1959 Ferrari 250GT Coupé  Chassis no. 1427 GT Engine no. 1427

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Lot 26
1959 Ferrari 250GT Coupé

Sold for £ 399,100 (US$ 509,018) inc. premium
1959 Ferrari 250GT Coupé
Coachwork by Pininfarina

Chassis no. 1427 GT
Engine no. 1427

Footnotes

  • By the early 1960s, road car production had ceased to be a sideline for Ferrari and was seen as vitally important to the company's future stability. Thus the 250, Ferrari's first volume-produced model, can be seen as critically important, though production of the first of the line - the 250 Europa, built from 1953 to '54 - amounted to fewer than 20. Before the advent of the Europa, Ferrari had built road-going coupés and convertibles in small numbers, usually to special customer order using a sports-racing chassis as the basis. Ghia and Vignale of Turin and Touring of Milan were responsible for bodying many of these but there was no attempt at standardisation for series production and no two cars were alike.

    The introduction of the 250 Europa heralded a significant change in Ferrari's preferred coachbuilder; whereas previously Vignale had been the most popular carrozzeria among Maranello's customers, from now on Pinin Farina (later 'Pininfarina') would be Ferrari's number one choice, bodying no fewer than 48 out of the 53 Europa/Europa GTs built. Pinin Farina's experiments eventually crystallised in a new Ferrari 250GT road car that was first displayed publicly at the Geneva Salon in March 1956.

    However, the Torinese carrozzeria was not yet in a position to cope with the increased workload, resulting in production being entrusted to Carrozzeria Boano after Pinin Farina had completed a handful of prototypes. True series production began with the arrival of Pininfarina's 'notchback' Coupé on the 250GT chassis, some 353 of which were built between 1958 and 1960 within the sequence '0841' to '2081'. However, the relatively small scale of production meant that cars could still be ordered with subtle variations according to customer choice, as well as enabling a handful of show cars and 'specials' to be constructed on the 250GT chassis.

    A number of important developments occurred during 250GT production: the original 128C 3.0-litre engine being superseded by the twin-distributor 128D, which in turn was supplanted in 1960 by the outside-plug 128F engine which did away with its predecessor's Siamesed inlets in favour of six separate ports.
    On the chassis side, four-wheel disc brakes arrived late in 1959 and a four-speeds-plus-overdrive gearbox the following year, the former at last providing the 250GT with stopping power to match its speed. More refined and practical than any previous road-going Ferrari, yet retaining the sporting heritage of its predecessors, the 250GT is a landmark model of immense historical significance.

    This example, the 180th built, was supplied new to one Giulio Cerri, a resident of Bologna, Italy in August 1959 finished in Grigio Scuro (dark grey) with tan leather interior trim. In 1969 '1427 GT' was sold to Ms Devon W Dehyle of Rhode Island, USA and repainted red. For the next several years the car remained stored in the USA before it was found and purchased by the passionate Ferrari enthusiast, author and Harvard professor, Ruggero Santilli in October 1986. Dr Santilli immediately commenced a total 'ground upwards' restoration of the Ferrari and also wrote a well publicised article about the car. Once the restoration was complete, Dr Santilli wrote to Ferrari. Amazingly, Enzo himself responded with an autographed portrait and a letter explaining how thrilled he was at Ruggero's passion for the car, and duly inviting him to Italy for a personal tour of the factory. During Dr Santilli's ownership the car was repainted in the Swedish racing colours of yellow and blue.

    Dr Santilli and his wife Carla owned the 250GT for a total of 26 years and during this period the car was maintained regardless of expense, featuring in no fewer than 20 of the finest and most highly regarded concours events in the USA, including the Palm Beach Cavallino Classic, winning numerous awards. The engine was totally rebuilt in recent years and has done limited mielage since. More recently the car has returned to Europe and today is presented in Grigio Conchiglia (shell grey) with contrasting darker Grigio roof. Very fresh, the interior is trimmed in a beautiful shade of tan, close to the original, with grey piping. During this past year the car has received a major service by marque specialists in the UK, this included a full fluid change, a full brake service, a coolant service, new exhaust gaskets and a specialist overhaul of all four period correct Houdaille shock absorbers.

    The car is accompanied by a US title deed, a current MoT certificate, a wonderful history file and a huge collection of concours trophies.

    Benefiting from long-term enthusiast ownership and possessing a fascinating history, '1427' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire an example of this landmark, yet undervalued, Ferrari GT that helped cement Maranello's continuing relationship with Carrozzeria Pininfarina.
Contacts
1959 Ferrari 250GT Coupé  Chassis no. 1427 GT Engine no. 1427
1959 Ferrari 250GT Coupé  Chassis no. 1427 GT Engine no. 1427
1959 Ferrari 250GT Coupé  Chassis no. 1427 GT Engine no. 1427
1959 Ferrari 250GT Coupé  Chassis no. 1427 GT Engine no. 1427
1959 Ferrari 250GT Coupé  Chassis no. 1427 GT Engine no. 1427
1959 Ferrari 250GT Coupé  Chassis no. 1427 GT Engine no. 1427
1959 Ferrari 250GT Coupé  Chassis no. 1427 GT Engine no. 1427
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ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

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