Chassis n° 4065 GT
Engine n° 4065
- Owned by the same family for the last 33 years
- Never offered on the market before
- Absolutely iconic automobile
- The last example built
With the birth of the 250 GT, Ferrari went from being a small-scale constructor to a manufacturer producing cars on an industrial scale. The name " 250 " alluded to the 3-litre engine, a V12 unit originally designed by Gioacchino Colombo, with an overhead camshaft per bank of cylinders. This served as a base for two different families of cars : on one hand were the Ferrari touring cars, more civilised than their predecessors with a greater degree of comfort and equipment in line with the development of GT cars, and on the other hand were the more radical sports cars that helped to build the brand's legendary status ; cars such as the Testarossa, Tour de France berlinetta, 250 GTO and 250 LM. The short wheelbase 250 GT berlinetta, the model presented here, belongs to the second of these families.
Unveiled at the 1959 Paris Motor Show, the 250 GT SWB succeeded the 250 GT Tour de France berlinetta that had enjoyed such success in competition. This new car, however, had a shorter wheelbase (2 400 rather than 2 600 mm), hence the name it was later given, " passo corto " or " short wheelbase ", to differentiate it from preceding versions. Designed by Pinin Farina, it was built in Sergio Scaglietti's workshops in Modena, and although the overall shape of the car remained pretty much the same throughout its career, numerous details changed. Certain examples intended specifically for racing were given an aluminium body, and depending on the version, the engine produced anything between 220 and 280 bhp.
Strong, driveable and extremely well balanced, this car followed in the footsteps of the Tour de France berlinetta, achieving enormous success during its three year career. In the hands of the greatest drivers, the 250 GT SWB won the Tour de France Automobile three times (1960, 1961 and 1962), was victorious in the GT category of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1960 and 1961 and the Nürburgring 1000km in 1961 and 1962, to mention just its greatest achievements.
The exceptional car on offer was the very last Ferrari 250 GT SWB berlinetta of 165 examples built. This steel-bodied car has never been raced, which has allowed it to remain in outstanding condition. It left the factory in January 1963 presented in dark blue with black leather interior, and was delivered a month later to Luigi Chinetti, the US importer. Chinetti sold the car to Otto Zipper Motors, in Santa Monica, California, who in turn sold it to its first owner Hastings Harcourt. In 1964 it passed to Chris Cord, who lived in Beverly Hills, and later to Keith Rogers in California. Rogers kept the car until 1976, the year it sold to John Calley, a film director based in Los Angeles. He had the 250 GT SWB painted red before selling it in 1977 to Scott Borman, also based in Los Angeles. At that time it wore the black Californian plates with the registration " SWB GT ". In May 1982 Borman put his car up for sale, for the sum of 90 000 $. This attracted the attention of Antoine Midy, who bought it that year and registered the car " 325 HPV 75 ".
Antoine Midy descends from a long line of pharmacists dating back to the mid-19th century. He was responsible for developing the Laboratoires Midy and also played an important part in the food industry, acquiring well established companies such as Banania and Poulain Chocolates. Midy always had a passion for Maranello. His celebrated collection included competition models such as a very rare 121 LM and a 212 barchetta as well as GT models that included a sublime 250 SWB California and this exceptional Berlinetta.
Midy used this 250 GT SWB regularly for rallies and displays. In 1989 the car took part in the " 10000 Virages " organised in Corsica by Rallystory, with the provisional registration "9743 WWK 92". On 9 August 1990 it won a special award in the Concours d'Elégance Louis Vuitton Automobiles Classiques de Bagatelle. Four years later, between 12 and 16 April 1994, it participated in the retrospective historic Tour de France Automobile, driven by Maurice Sauzay and Antoine Prunet, with the number 103. It was later found in the Concours d'Elégance de Bagatelle on 7 and 8 September 1996, entered by Midy and still painted red. In 2000, he had the car stored in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the following year restored the car to its original dark blue. It was given a Swiss registration for the region of Vaud, " VD 40057 ". With the number 98, the car took part in the fourth Tour of Spain between 6 and 10 November 2002, registered under the name Midy-Midy. It was seen one last time in the historic hillclimb at Ollon-Villars, in Switzerland, with number 178. In May 2007, the owner died and the car passed to his successors. It is presented today in superb condition, its dark hue enhancing the sensual shape, and the interior a perfect mix of sportiness and sophistication worthy of the finest cars.
For many, the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB is the most beautiful Ferrari ever produced, with a pure and minimalist form that is unrivalled, with no superfluous detail to spoil the rare elegance and efficiency of its design. In addition to the aesthetic triumph is the sporting success the model enjoyed, without which a competition car has no reason to be. In this case, we must add that this car, with continuous history, devoid of accidents or excessive restoration, has been in the same family for more than 30 years, and is a truly exceptional model that will open the doors to all the most prestigious historic events, whether on the road, track, or the lawn of a chic golf club.
Participating in the auction on this lot is subject to a special registration process. If you would like to bid on this lot, please get in touch with the bidding office or the motor car department at least 48 hours before the sale.