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Pasta and prancing horses: the story of Pietro Barilla’s Ferrari 250 Europa GT

This award-winning Ferrari Europa GT is one of the most beautiful prancing horses of the 1950s, and its early history is almost as intriguing as its list of accolades.

We all dream of making millions, but the path to immense wealth is never as clear cut as the crypto currency bros would make it seem. However, back in 1950s Italy, selling Pasta to the masses was always going to be a recipe for success, which is how Pietro Barilla, heir to the Barilla pasta empire, found himself writing a cheque to Enzo Ferrari for his very own prancing horse. 

Debuted at the 1953 Paris Motor Show, the Ferrari 250 Europa GT was one of the first of Maranello’s finest to be powered by the now-legendary Colombo V12; the same unit that powered the 250 GTO and 250 SWB to victory after victory. Being the 1950s, you might expect this Ferrari to have a double digit power figure, despite its racing pedigree. Impressively, though, the 250 Europa GT put out a healthy 220 horsepower via a four-speed manual gearbox, making it one of the most rapid rides of its day.

Mr. Barilla took delivery of his Grigio Fiat Ferrari in 1955, and kept the car for a year before swapping it for a 410 Superamerica. At this time, this Ferrari’s specially-tuned engine was swapped into a car being raced by Jacque Swater’s Ecurie Francorchamps, before it was shipped stateside in the 1960s, where it resided until the late 1980s. After being shipped back to Europe — this time to Switzerland — this lovely 250 Europa GT fully was restored by one of Italy’s most renowned restoration specialists, Carrozzeria Nova Rinascente, right before the new millennium. Chassis 0391GT was refinished in its original colour of Grigio Fiat with a Panno Grigio interior and blue leather sides. 

In the two decades since its restoration, this 250 Europa GT won the Trofeo Pininfarina at the 2002 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, while also being featured in a 2002 issue of Auto D’Epoca magazine, as well at the 2004 Retromobile in Paris. In 2010, this Ferrari finally managed to stretch its legs, completing all 1000 miles of the Mille Miglia without a single issue. For sale with Schaltkulisse, this stunning 250 Europa GT remains in exemplary condition. As one of only 34 built, it represents a tantalising opportunity for any Ferrari collector.