The introduction of the 250 Europa heralded a significant change in Ferrari’s preferred coachbuilder: whereas previously Vignale had been the most popular carrozzeria among Maranello’s customers, from now on Pinin Farina (later Pininfarina) would be Ferrari’s number one choice, bodying no fewer than 48 out of the 53 Europa/Europa GTs built. Pinin Farina’s experiments eventually crystallised in a new Ferrari 250GT road car that was first displayed publicly at the Geneva Salon in March 1956. The styling of the Geneva show car – chassis number ‘0429GT’, sister to that offered here – was influenced by Pinin Farina’s Superamerica as confirmed by the factory build sheet. With the Series 2 variant of the 410 Superamerica, Ferrari switched from a 2,800mm wheelbase chassis to one of 2,600mm, and this shorter dimension would be used for all members of the 250GT family from the Europa GT onwards with the exception of the competition orientated SWB and GTO models.
As well as the handling advantages conferred by the shorter wheelbase, the 250GT was equipped as standard with the more compact Colombo-designed 3.0-litre V12 engine, which replaced the Superamerica’s bulkier Lampredi unit.
However, Pinin Farina was not yet in a position to cope with the increased workload – construction of its new factory at Grugliasco had only just started – resulting in production being entrusted to Carrozzeria Boano after Pinin Farina had completed a handful of prototypes. Modifications were made to the chassis, engine and gearbox of the production Boanos in order to simplify the production process.
A handful of the unique Pinin Farina prototypes that inspired the Boano cars have survived, among them the car offered here, chassis 0435GT. They are considered among the most special and influential grand touring Ferraris of their era and seldom ever appear for public sale. Eventhough associated with the 250 GT Boano coupe series, the coachwork of our car was actually entirely handcrafted by Pinin Farina and has several unique design features.
The car was sold new to its original owner, Guido Cantelli, of Novara, Italy, in April 1956. Cantelli was a close friend of Enzo Ferrari and a famous orchestra conductor. Tragically, he died in a plane crash later the same year. Subsequently Ferrari bought the car back from the widow and sold it to Sergio Canara of Parma. Canara and his wife used 0435GT on a cruise for their honeymoon that same year, photos of which are part of the dossier. The 250 was sold later on to Mr Messerli from Switzerland, who owned the car from 1969 until 1980. It was subsequently sold in 1980 to Mr Oberson, also from Switzerland. At this stage the car was repainted red.
In this colour livery the car was displayed by Oberson in April 1990 at the Club Ferrari Suisse’s anniversary meeting in Montreux, Switzerland. A decade later, the car was offered for sale by T. Carugati in Geneva before being sold to Daniel Patrick Brooks in the UK. The following year, 0435GT was sent to garage Cointreau in France for a complete body restoration, at which stage it was re-finished in its striking original tone of silver. The body restoration was completed in March 2008 following which Brooks entered the car at the Tour Auto.
Subsequently, 0435GT was acquired by renowned collector Stanislas de Sadeleer and remained in his collection for 8 years before it was purchased by the current owner in 2015. Since then, the car was reunited with its original rear axle making it entirely matching numbers throughout. The Ferrari Classiche Certification was recently applied for and is now under process. Presented in excellent condition, 0435GT offers to its next owner the opportunity to acquire a very significant motor car in Ferrari’s Grand Touring history, instantly eligible for most major historic rallies and concourses including the Mille Miglia.
German road registration