilities and ride quality. Less than 15 of the Europa GTs featured this advanced suspension system. The huge Alfin brake drums were similar to the ones later fitted to Ferrari's competition GT, the Tour de France, and offered very capable stopping power.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

As one of the rare and desirable, stunningly beautiful Europa GTs by Pinin Farina, chassis no. 0427 GT claims exceptional pedigree of both period racing history and motor show car when new. According to the extensive history report compiled by renowned Ferrari historian Marcel Massini and the Ferrari Classiche department, 0427 GT started construction as a coachbuilt Ferrari with the chassis delivered to the Pinin Farina coachworks on September 26th, 1955, to receive the beautiful Europa Coupe bodywork as seen on the car today. 0427 GT was of the last Europa GT completed, featuring the fully evolved and further advanced GT upgrades, using coil spring suspension as opposed to leaf springs. It featured the type 508 chassis, and was fitted with engine internal no. 367, as fitted in the car today. The car was painted Grigio Metallizato LC40, with a Verde LC17 (green) roof, and trimmed in Pelle Connolly VM3108. 0427 GT was delivered new to famed Ferrari racing team and importer, Jacques Swaters' Garage Francorchamps in January of 1956, and then displayed at the 1956 Brussels Motor Show, as the hottest new model from Maranello. Copies of original factory invoice, delivery paperwork and Certificate of Origin are on file, and Swaters was charged 3,000,000 Lire for the new Ferrari. 0427 GT remained with Swaters until 1957, when fellow Belgian Mr. W. Nilens purchased the car. On May 12, 1957, 0427 GT was then raced by Nilens at the famous Belgian racetrack, Spa Francorchamps, with race #30 in the Grand Prix de Spa, and lovely old archival photos are offered with the car, showing 0427 GT on track and in the paddock with the crew supporting it.

0427 GT remained in Belgium under Swaters watch until 1966, when he exported it to the US, where Jude Holcombe & Richard F. Merritt of Bethesda, Maryland became the next owners. 0427 GT later went to another US collector, before going back to Europe in the 1990s, where it was offered for sale by Albrecht G. Guggisberg's Oldtimer Garage in Toffen, Switzerland in 1998. By the early 2000s, the Ferrari was back stateside, and here owned by noted collector of significant European sportscars, Mr. Bruce Milner of Los Angeles, California. The car later went through the hands of Ferrari broker Tom Shaughnessy, before it was acquired by noted collector Mr. Scott Kreins of Saratoga, California, and then entrusted to award winning painter Brian Hoyt and his esteemed shop Perfect Reflections for a cosmetic restoration. The white color chosen as seen on the car today, was discovered as the base layer when the body was stripped to bare metal. During this time, the car's matching-numbers Colombo V12 engine was rebuilt by Ferrari specialist Patrick Ottis, while Ken Nemanic's Vintage Automotive Upholstery trimmed the interior using the well-preserved original interior as a foundation for authentic color, pattern and detail.

Once the restoration was completed, 0427 GT would be displayed at various concours events for the following years, including the Quail Motorsports Gathering event and the Cavallino Classic Ferrari event in Palm Beach, Florida. 0427 GT was later owned by a noted East Coast based collector, before being acquired by the consignor, a noted Swiss collector, who has since maintained the car in excellent order, while using it on many classic car driving events, including the California Mille.

Accompanying documentation supporting 0427 GTs incredible provenance includes of course Marcel Massini's carefully compiled history report, period paperwork from the Italian authorities, copy of the original factory invoice and shipping paperwork from Ferrari, and the lovey photos taken of the car at Spa in 1957, and later in the early 1960s in Belgium. Photos are also available of the car before Ottis and Hoyts restoration, showing a very original, unmolested car. A very rare, original Ferrari 250 Europa sales brochure and an original Ferrari 250 GT owner's manual are also offered with the car, in addition to a full toolkit in a proper leather roll.

0427 GT has been fully certified by Ferrari Classiche, and is offered with its red book certification, confirming that the car retains its original chassis, engine, body, suspension, brakes and other major components, while the gearbox is certified as having been replaced with an original period complying unit.

Today 0427 GT presents incredibly well inside and out and has that superb feel of a true GT car, equally at home on the road or racetrack. As raced at Spa Francorchamps in 1957, the car had its original Belgian license plates fitted during the race, so Nilens surely drove the car to and from the race! Inside the cockpit, the lovely wood rimmed steering wheel adorns the elegant dashboard, and leather luggage straps are ready in the rear package tray area to hold a weekend bag. The right F.I.S.P.A accessory bottles and ancillaries are in place in the engine compartment, with correct hose clamps and Pirelli stickers and markings. Original specification Marchal lights adorn the fenders, and the correct Borrani wire wheels are fitted with appropriate Pirelli Centurato tires.

0427 GT is a rare Ferrari GT boasting exciting period motor show and racing history and is a car that is equally well suited for vintage touring or display on the finest Concours lawns. Subsequently restored and maintained to breathtaking condition, documented with original factory paperwork, and tended by some of the finest Ferrari craftsmen in the United States, it begs serious consideration by any dedicated collector of vintage Maranello automobiles, and would be the ideal machine, with its epic performance and spacious, comfortable cabin, to enter in the Mille Miglia Storica, or any other driving event such as the Copperstate 1000, California Mille or Colorado Grand.





Footnotes

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