1958 Ferrari 250

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1958
  • Mileage 
    59 207 km / 36 790 mi
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Chassis number 
    0881GT
  • Engine number 
    0881GT (internal no.
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location

Description

Highly Desirable Covered Headlight 3-Louver Example Retaining its Original Matching Numbers Engine. Ferrari Shell Historic Challenge Veteran, Shown at Cavallino. Fit to Race or Rally at Premier Events Worldwide.1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta Tour de Frances/n 0881 GT, Engine no. 0881 GT (internal no. 150C)Rosso Corsa with Black Stripe and Brown InteriorKnown for their exceptional racing performance, formidable engineering, and beautiful design, by the mid 1950s the Ferrari 250 GT placed Ferrari into the highest echelon of Gran Turismo racing. These remarkable cars would ultimately become the epitome of performance excellence in both historic and collector contexts, eventually cementing the 250 GT Ferrari as the ultimate performance icon more than half a century later. The predecessor to the 250 GT SWB and the quintessential 250 GTO, the 250 GT Berlinetta “Tour de France” Ferrari remains among the most desirable and collectable models available today, in part because these cars delivered repeated victories in many of the most grueling period races, continuing to do so in contemporary vintage events around the world. Rare competition examples with decorated provenance, detailed documentation, and exciting historic contexts continue to be the most sought after not only for their excellent performance qualities and stunning Scaglietti coachwork, but also for their mechanical artistry and iconic historic presence during an unprecedented period of motorsports racing. The Tour de France race, one of the most important, demanding, and historic sports car events, ran for five to six grueling days, covering vast often undeveloped stretches of French country roads with a range of driving conditions that challenged even the most skilled participants. The event included multiple sprint races on established circuits, road racing, and hill-climbs, all of which challenged the stamina of even the most capable drivers and the resilience of their cars. Having evolved annually, by 1956 the FIA Gran Turismo international racing classification required a more clearly defined relationship between competition and production cars. This largely marketing effort was specifically intended to improve visibility for road cars, thus elevating racing to larger audiences while exposing motorsports brands to more people. Ferrari, already building road cars as a means to expand their clientele, responded by crafting dual-purpose cars using lightweight alloy Scaglietti coachwork, competition tuned engines, dual master cylinder braking, offset-shift aluminum case gearboxes, dual fuel pumps, large capacity fuel tanks, and larger brakes. The combination of these elements came together in a powerful car with dramatic looks ready for both heady competition and road use. Although the intent was to build a formidable car with compliance for road use, the final car was truly a fantastic competition car, built with a nod toward road use with a mere sprinkling of comfort amenities. It is this alluring alliance of raw performance and road going drivability that continues to make these cars so highly sought after. The 250 GT Tour de France is widely regarded as a premier entrant for nearly every significant vintage event including the California Mille, Colorado Grand, and the pinnacle of period motorsports touring-based events, the Mille Storico (Mille Miglia) in Italy.Though historians vary on the exact number, it is generally believed that Ferrari built approximately 90 250 Tour de France models between 1956 and 1959. During this period, and quite remarkably so, Ferrari won this event all four years in a row, with three of those victories at the hands of legendary racer Oliver Gendebien, who also drove a Ferrari 250 TdF to first place in the GT class and third overall at the final Mille Miglia, now run as the Mille Storico. Though these exceptional Ferraris were making a significant impression at the Tour de France race, they had yet to receive the “Tour de France” designation until well after their multiple wins at this celebrated French venue. During this period, Ferrari was further cementing their competition prowess as victories stacked up with wins at racetracks all over the world. The 250 GT Tour de France repeatedly proved that Ferrari was not only rapidly building a reputation as a European racing phenomenon, they were becoming a force in sportscar development throughout the world. As victories on both sides of the Atlantic further cemented Ferrari as a premier builder, Sebring, the Tour of Sicily, Reims 12 Hours, Swedish Grand Prix, and a notable class win and 3rd overall finish at Le Mans in 1959 made it clear; Ferrari was becoming the performance car, ready to take on any contenders at any of the world’s top racing venues. Of the roughly 90 Tour de Frances constructed, five generally regarded body variants make up the total series. The most distinctive features separating the five variants are indicated by the number of cabin ventilation louvers located behind the side windows; 14 louvers on the first cars, three raised-panel louvers on second iteration cars, and a single louver on the last of the series. The three and single louver cars are the most evolved visually, having influenced the design of the GTO and the 275 GTB. All variants were available with covered or open headlights. Primarily fitted for aerodynamic efficiency, the covered headlight late series cars are recognized as the most desirable of the Scaglietti Berlinetta 250 GT Tour de France Ferraris. This particular car, serial number 0881 GT is one of eighteen highly desirable three louver, covered headlight cars. Built for competition, this car was originally outfitted with magnesium engine components including the cam covers, sump, intake manifolds, and front engine covers. Also fitted with the competition gearbox, this car was built with lighter weight floor panels, and side and front “quick jack” points to facilitate quick tire changes during competition. As remarkable as these rare configurations are in such an important car, as we will soon learn, this particular car is far more than a beautifully designed and well-engineered stallion that commanded race tracks all over the world, it is a passionate fighter, unwilling to give in to the demands of racing or the fate of many lesser cars.
On February 25, 1958 #0881 was invoiced to Francorchamps, Belgium and delivered to Count Antoine d’Assche who, along with Jacques Swaters, participated in the following racing events in 1958:1958, 08 March Cote d'Herbeumont #181 d'Assche 3rd in class1958, 27 April Km de Knokke #109 d'Assche 5th in class1958, 27 April Km de Knokee #113 Swaters 4th in class1958, 18 May Grand Prix de Spa #37 d'Assche (DNS)
Documented by several Ferrari experts and pictured in several books, #0881 could very well have continued to be a prominent feature of further races, but fate dictated a different future. After some research into the history of this car, in 1996, Ferrari historian David Seiekstad reported that while under d’Assche’s ownership #0881 had been burned in a garage fire in Belgium. The same garage had also been housing another Ferrari Tour de France, #0707 as well as many of its glass and trim parts which had been removed for repaint. As eyewitnesses had reported, the two cars were in danger of burning so efforts were quickly mustered to remove the cars. In the midst of the conflagration, #0707 was heroically pulled from the garage while #0881 and the spare parts for #0707, now more hidden by the growing flames could not be safely reached, thus it remained stoically in place as the fire continued. When the flames were finally quelled, #0881 was removed from the charred garage, inspected, and found to have miraculously retained many of its critical original components. Once again fate stepped in as surely any number of future owners could have divided the car, sent the engine away to serve another Ferrari, or simply been dismantled for parts. But somehow #0881 held together for the most important race of its life as a new line of caretakers smartly stepped in to preserve as much of the car as possible. The next recorded ownership, attributed to the name Van Den Bosch has little documented reference, but is followed by import to England in 1962/63 by Rolls Royce dealer Malcolm Bennett. Bennett, an enthusiast of the Ferrari marque purchased both the formerly rescued #0707 and #0881 which, according to several documents on file, still retained the original engine, differential, and the forward portion of the original chassis, all of which were reported to have been in good condition. Though not much is known about the history of the car thereafter, most likely it was brokered privately for sale. In any case, during this time, the car appears to have remained quite complete as it embarked on the next chapter of its life.
In 1990, UK resident and Ferrari collector Steve Pilkington became aware of the car and its unique history. He immediately purchased it, with the enthusiastic intent of bringing it back to its former glory. Pilkington and his restoration team could clearly see the surviving diamond shimmering beneath the fired carbon, thus embarking on a consummate restoration of the car. To accomplish this task, expert alloy panel crafter Terry Hoyle was commissioned to construct an all alloy body to exacting specifications, matching the famed three-louver, covered headlamp Scaglietti body #0881 wore when new. The all alloy body was fitted to the chassis, which was now composed of the original front portion of the frame and the center and rear frame portions acquired from a Ferrari Boano chassis, possibly attributed to #0579 GT (which was disassembled, available, and in the UK at that time) though to-date not confirmed. With the body and chassis now mated, the car was extensively restored using correct drum brakes, proper Marchal headlights and driving lights, two-ear