Intended to extend Ferrari’s appeal to a sector of the market already contested by rivals Aston Martin and Maserati, the 250GTE 2+2 arrived in the summer of 1960. Ferrari’s first ‘four-seater’, the 250GTE 2+2 was directly descended from the most commercially successful Ferrari of its day, the 250GT. Launched in 1954, the latter featured a lighter and more-compact Colombo-designed 3.0-litre V12 in place of its Europa predecessor’s bulkier Lampredi unit. The 250GT chassis followed Ferrari’s established practice, being a multi-tubular frame tied together by oval main tubes, though the independent front suspension now employed coil springs instead of the transverse-leaf type. A four-speed, all-synchromesh gearbox transmitted power to the live rear axle while hydraulic drums all round looked after the braking. Disc brakes arrived late in 1959 and a four-speed-plus-overdrive gearbox the following year, and both these features were incorporated into the 250GTE from the start of production in 1960.
Pininfarina’s brief had been to produce a ‘2+2’ without sacrificing the 250’s elegant good looks or sporting demeanour and the master carrozzier succeeded brilliantly with the GTE. By moving the engine, gearbox and steering gear forward and the fuel tank back, sufficient room was created for two occasional rear seats within the 250GT’s 2600mm wheelbase. The Tipo 128E outside-plug engine’s 240bhp ensured that there was no reduction in performance despite the inevitable gain in weight. A popular and highly profitable car for Ferrari, the 250GTE remained in production until 1963.
This Ferrari 250GTE chassis 3135GT was sold new in 1961 in Grigio Silver with sumptuous black leather interior. According to the 250 register it still remained highly original when it was sold in 1992 by Tom Arra with just 36,000 km displaying on its odometer. It was at this time it was repatriated to European shores from the USA.
A desirable series one car which has formed part of the current owner’s small but exclusive private collection in Beligum , and is offered with Beligian registration papers this matching numbers example is highly original , this car is not to be confused with so many over restored examples and has covered fewer than 5,000 kilometres since 1992.
Tastefully finished in silver with its original black leather interior, this most practical of Ferraris has in recent years grabbed the collectors’ attention as many have grown to appreciate the comfort, style, and usability that made them so popular in the early sixties.