1958 Ferrari 250

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1958
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    137
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other

Description

Between 1957 and 1959, Carrozzeria Pinin Farina produced a series of 40 special Cabriolets – each exquisitely designed and constructed – on Ferrari’s legendary 250 GT chassis. The Series I Cabriolets, as they are referred to today, were constructed in Pinin Farina’s custom shop in Torino. This was done not only to maintain superior build quality, but to also accommodate the many special requests made by Ferrari’s most important customers.

Although many detail differences can be found from car to car, nearly all Series I Cabriolets share the same elegant proportions and memorable design cues such as beautiful razor-edge taillights, pronounced rear haunches, and a dramatically raked windscreen. Interiors were trimmed in high-quality Connolly leather highlighted by a unique console-mounted control panel and wrinkle-finish dashboard carrying the full complement of Veglia gauges and pastel-colored warning lights.

Pinin Farina’s refined Cabriolet was aimed at Ferrari’s most discerning clientele. When new, it was the most expensive 250 GT by a significant margin. Factory literature records a list price of $14,950 for a new Cabriolet – $3,000 more than the California Spider, and $2,500 more than the Tour de France Berlinetta.

The Series I Cabriolet has long been regarded as one of the most successful collaborations between Ferrari and Pinin Farina and, by all accounts, an undisputed masterpiece of the coachbuilder’s art. In the eyes of many connoisseurs, these cars are among the most beautiful Ferraris ever built; the model remains eminently desirable, with most held in significant private collections.

The Series I Cabriolet presented here, chassis 1075 GT, is the 34th example built. It entered the Pinin Farina custom workshop on August 29, 1958, was assigned job number 15811, and was completed that October, finished in the striking color scheme of Oro Andalusia (Andalusia Gold) over beige Connolly leather upholstery. As every Series I Cabriolet was hand built to order, no two were exactly alike. This particular car features full-width bumpers (front and rear), covered headlamps, and twin Marchal driving lights behind the grille.

According to Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, 1075 GT made its public debut at one of the world’s most prestigious automotive events: the 43rd Annual British International Motor Show at Earls Court, held in London, in November 1958. Following its promotional duties, the Series I Cabriolet returned to the Ferrari factory to be updated with the latest twin distributor arrangement and prepared for delivery to the official French distributor, Franco-Britannic Autos in Paris. A photograph of 1075 GT taken at the Maranello factory around the time of its delivery was famously reproduced on the cover of Hans Tanner’s Ferrari Owner’s Handbook, the popular book published by Floyd Clymer in 1961.

Little is known about the Pinin Farina Cabriolet’s first owner in France, Mr. Hillegas; however, the car did not remain in Europe for long. By 1964, the Ferrari had been exported to the US and was owned by James C. Walsh Jr. of Lafayette, California. He entered 1075 GT in that year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance ® and placed Second in Class – European Sports Cars over $7,000.

In October 1965, Mr. Walsh offered the Ferrari for sale in Road & Track magazine, with the following description: “Special steel Pininfarina roadster. Second in class Pebble Beach. Roll-up windows, custom removable luggage rack, new 14 coats lacquer, newly chromed Borranis, 3-band Blaupunkt, electric antenna. Photos $1. 23,000 careful miles (in 4-car family). $6250.” Later that year, 1075 GT was bought by Charles Rezzaghi Motors, the official Ferrari-Maserati-Alfa Romeo dealer in San Francisco, and then sold to a local resident named Christopher Saunders for $6,000. Mr. Saunders drove the Pinin Farina Cabriolet to his wedding in 1966 and continued to cherish the car for nearly two decades, finally selling it in 1984.

The Ferrari’s next owner was Said Marouf of La Jolla, California, a well-known collector with a passion for coachbuilt Italian sports and racing cars. Mr. Marouf owned 1075 GT until 1989, when he traded it to Dick Teague for another Ferrari 250 GT, a SWB Berlinetta.

Dick Teague certainly appreciated the unique qualities of a Pinin Farina Series I Cabriolet – after all, he was one of the most celebrated American automotive stylists of his generation, having served as AMC’s vice president of design for several decades. He was also a passionate car collector with an ever-rotating stable that spanned all eras, from early American antiques to the latest high- performance sports cars.

This Ferrari was among the very last cars that Teague acquired, as he passed away in 1991, though his wife Marian kept 1075 GT for years after. Sadly, in February 2002, Mrs. Teague’s property in Fallbrook California was consumed by a wildfire, which virtually destroyed her house and caused significant damage to her prized Ferrari.

Two months later, 1075 GT was sold to Tom Shaughnessy, the well-known Ferrari specialist and IAC/PFA master judge. Mr. Shaughnessy found that, although it had suffered from the fire, the car’s bodywork remained still strong and intact, and that the original engine block and gearbox were in good condition. Soft metal components, such as the hood, trunk lid, dashboard, steering wheel, and windshield frame, had been subjected to the most damage.

Over the next few years, Mr. Shaughnessy set aside appropriate replacement components from his cache of original Ferrari parts and performed some initial restoration work, including fabrication of a new aluminum dashboard. In 2006, he sold 1075 GT to the current owner, a discerning Southern California-based Ferrari collector who had been searching for a Series I Cabriolet to restore.

Satisfied with the car’s originality and potential as a restoration candidate, the consignor entrusted the Pinin Farina Cabriolet project to Wayne Obry’s Motion Products Inc. in Neenah, Wisconsin, one of the world’s leading Ferrari specialists. Over the next 19 months, Motion Products Inc. performed a truly astounding 9,000-hour restoration, which preserved virtually all of 1075 GT’s original steel body panels and numbered drivetrain components.

To ensure complete accuracy in every detail, a tremendous amount of research was conducted on the model and the next Series I Cabriolet in build sequence, 1079 GT, was scanned so that an accurate body buck could be fashioned using the digital file. The team at Motion Products Inc. then removed 1075 GT’s body, carefully hammered it back to exact factory specifications, and reunited it with the chassis only after they deemed it satisfactory. Other cosmetic and mechanical aspects of the restoration were more conventional in nature; however, all work was conducted to the firm’s famously high standards, with the ultimate goal of returning this Ferrari to its original glory.

Upon completion, 1075 GT debuted at the 2008 Ferrari Club of America Annual Meet in Toronto. There, the tremendous effort and passion that went into its restoration were handsomely awarded with Best of Show honors, as well as the coveted Coppa Bella Macchina and Platinum awards. From there, 1075 GT went on to win its class at the always competitive Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, with a perfect 100-point score.

The following year, the Pinin Farina Cabriolet was invited to take part in several prestigious shows, and its magnificent presentation continued to garner accolades. In an impressive winning streak, the Ferrari received Best Twelve Cylinder and another Platinum Award at the Cavallino Classic, the Don Andrews Award for Outstanding Ferrari at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, and Best in Class at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

Beyond its successes on the concours circuit, this Series I Cabriolet has been certified by the Ferrari Classiche Department and, in October 2009, was issued a Red Book. This document confirms that 1075 GT is an authentic example, retaining its original chassis, body, engine (internal no. 0282C), and gearbox (internal no. 30D). The only non-matching component noted is the differential, which was replaced with a correct type 508D unit, internal no. 365 D.

The exceptional presentation of 1075 GT is further supported by a documentation file that includes copies of the factory build sheets, magazine articles, research notes, judging sheets, and complete restoration records from Motion Products Inc. Also included is a history report compiled by Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, along with a proper tool roll and owner’s handbooks.

Offered today on behalf of its long-term owner – one of the most respected Ferrari collectors – and presented in superb cosmetic and mechanical order, 1075 GT is a truly outstanding example of Pinin Farina’s brilliant Series I Cabriolet. Here is an exclusive coachbuilt 250 GT that possesses a rich, well-documented provenance, a highly decorated expert restoration, and Ferrari Classiche certification. This remarkable Oro Andalusia Ferrari has always been admired by enthusiasts, from its debut at Earls Court in 1958 to its subsequent showings on the lawn at Pebble Beach in 1964 and 2008. For over 55 years, 1075 GT has resided in prominent California collections and has been featured in some of the most famous books published on the Ferrari marque.

For the collector who admires the style, grace, and quality embodied by the Series I Cabriolet, this is an opportunity not to be missed.