By 1961, Ferrari was taking road cars very seriously and production was running at a rate of nearly one a day. The 250 GT in both LWB and SWB forms therefore became the first ‘production’ Ferrari. With the company’s policy of developing models ‘on the run’, it meant that hardly any two cars were identical and improvement were made all the time.
At the Geneva Motor Show Ferrari unveiled a series II version of the immortal 250 GT. With wider track front and rear, telescopic shock absorbers replaced the earlier lever shocks and, with the new cylinder heads and larger valves, the classic ‘short block’ 3-litre V12 engine developed 240bhp. Further chassis revisions were introduced for 1961.
Customers had a choice of body style but, by 1961, the majority were opting for Pininfarina. In effect, the 250 GT had become the common ground on which all coachbuilders fought for prominence, and Pininfarina emerged the clear winner. Customers had voted and thereafter Pininfarina became the first choice – and made an incalculable contribution to the Ferrari legend.
In his book on Ferrari, the late Hans Tanner wrote of the 250 GT Series II: ‘they are very highly regarded today as amongst the most collectable of all Ferrari’s road cars.’
The car on offer today was purchased by a French collector in Burgundy in 1992. It was immediately decided to restore the car the same standards as the other cars in his collection, and so work commenced.
The engine was sent to Vergorini in Italy to be rebuilt with new Pistons, liners, crankshafts and camshafts. The four-speed plus overdrive gearbox was stripped and rebuilt, as was the back axle, and the electrical system was rewired. The braking system and suspension were overhauled and a new ANsa four pot exhaust fitted.
All bodywork was stripped and sanded, the chassis checked and the car reassembled with a stunning new midnight blue paintwork and best quality Connolly hide upholstery. Carpets were wool and a new hood was fitted in the finest Alpaca. Finally the Borrani wire wheels rebuilt in Milan.
The current vendor purchased the car in May 2000, after the car had covered a mere 1000km from the comprehensive restoration. The car has resided within the vendors collection ever since seeing very little use, light recommissioning is advised before use.
With its ample boot space, luxurious interior, long-legged V12 mated to an overdrive transmission, there are few more comfortable and stylish conveniences with which to melt away the miles. Redolent of the dolce vita era, Ferrari’s first production convertible was a natural choice for playboys and aristocrats, a silver example serving as David Niven’s personal conveyance in the original Pink Panther film and Dominican bon viveur and sometime racing driver Porfirio Rubirosa also choosing one as his personal transport. The chance to join this exclusive club is a rare one; 1783GT is certainly one of the most stylish ways to do so.
Bidding requires pre-registration with Coys and will be subject to separate terms and conditions that do not appear in this catalogue. Please contact Coys offices for more details.