1954 Ferrari 250 Europa GTSOLD

RM Auctions - Automobiles of London - October 31, 2007

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Estimate: 325,000£ - 400,000£
Estimate: €472,000 - €581,000
Estimate: $650,000 - $800,000

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of £379.950

From the Collection of Mr. Bernie Ecclestone

220bhp, 2,953 cc, 60 degree single overhead cam V-12, four-speed all synchromesh gearbox, independent front suspension with coil springs and A-arms, live rear axle with semi-elliptical springs, Houdaille shocks and hydraulic drum brakes all around. Wheelbase: 102in. (2,600mm).

In the late 1930s, after an extensive and successful career at Alfa Romeo, both in racing and team management, Enzo Ferrari ended his partnership with the company after it reassumed control over his Scuderia Ferrari. Contractual obligations and the production demands of World War II prevented him from immediately building any cars of his own. By the late 1940s, however, Ferrari S.p.A. had launched an all-out racing campaign, which by the early 1950s was largely funded by revenue from Ferrari’s production sports car manufacture.

Introduced to the public at the 1953 Paris Auto Salon, alongside the 375 America, the 250 GT Europa was the first road-going Ferrari identified by the now-legendary 250 series nomenclature. It was also the first true Gran Turismo Ferrari ever produced and solidified Ferrari’s longstanding relationship with Pinin Farina.

Pinin Farina designed their first Ferrari in the early 1950s, but by the mid-50s had truly established the Ferrari ‘look’ as exemplified by the Europa/Boano/Ellena GT series.
Design cues included the long, low hood and a signature oval radiator opening – traits that by the mid-1950s had secured ‘Principal Ferrari Design House’ status for the Turin firm.

Even though these cars were marketed as expensive, luxurious, and well-finished grand touring machines, their advanced specifications and sleek lines helped assure the marque’s reputation for performance above all else.

Heretofore, the famed Italian design house had been entrusted with far fewer Ferrari designs compared to its competitors, Vignale, Ghia, and Touring. With its high-waisted, crisp lines and large oval grille, the elegant yet sporty 2+2 coupé is now regarded as a Pinin Farina classic and a trendsetting design for future 250s.

The Europa was the only Ferrari 250 to carry the Aurelio Lampredi-designed V-12, which was originally designated for racing use and produced over 200 horsepower. As such, the 250 GT Europa was capable of 135mph top speeds and 0–60 times under 8 seconds. The V-12 engine was coupled to an all-synchromesh transmission and, in conjunction with the car’s superb handling characteristics, made for an outstanding Gran Turismo package.

Only 17 Europas were built by Pinin Farina in a twelve-month period, 16 of them coupés. Nearly all examples were exported to the United States, but Charlie Chaplin, Princess de Réthy of Belgium, and Prince Bernhard of Holland each took delivery of one. Enzo Ferrari was to own a Europa as well.

The exceptional left-hand drive example offered here, chassis 0361 GT, was the third 250 GT Europa produced, entering the Pinin Farina coachworks in October 1954. It was sold upon completion, in December of that year, to Mrs Paola Ferrari for Ms Mirka Landini of Bologna, Italy. It was owned for a time in the 1960s by J. McCoy of Missouri before returning to Europe and finding its way in 1990 to Albert Obrist, an avid collector from Gstaad, Switzerland.

Obrist owned the car until the mid-1990s when it was acquired by the Ecclestone Collection; it was imported into the United Kingdom in 2000. The odometer currently reads 293 miles, which may very well be the actual mileage since restoration.

The car has received a complete, professional, show quality restoration. The two-tone dark blue and silver paint is in very good condition and virtually free of defects. All chrome trim and brightwork are of the same calibre and have been professionally replated to show quality finish. The fit of the body panels is equally excellent.

Original 16 inch Borrani wire wheels are shod in new, correct Pirelli tires. A proper spare
wheel and jack reside in the boot, which has been professionally reupholstered in black carpet and fitted with the correct black rubber matting. Also of interest are a proper set of Marchal headlamps, driving lights, and turn signals.

The blue upholstery has been professionally stitched, fitted with near perfection, and well maintained. The light grey, cloth headliner and blue-painted dash are also quite remarkable as is the proper, as-new instrumentation.

The extensive restoration also included the undercarriage, which was properly refinished in black. It is complete with original hardware or correct new replacements when necessary. No signs of road use are apparent, with the cleanliness and finishes in as-new condition. The engine bay is equally outstanding and has been expertly restored, detailed, and well maintained. Three proper twin-choke Weber carburettors sit atop the 220 horsepower Lampredi V-12.

Only 36 Europas were built in both series. Benefiting from such rarity as well as a superb pedigree and concours-quality restoration, a 250 GT Europa of this calibre would be an exceptional addition to any automotive collection. Considering the origins of the Ferrari-Pinin Farina relationship alongside the birth of the marque’s famed Gran Turismo cars, the Europa holds a great deal of historical value within the greater spectrum of European sports cars.

Reference Number 11533

as of 7/22/2007

Car 1954 Ferrari 250 Europa GT
VIN 0361GT 
Exterior / Interior Color      Silver /      Blue 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
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