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Car Tales: A 1963 Ferrari 250GTE 2+2 Coupe

‘Call me old-fashioned but one of the things I really love is when a car has a complicated provenance. It’s an almost guaranteed proof of the vehicle’s interesting character.
‘And they don’t come much more complicated than a 1963 Ferrari 250GTE 2+2 Coupe I discovered and bought the other week. The seller told me the story, which sounded like the pilot for a new streaming series.
1963 Ferrari 250GTE collector
‘His father, who sadly passed away recently, had been a teacher in automotive technology and applied metallurgical science in Flynt, Michigan. He had moved there quite consciously to be close to the Detroit automobile industry. “He loved cars,” said Charlie, his son. “He went through his career always surrounded by car people.”
1963 25GTE under the cover
Ferrari 250GTE Barn Find
‘Early in the 1970s a fellow teacher declared that he and his wife were leaving Flynt. They were heading to southern California in their beautiful 1963 Ferrari 250GTE 2+2 Coupe to start a new life. They had, they were adamant, “found religion”. Whichever religion it was, however, it was insistent that material possessions were not consistent with its philosophy. And so the Ferrari had to go.
‘Accordingly, Charlie’s father flew down to Los Angeles and bought the car for a good price. Then he drove it back across the United States all the way to Flynt, Michigan, some 2,300 miles.
Ferrari 250GTE Barn Find
‘And that lengthy road trip was the very last time that he drove it. When Charlie’s dad reached his Flynt house he backed the car into the garage, closed the door, and then the Ferrari never went anywhere else. From around late 1971, when it arrived there, this Ferrari 250GTE 2+2 Coupe remained solidly tucked away, later covered with a dust sheet. ‘In subsequent years it was joined by first a 1959 Maserati 3500GT, and then a 1929 Flying Cloud.
‘Charlie, his son, found he was never permitted to go in the garage. And strict security was maintained about what was tucked away in there, the boy forbidden to reveal to anyone about the treasure trove of vehicles inside. His father originally came from New York’s Bronx, where anything of value could disappear in a flash.
‘Not that this district of Michigan bore any resemblance whatsoever to the Bronx. In a suburb on the edge of farming land most of these ranch-style houses had around five acres of land. And Charlie’s parents actually owned two such plots.
‘Charlie’s father remained intimately connected to many forms of automobiles. In the 1980s he was part of a team that fielded a McLaren car in the Indie 500, his dad the crew chief of those weekend warriors. The car came in third, quite an achievement.
‘From time to time Charlie’s mother would suggest that perhaps it was time to sell these garaged cars. But his dad would always insist that that was not the time: to hang on to them as an investment, to pay Charlie’s future college fees – although they still remained unsold even when this came about.
1963 Ferrari 250GTE odometer
250GTE 2+2 Coupe
‘Charlie’s dad always appreciated the car for Ferrari’s way of making everything with such assiduous attention to detail. His dad adored things done with real craftsmanship and was like that about many aspects of his existence. A private man who was a collector of all things interesting, with a great knack for buying potential collectibles, whether it was lawn art or rare cars.
‘And so his beautiful Ferrari 250GTE 2+2 Coupe had sat in storage for almost fifty years, nothing ever added to the 10,132 kilometres on the clock. Although there was an interior door between the garage and the actual house itself, it was never opened. “My entire childhood I wasn’t allowed to go in the garage or use it,” said Charlie.
250GTE 2+2 Coupe
‘Until just before Christmas 2020, that is. With his father’s health unfortunately deteriorating, it became apparent that the vehicle’s keys were at last required. They had been stashed away in a nineteenth century safe. And guess what? Dad had forgotten the combination.
‘Fortunately he finally remembered where the notes were on which the numbers had been written. And in a tiny drawer inside the safe were the keys to the Ferrari. “It was a bit of an adventure,” said Charlie. “I could tell my 16-year-old son that not many people go on adventures, and crack safes. I was really happy to be able to give my son that exciting experience.”
‘Even though he had never been inside it, the Ferrari had been with Charlie his entire life. And now all he had to do was inflate the tires and roll it onto a tow-truck, moving it to an enclosed area in North Carolina, his home. Which is where I came in.
‘And you know something? The Beverly Hills Car Club is a business that started from a passion for classic cars. But every so often you come across one that you fall in love with yourself. So for now this 1963 Ferrari 250GTE 2+2 Coupe (which originally was in verde pino, my very favorite shade of green) is not for sale.
‘I am going to keep it for myself. Sometimes you just have to.’
-Alex Manos, Owner – Beverly Hills Car Club

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