1958 1958 Ferrari 250 GT

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1958
  • Mileage 
    55 029 mi / 88 561 km
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Country VAT 
    GB
  • Chassis number 
    1241GT
  • Engine number 
    094C
  • Lot number 
    45
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of doors 
    2
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

- Offered from the stable of one of the UK's foremost Ferrari collectors

- Based on an original 250GT PF Coupe chassis (Tipo 508D) which is interchangeable with that of a 250GT LWB California Spyder

- Correct-type subframe and bodywork expertly copied from chassis 1487GT (an orginal 250GT LWB California Spyder Competizione that was formerly part of the vendor's collection)

For many the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder - be it in LWB or SWB guise - is simply one of the most beautiful cars yet made. Though, it is the former variant which boasts the greater competition pedigree with a highly impressive 5th place overall during the 1959 Le Mans 24-hours and a class win at that year's Sebring 12-hours. Of the fifty 250 GT California Spyder LWB cars made, just thirty-six are known to have been built with the preferred covered headlamps. A Competizione variant - chassis 1603GT - sold for $18,150,000 in August 2016 so ownership is necessarily a select affair. The vendor of this particular car, chassis 1241GT, has been fortunate enough to own dozens of Ferraris over the past five decades including a 250 GTO and the ex-Pedro Rodriguez 1959 250 GT California Spyder LWB Competizione which he meticulously restored during the late 1990s / early 2000s.

Smitten by the enclosed headlamp-equipped ex-Rodriguez machine (chassis 1487GT), he determined to make a precise copy and commissioned a dimensionally accurate wooden body buck which took some 3,000 hours to construct just by itself! A self-confessed perfectionist with a notorious eye for detail he spent years scouring the globe for correct accessories including door furniture, light units, instruments and even the correct boot lock. There was no question of using inauthentic parts even if they were destined to be out of sight so when a suitable fuel tank could not be located a facsimile was fabricated from scratch. A connoisseur of all things Prancing Horse he knew that the later California Spyder LWBs were underpinned by the same Tipo 508D chassis as the contemporary 250 GT Pininfarina Coupe (albeit with a different subframe). Starting life as one of the latter, chassis 1241GT thus required precious little alteration to serve as a donor (though, its brakes were upgraded to four-wheel discs). One of a mere 353 examples made, it had been supplied new to America on December 29th 1958 and subsequently belonged to Charles Wray of Maryland before entering the current ownership via Thomas E Shaughnessy Consulting of San Clemente, California in August 2000.

Interestingly, the engine currently fitted to chassis 1241GT had previously been installed aboard chassis 1487GT when the vendor first acquired it (and erroneously stamped up as `1487GT'). The precise origins of the 3-litre V12 remain a mystery despite a radiographic inspection carried out during 2003 suggesting 094C or perhaps 0944C as the internal engine number. However, it is a dual distributor Tipo 128D inside plug unit of the same type that would have powered a California Spyder LWB when new. The gearbox is similarly period correct albeit that it has been upgraded with a fifth gear courtesy of renowned marque specialists GTO Engineering of Berkshire. Fabricated by Clive Smart of Shapecraft UK using the aforementioned body buck, the alloy coachwork was completed and mounted to the chassis during 2003. Painted some two years later, the process of finding bits and pieces and having things done just so meant that the Ferrari was not UK road registered until July 2009.

Determined that `1430 MU' should not only look, but also act, the part of a 250 GT California Spyder LWB, the vendor dispatched it to GTO Engineering in November 2015. Some ten months and over £90,000 later, the Ferrari had undergone a thorough engine overhaul (re-ground / balanced crankshaft, new cylinder liners, fresh high compression pistons, replacement bearings and timing chain etc) plus had attention paid to its cooling system, five-speed gearbox, rear leaf springs and back axle etc. Shaken down by Kevin Jones of GTO Engineering including a trip to Prescott Hillclimb, chassis 1241GT started readily upon inspection and sounded decidedly healthy. It is difficult to overstate the amount of time and effort that has gone into transforming this 250 GT from a Pinin Farina Coupe into a California Spyder LWB. Indeed, we would wager that `1430 MU' is more authentic in some respects than a few of the originals (especially if they were restored in less exacting times). Utterly convincing - to our eyes at least - this delectable Ferrari is worthy of close inspection. Offered for sale with UK V5C Registration Document, Maryland Certificate of Title, Ferrari Owners' Club dating letter, radiographic report, `no advisories' MOT certificate valid until June 9th 2017, sheaf of GTO Engineering invoices and numerous restoration photos.