1961 Ferrari 250GTE 2+2 Series I
Year of manufacture1961
- Recent full restoration, including engine rebuild by GTO Engineering with invoices totalling over £85,000
- Retains its original engine
- Italian-delivery example
- Ferrari Classiche Certification in progress
Ferrari’s 250 GTE, the marque’s first production 2+2, was first seen by the public at the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans—not as an entry, but as the course marshal’s car. Ferrari had of course produced several special-order 2+2s at this point in conjunction with coachbuilders like Ghia, Touring, and Vignale for demanding clients, but this would be the first available to Ferrari’s usual clientele.
Six months later, the model was formally introduced at the Paris Salon, and this was a big moment for Ferrari. It represented Ferrari’s ever-increasing attention to their road car division as the company’s first four-seater. Importantly, the 250 GTE shared the same wheelbase as the legendary 250 GT LWB Tour de France and was equipped with a similar Colombo V-12. It was capable of a top speed of just over 150 mph, proving to more traditional Ferrari clients that performance would never be compromised in a car from Maranello.
In order to make the car comfortable for four people, Ferrari’s engineers had to make several changes to the existing 250 platform, which included moving the car’s engine forward on the chassis and widening the track of all four wheels. This made the 250 GTE much more comfortable for those sitting in the back, as well as for those sitting in the front. With coachwork designed by Pininfarina, the 250 GTE’s design was not only that of stately elegance, but it was also instantly recognisable as a Ferrari. Ferrari produced 954 examples and three slightly different model variants over its four years of production.
Produced in November of 1961, this 250 GTE was born as a Series I example, finished in Blu Dauphine (12252 MM) over a Panno Rosso Peugeot interior. Although little is known of chassis no. 2947’s early history, it is believed to have been sold to a customer in Southern Italy. It did not remain in its native Italy for long, and at some point it was shipped to the U.S.
A previous U.S. title from the state of New Mexico shows that the car was registered there under the ownership of Francisco C Lombardo VII of McIntosh, New Mexico, in 1978. The car appears to have remained with him for some time and was exported in October of 2008 to the UK and purchased by the current owner in December of that same year.
At this point, the car was in running condition and bought as a rolling project. Upon being stripped to bare metal, the bodywork was found to be largely sound thanks to its time in New Mexico’s dry climate, although some work was required around the nose and the floors. A full restoration was commissioned between Quest restorations who carried out paint and bodywork and more recently Classic Performance Engineering at Bicester Heritage. Final assembly was completed in July of this year and there are many bills and receipts for this work. In addition, the original engine was shipped to GTO Engineering and fully rebuilt from 2016-2018, with invoices on file totalling to over £85,000.
Freshly restored and presented in its stunning original colour scheme, this is a 250 GTE to cherish. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/lf19.