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Lot 144 - 1961 Ferrari 250 GT/E 2+2 Series 1 chassis frame

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Auction Blenheim Palace Collectables

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Lot Number 144

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Description

A chassis frame for a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT/E 2+2 Series 1 left hand drive. Stamped as Chassis No 2825GT.
An ideal basis for a period Ferrari 250 tribute car.

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.