• Chassis number 
    0803 GT
  • Engine number 
    0945 GT
  • Lot number 
  • Drive 
  • Condition 
  • Number of seats 
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
  • Drivetrain 
  • Fuel type 


The DK Engineering-modified
1958-Style Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Sports-Racing Two-Seater Based Upon 250 GT 'Ellena Coupe' Chassis
Registration no. 503 YUG
Chassis no. 0803 GT
Engine no. 0945 GT

Between 1994 and 1996 David and Kate Cottingham's internationally-renowned Ferrari-specialist restoration company, DK Engineering Ltd, was undertaking complete restoration of a genuine 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sports-racing car. David Cottingham himself was a great fan of the FIA Sports Car World Championship-winning 250TR design, and he began a parallel project to create a look-alike Testa Rossa of his own, intended to match the genuine car in every technical and aesthetic detail. Here we are delighted to offer this DK Engineering tribute to the legendary 'pontoon-fender' Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa design.

This gorgeous car is based upon a genuine Ferrari 250 GT chassis – serial number '0803 GT' – that had been completed originally in 1958-59 with two-door Gran Turismo Berlinetta bodywork styled by Carrozzeria Ellena. At that time Pinin Farina had established itself as Ferrari's most favoured design house and production program partner. However, while the Torinese styling house and coachbuilder was expanding rapidly, it could not yet meet burgeoning demand for Ferrari production. Therefore, body-building for a proportion of the first series-built Ferrari GT models was contracted-out to Mario Boano's Carrozzeria Boano, which would complete 82 250 GT production Coupés for the Maranello marque.

Late in 1957, Mario Boano was offered, and accepted, an attractive post to establish a dedicated styling department at Fiat. His son-in-law, Ezio Ellena, then took over the family's original Boano coachbuilding company, together with former partner, Luciano Pollo. The enterprise was renamed Carrozzeria Ellena and it produced a further batch of some fifty 250 GTs, which have become popularly known as the 'Ellena Coupés'.

The particular chassis now underpinning the beautifully-presented, hand-crafted 250 Testa Rossa tribute now offered here originated as one of this 'Ellena Coupe' frames. The original car passed into long-term American ownership, fell into a state of disrepair and in the late 1980s is recorded as having been offered for sale for $50,000 by Walt McCune in California.

In the mid-1990s this became the car used as a donor vehicle by David Cottingham in this DK Engineering 250 Testa Rossa project. It provided the great majority of the running gear, plus basic 3-litre V12-cylinder engine, suspension, drum brakes and many ancillary items – all of which were correctly-specified, or simply convertible to, in-period Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa configuration.

Overall, this car has been expertly built to create as close a copy as possible to an original customer 250 TR in customer configuration with right-hand drive controls.

DK Engineering's extensive experience of several original Ferrari 250TR and associated-model cars had endowed the British company with available access to tooling for many parts related to a chassis jig, body jig and numerous critical components.

As completed and as offered here, '0803 GT' embodies many original 250 Testa Rossa components. The 3-litre V12-cylinder engine has a genuine Tipo 128 LM crankcase and 1958 Testa Rossa-specification cylinder heads – of course topped by the definitive red crackle-finished 'red head' cam covers.

Today such rebodied tribute cars are perfectly acceptable for Historic competition and '0803 GT' offered here was indeed raced four times in 1996, before being sold to an Italian collector in 1997. We understand that the car was hardly used at all during that ownership before it was eventually returned to the UK in 2005.

During 2007 the complete car benefited from what is described as "a complete freshen-up" with its V12 engine being rebuilt and carefully prepared for use in European events. It was eventually sold to new owner Chris Evans – the very prominent and popular British radio DJ and TV celebrity, who is also a great and confirmed fine-car enthusiast and collector - in 2009. For him it was completely repainted in its present American racing colours livery of white with twin parallel centerline blue stripes, and we can only confirm that in the metal it really does look "a million dollars!".

The car is offered with UK V5 registration document and expired FIA HTP papers that were issued in 2006. It is accepted for competition by both the Historic Grand Prix Car Association and by the British Vintage Sports Car Club, and it is eligible for such competitions as the British Racing Drivers' Club and VSCC '50s sports car series, plus the sometime Ferrari Classic series.

Back in period, International FIA Sports Car World Championship racing had seen a high-tide of technical development, power and speed reached during the 1957 season. Sadly high-profile accidents had panicked the governing body that reacted by slapping a blanket 3-litre capacity limit to sports-prototype cars for the 1958-59 World Championship seasons. Ferrari had two paths forward that had both been under development through 1957 – one a 'Dino'-lettered V6-cylinder design and the other a smaller-capacity version of the big 4.1-litre 4-cam V12. With one eye upon producing a saleable sports-racing car that would be both affordable and practical for private customer use, Ferrari opted instead for a single-overhead-camshaft per cylinder bank 3-litre V12 engine, readily adaptable from its tremendously successful Tour de France-dominating 250 Gran Turismo Berlinetta line.

The new 250 Testa Rossa sports-prototype racing model was launched by Mr Ferrari at his pre-1958 season press conference of November 1957. The variant intended for series-production was aimed squarely at independent owner-drivers who competed in America's SCCA racing as well as for those whose ambitions embraced the Sports Car World Championship. A more sophisticated 250 Testa Rossa variant – with rear-mounted transaxle transmission in place of the private owners variant's gearbox in unit with the engine up front – was only to compete at major level, leaving the field clear for private entrants to contest lower-level SCCA and European events. Above all the new 250 Testa Rossa was offered as a thoroughly well-proven essentially 'bullet-proof' racing design tailor-made to survive races of six, twelve and even 24 hours duration without weakening.

The customer cars featured a live rear-axle chassis specification similar to that of the 2-litre Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa. Most notable, and much commented upon throughout the model's long life, has been its entirely distinctive 'pontoon' bodywork designed essentially by Ferrari body specialist Sergio Scaglietti's associate Giancarlo Guerra. This featured a cutaway nose configuration intended to clear extra cooling airflow to the front brake drums.

During 1958, works-team drivers Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, Peter Collins, Oliver Gendebien, Luigi Musso, 'Taffy' Von Trips and Wolfgang Seidel excelled in their new 250 TR cars at premier level, winning the Buenos Aires 1,000Kms, Sebring 12-Hours, the Targa Florio and the vitally-important Le Mans 24-Hours, plus the Sports Car World Championship title.

Factory production of the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa totaled 19 cars plus the prototypes. Here '0308 GT' combines the looks, the performance and the charismatic allure of the genuine 250 Testa Rossa customer cars with absolutely genuine, in-period Ferrari underpinnings, from that 250GT Ellena Coupe base. It is widely useable, raceable and – perhaps above all, considering the multi-million values now commanded by surviving original 250 TR cars – immensely affordable.

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
United Kingdom
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department