Amelia Island

8 March 2014

Offered from the Pray Collection

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Lot 162

1961 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Cabriolet by Pininfarina

  • Chassis no. 2093 GT
  • Engine no. 2093 GT
  • Body no. 29775

Sold for $1,760,000


240 bhp, 2,953 cc single overhead-camshaft 60-degree V-12, triple Weber 40 DCL/6 two-barrel downdraught carburetors, four-speed synchromesh manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal length upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar, and Koni hydraulic shocks, solid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, trailing arms, and Koni hydraulic shocks, and four-wheel Dunlop hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 102.4 in.

  • Offered from the Pray Collection
  • Single ownership since 1969
  • Desirable colors and original factory hardtop
  • Cosmetically and mechanically maintained, but never restored
  • A superbly authentic example


On April 14, 1969, as the first traces of summer’s humidity settled into New York, Malcolm S. Pray Jr. found himself under the Highbridge, a turn-of-the-century aqueduct that looms over Jerome Avenue in the Bronx. In all likelihood, he was surrounded by other dealers who had gathered here at a large nondescript garage. Sterns-Haskell Inc. was in the business of making deals by taking trade-ins that did not fit a particular dealer’s line of work and selling them off to someone whose it did fit. The business traded over cars wholesale at a rapid clip, and dealers had to visit often to find the best stock.

Thus, Sterns-Haskell had, in a short time, become a place where dealers gathered and met one another as they did business, shadowed by the Highbridge. It was a modern-day bazaar for the East Coast’s car salesmen.

On this day, Mr. Pray’s purchases under the house account at Pray Automobile Corporation included a Ferrari 250 GT Series II Cabriolet, chassis number 2093 GT. He paid $2,800 for the car, plus $98 in sales tax and $22 for the license and title, making the total cash price $2,920. That was not unreasonable money for a Series II Cabriolet in 1969; after all, nothing is as old as yesterday’s supercar.

Of course, times do change. Whether it’s because Malcolm Pray recognized the importance of this car or, most likely, because he simply loved this Ferrari, it never made its way onto the Pray Automobile lot. The car that he purchased that day from Stern-Haskell has remained in his collection for the last 45 years.

The car was originally delivered to Franco-Britannic Autos Ltd., of Levallois, a Paris suburb, in 1960. It is interesting to note that this Cabriolet was originally finished in Rosso Rubino and came with tan leather upholstery and the very desirable factory hardtop, which was also finished in the body color. This same year, a Series II Cabriolet in the same colors, with a matching hardtop, was displayed on the Ferrari stand at the Paris Motor Show, as is confirmed by contemporary photographs in this car’s file. According to the Pininfarina archives, 2093 GT arrived in Paris on September 26, 1960, just in time for the Paris show, which ran from October 6–16.

This Ferrari’s documented history picks up on August 18, 1966, when it appeared in New York City and was acquired by J.S. Inskip, possibly as a trade-in on a Rolls-Royce. Several days later, on September 1, it was sold to Stern-Haskell, which apparently had the car in inventory for two-and-a half-years, during which time it was perhaps driven by the owner of the dealership, before it was sold it to Mr. Pray.

During its 45 years in the Pray Collection, the car has required only upkeep. In 1997, it was repainted its original Rosso Rubino by the Pray shop. Only some small blistering at the top of the driver’s door and the usual polishing marks mar it today. Several years later, the original leather was carefully removed, re-dyed, and then reinstalled. The dashboard was restored, and the instruments within and their bezels remain untouched, indicating that the car has covered just 46,601 kilometers during its life. The chrome trim is original throughout. It is thin in some places and beginning to pit lightly, just as would be expected from 50-year-old brightwork. All four wheels are the original code RW 3538 Borrani chrome wires, and they are shod in Michelin 185R 400X tires. In the trunk is an original Borrani spare that is date-coded 8-60.

Under the hood, the original engine has been detailed, and the chassis has undercoating that probably dates back to the original ownership, but it is clean. Satisfyingly, the inside of the wheel arches are all good, smooth metal, and the panels fit nicely.

Included in the file on the car is the State of New York Certificate of Sale from Stern-Haskell to the Pray Automobile Corporation, which is dated April 14, 1969, and notes the name and date of acquisition from J.S. Inskip, as well as a Connecticut state inspection and title, which were issued the same day. There is also a myriad of receipts pertaining to the car’s regular service, as well as to the minimal amount of restoration it has required over the years. The car is supplied with a partial tool roll in the original case and, of course, the original hardtop.

The last time a check was written to buy this car was 45 years ago, under a bridge in the Bronx. Today, it will change hands surrounded by people who love it, within headlamp-sight of a concours field.

How times have changed.

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

Alexander Weaver

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+1 864 313 6844
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

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

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+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

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+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

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+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

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+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

jonathan@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

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+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

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+1 310 559 4575
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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more