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Car Tales: Very Wonderful And Hugely Significant, Ferrari 250 GT

More refined and practical than any previous road-going Ferrari, yet retaining the sporting heritage of its predecessors, the Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Series II is a landmark model of historical significance. Until the late 1950s, Ferrari produced road cars in very limited numbers, usually by request for well-heeled customers.
1960 Ferrari 250GT Coupe for sale
That changed with the 250. The first 250 was the Europa from the mid-1950s, and would go on to become the first ‘mass-produced’ Ferrari. The 250 GT Coupe Series II is an excellent example of a turning point in Ferrari’s history.

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Mass-produced? Well, if you can call mass-production a total of 353 cars produced between 1958 and 1960, then you’re in business: though still quintessentially exclusive, the 250 GT was the marque’s best-selling product. Among the fastest grand touring cars of their era, these 250 GT Series II Coupés were claimed by Ferrari to reach 0-62 mph in under seven seconds with a top speed of around 140 mph – thereby outpacing contemporary models from Aston Martin, Jaguar, Maserati, and Mercedes-Benz.
1960 Ferrari 250GT Coupe side view
We have one of these archetypal cars right now at Beverly Hills Car Club, a timeless 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Series II with a matching numbers engine and coachwork by Pinin Farina. And originally finished from the factory in a gorgeous color scheme of Grigio Conchiglia over a Rosso Connolly leather interior.
This 250 GT Series II Coupe is equipped with a manual transmission, numbers-matching outside-plug V-12 engine, overdrive gearbox, triple Weber carburetors, four-wheel disc brakes, Veglia instrumentation with metric speedometer/odometer, quad exhaust tips, Marchal Equilux headlights with chrome rings, wood-rimmed steering wheel, chrome trim/bumpers, Borrani knock-off wire wheels, and a full-size spare tire fitted in the trunk. Additional convenience features include manual-crank windows, vent windows, forward-folding front seats, driver-side rearview mirror, AM/FM radio, door pockets, sun visors, and a body-color dashboard.
According to the Marcel Massini report on file, this example is the 299th of that total of 353 units built between 1958 and 1960. The chassis frame and running gear were sent to Carrozzeria Pininfarina in Torino Italy on January 30 1960, then the coachwork was completed 2 months after that on March 22 1960. Do not miss your opportunity to restore this highly desirable late-production Ferrari Grand Tourer that has been tucked away for decades and will be a perfect addition to any collection.
The new design was first shown to the press in June 1958, and later launched at the Paris Motor Show, in October the same year.
But what exactly does the ‘250’ prefix mean?
Well, it’s actually quite simple; it stands for 250cc, roughly the cubic capacity of a single cylinder. As with most of the Ferrari 250s, the 250 GT Series II was fitted with the legendary Colombo V12 engine.
1960 Ferrari 250GT Coupe rear view
Ferrari commonly named a model series after the displacement of a single cylinder – and the V12 fitted to the 250 has a total displacement of 2953cc and an individual cylinder displacement of approximately 250cc (246.08cc).
The Colombo V12 is an incredibly important engine in the history of the Italian automaker: it started life as a 1.5 liter V12 created by former Alfa Romeo engine designer Gioacchino Colombo who had been hired away from that rival Italian company by the ambitious young Enzo Ferrari.
1960 Ferrari 250GT Coupe interior
Enzo Ferrari had always loved the complex V12s used in race cars built by the likes of Packard, Auto Union, and Alfa Romeo. When it came time to develop an engine for his own cars, he wanted a small, lightweight engine that could be used in both Formula One and regular road cars.
Amazingly, the Colombo V12 would remain in production from 1947 till 1988 in a variety of configurations. The 3 liter unit used in the 250 GT Series II weighed almost half as much as some of its competitors, namely the Jaguar XK engine, thanks to its aluminum block and heads.
Enzo Ferrari had Pinin Farina design the slightly less flamboyant 250 GT Coupe that would have wide market appeal and be less complex to manufacture. As I said, 353 were sold over the course of its three year production run.
Oh, and you’ll see that Connolly Leather was employed in the upholstery of the 250 GT Coupe. Who exactly was Connolly Leather?
Well, the Connolly Leather story began in 1878, when brothers John Joseph and Samuel Frederick Connolly opened one of the first while-you-wait shoe repair shops in London.
1960 Ferrari 250GT Coupe engine
They progressed to repairing harnesses and saddlery and began to buy and finish hides themselves, subsequently supplying leather to hood-makers and coachbuilders. When the latter started making the bodies for the new-fangled motor car, the Connolly brothers were there from the outset. Samuel Frederick was a pioneer motorist and, reputedly, the only man who could arrange for Herbert Austin and William Morris to dine at the same table.
Ultimately Connolly supplied most of the leather for the British car industry – especially the highest ends. This meant Aston Martin and Lagonda, Rolls-Royce and Bentley, Jaguar and Daimler, Vauxhall Motors and Rover cars as well as some MG and Mini models. Outside of the UK Connolly Leather was of course used by Ferrari, as well as Maserati, Lincoln, Nissan and Honda. As well as in the cockpits of Spitfire fighter planes during World War 2.
Nothing to get too leathered up about. Especially when it fitted so sumptuously into your gorgeous Ferrari 250 GT Coupe.
-Alex Manos, Owner
1960 Ferrari 250GT Coupe buyer Alex Manos

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