Art of the Automobile

21 November 2013

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Lot 110

1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Carrozzeria Pininfarina

  • Chassis no. 2473
  • Engine no. 2473

Sold for $2,035,000

  • Rare in the extreme
  • The only example that is factory certified as having covered headlamps and a hard top from new
  • Beautifully restored to concours standards
  • Matching numbers and Classiche certified

The 250 series was Ferrari’s crowning achievement of the 1950s and early 1960s. The highwater marks of this series have defined the “Prancing Horse” in the decades since, and in many ways, it has set the stylistic and cultural tone, which has grown exponentially model after model. From the lovely Lusso and the sporty California Spider, to the Tour de France and, of course, the Series II Cabriolet, the basic construction formula was nothing short of perfect: a high-revving V-12 engine, a shiver-inducing exhaust note, and an almost unbelievably sexy design that would envelop the chassis in two-door form.

From the outset, personalization and the owner’s wishes were paramount at Ferrari, as they influenced everything from the color and leather choice to the mechanical specification. As the years progressed, those bespoke touches have served to distinguish one example from another, and they have catapulted certain models into particularly rarified air. The stunning 250 GT Series II Cabriolet is no exception. It debuted in 1959 with a Pinin Farina design that was crafted completely by hand, and it was executed entirely at the discretion of the designer’s senses of touch and sight. The lines, smooth and flowing from front to rear, exhibited an air of sophistication, and they were complemented by dual exhausts at the rear, a hood scoop, sporting wire wheels, and all the trappings that defined the finest Ferrari “grand touring” cars.

Chassis 2473, presented here, is particularly special, as it wears covered headlamps, which is a very unusual and especially attractive feature that is known to have been applied to about six cars in total. Of those, however, this is the only one certified by the factory and its all-important Ferrari Classiche department as having been delivered new in this fashion, along with the lovely hardtop it is pictured with in the accompanying photos.

The car was originally slated for an April 1961 production date, but a special request by the customer caused a delay in the production of the car, resulting in a July delivery. It was originally sent to Franco Brittanic Autos, the official Ferrari dealership in Paris, France, in July 1961. As the 123rd Series II Cabriolet built, it wore Bianco (12.435, white) over a Pelle Bleu (VM 3087, blue) leather interior.

In 2008, the Cabriolet was shown at the Retromobile event in Paris, France, and it was still retaining its original blue leather interior. All of the original mechanical components were present, making it a prime candidate for a restoration. It was purchased shortly thereafter, and it made its new home with its current owner in Italy.

Since that time, the car has been fully restored by Rossocorsa, a Ferrari specialist in Milan, Italy. While Rossocorsa was responsible for the mechanical aspects of the restoration, the bodywork was outsourced to Carrozzeria Granturismo, in Milan. This Ferrari was complete with many of its original components, including the hard top and headlight covers, and all of the parts that were with the car were retained. Its condition was then brought to concours standards, and the results are truly outstanding. Rossocorsa also took the time to have the car Classiche certified, to ensure that it was mechanically original, that it had matching numbers, and that it was in keeping with that factory’s standards of authenticity. In addition to the Classiche documentation, over 200 photos were taken of the car during all the stages of the restoration, to chronicle exactly what work was done; all of this information will be included in the sale.

All told, only 200 Series II Cabriolets were ever constructed, which is a remarkably small number when one compares it to its contemporary, the 300 SL Roadster, but nevertheless, it was the start of series production for Ferrari on a grander scale. Chassis 2473 stands out among its colleagues, and it is blessed by the factory as an especially important example. It encapsulates Enzo Ferrari’s vision with utter perfection: a grand touring car that was intended for high-speed touring on the Continent, with a high-performance engine under the hood and the good looks and excitement to make a statement while speeding along a winding corniche or parked in front of the 21 Club.


Please note that an import duty of 2.5% of the purchase price is payable on this car if the buyer is a resident of the United States.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo

Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby's in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born ... read more

Annette Abaci

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With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

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Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

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Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

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United States

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Florida, United States

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Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

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New York, United States

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Ontario, Canada

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Indiana, United States

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby's, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Gra... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

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Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

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Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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