1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Pininfarina
New York - ICONS - Offered on: Wednesday, December 6, 2017
- The 150th of 200 examples built
- Recently completed full restoration by Fast Cars Ltd.
- Only 600 miles since completion
- The ideal concours entrant or tour participant
In the 1950s and '60s, Ferrari hit its stride building road cars. At first, its limited-production and coachbuilt road cars were a means to an end for its racing efforts, bringing in much needed funds to ensure Ferrari remained competitive on the race track. The 250 series of Ferraris proved the company could have its cake and eat it too. That series of sports cars underpinned not only Le Mans winners but its grand touring cars, too. From the lovely Lusso and the sporty California Spider, to the Tour de France and—of course—the 250 GT Cabriolet, the basic construction formula was nothing short of perfect: a high-revving V-12 engine, a head-turning exhaust note, and an unbelievably sexy design that would envelop the chassis in two-door form.
The 250 GT Cabriolet was truly a gentleman’s Ferrari. More at home cruising the coastline of the South of France than rocketing down the Mulsanne Straight, these cars were built for individuals who respected Ferrari’s racing pedigree yet wanted a car that was much more civilized and comfortable than its racing counterparts. This meant personalization played a key role; in many cases, the owner’s wishes were Ferrari’s command.
Upon its debut in 1959 at the Paris Motor Show, the second series 250 GT cabriolet offered a variety of subtle changes over the first series models. This included open headlamps with a slightly more rounded nose and elongated tail lamp lenses. Slightly more space in the interior and trunk also made long journeys more comfortable. Ferrari additionally fitted it with the updated, outside-plug version of the Colombo V-12, designated Tipo 128F. Over the course of three years of production, just 200 Series II Cabriolets were produced. This was an exquisite machine for exquisite customers with exquisite taste.
CHASSIS NUMBER 3009 GT
Completed by the factory in November 1961 and delivered new to Luigi Chinetti Motors in New York, chassis 3009 GT was the 150th of the 200 such examples constructed. Finished in a unique color combination of Verde Italver (6012) over Natural Franzi leather (NR1), the car was sold new by Chinetti to its first owner, Angelo Roma of New York, in January 1962. An Italian, Roma owned a handful of other Ferraris, including a 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, 250 GT LWB Alloy Berlinetta “Tour de France,” and another Series II Cabriolet.
It is believed 3009 GT remained in the United States. By the mid-1960s, it was noted as being owned by Arthur L. True of Spokane, Washington. True was an avid car collector and amateur race driver who competed in Europe and North America. His collection included a 250 Testa Rossa (0704 TR), several 300 SLs, a Porsche 904, and numerous other road and track cars. True bequeathed most of his collection to the Henry Ford Museum in 1967. However, chassis number 3009 GT did not end up in Michigan and is instead noted as being owned in the 1980s by Willard Quinn, III, also of Spokane. By 1989, the car had returned across the Atlantic and was purchased by Erich Traber of Switzerland. It would remain there for a decade with Traber, who painted the car gunmetal grey and retrimmed the interior in red leather.
In November 2004, the cabriolet was sold to a collector in Japan, where it remained for several years, then returned to the United States in 2010 and has been there ever since. Upon its arrival in California, the car was sent to the marque specialists at Fast Cars Ltd. in Redondo Beach for a complete restoration. During this time, 3009 GT was refinished in Grigio Ortello over a tan leather interior. Since the completion of the restoration, the car has been driven only 600 miles and cosmetically it presents in wonderful condition both inside and out. After a recent drive, an RM Sotheby’s specialist commented the Ferrari drives beautifully, held up well in Los Angeles traffic, and would be a lovely warm-weather driver in any locale. Furthermore, the car is accompanied by a full set of reproduction tools and a reprinted 250 GT owner’s manual.
Nearly 60 years have passed since the introduction of the 250 GT Cabriolet Series II and it is still considered as attractive today as it was when new. Its tasteful styling hides the exceptional race-bred drivetrain underneath and its current dark Grigio Ortello over tan combination exudes class and sophistication. Thanks to its recent comprehensive restoration, the cabriolet is ready for whatever its next owner should have in store—be it concours events or extended touring from coast to coast for which the Cabriolet Series II has been famed for decades.