1959 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe by Pinin Farina

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Chassis No.
1491 GT
Engine No.
1491 GT
Documents
US Title
  • The 201st of 353 examples built; a classic mid-century gran turismo with timeless Pinin Farina styling
  • Owned for over four decades by former Luigi Chinetti Senior NART technician Wanye Sparling
  • Restored under Sparling’s ownership in its present colors of red over a red and black interior
  • Retains numbers-matching triple-carbureted 3.0-liter V-12
  • Equipped with aftermarket air conditioning; presently fitted with a 410 Superamerica-style hood scoop
  • Documented with build sheet copies, a 1975 purchase documentation copy, and Massini report
language

When Ferrari introduced the 250 GT Coupe at the 1958 Paris Motor Show, the marque signaled their first, and most decisive step toward true series production. On this new series coupe, Pinin Farina coachwork replaced the Boano- and Ellena-built cars of years previous. Most importantly, the 250 GT delivered exactly what the market desired and cemented Ferrari’s managerial fortitude to continue volume production—with 353 produced between 1958 and 1960, the 250 GT was the marque’s best-selling product. A gentleman’s Ferrari in every sense, the 250 GT is the definitive Italian grand tourer of the late 1950s. More at home cruising the coastline of the South of France than rocketing down the Mulsanne Straight, these cars were built for the individual that respected Ferrari’s racing pedigree yet wanted something more civilized and comfortable than its racing counterparts.

Under the hood was Ferrari’s renowned 3.0-liter Colombo “inside-plug” V-12, producing 240 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and topped with three twin-choke Weber carburetors. Developed in the crucible of motorsport, this engine provided the coupe with a top speed just shy of 150 mph, and it could reach 60 mph in seven seconds—impressive for a car of its class and faster than many comparable offerings from Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Maserati.

A NART TECHNICIAN’S 250 GT

According to the report on file from Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, chassis number 1491 GT—the 201st of 353 250 GT examples built—was originally finished in Nocciola over a vinyl and Naturale leather interior. Additional details noted on copies of this Ferrari’s original build documentation included instrumentation in kilometers, Borrani wire wheels, a Nardi steering wheel, and an Abarth exhaust system. By November 1959, it had been delivered to the United States via the famed Luigi Chinetti Motors of New York. It would pass through a short series of owners in the Northeast before entering the garage of a Robert H. Baer of Norwalk, Ohio by 1971.

This Ferrari’s notable next owner, Wayne Sparling, purchased it from the Gold Coast Sports Car Centre of Pompano Beach, Florida on 31 October 1975; according to documentation on file, he paid an enviable $2,288 for the coupe. It would be difficult to imagine a more ideal long-term custodian for the car: Sparling, a Luigi Chinetti Senior NART technician from 1966 to 1985, was also a collector of fine Ferraris. Under his care, which spanned 42 years in total, the car was restored in its present colors of red over a black and red leather interior. An aftermarket air conditioning unit was also fitted during Sparling’s tenure—a logical addition given the car’s Florida residency.

Sparling and his wife Lorene would show the car during their ownership, including at the 2007 Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach, Florida. Following Sparling’s passing in 2017, this 250 GT was acquired by an enthusiast in Houston, Texas, before joining the Gene Ponder Collection in 2019.

Under Ponder’s stewardship, the appealing color combination previously selected by Sparling was retained, but the red exterior paint was refinished. Additionally, a 410 Superamerica-style scoop was carefully worked into the car’s hood. This attractive feature, installed on a limited number of 250 GT examples in period, gives the coupe a markedly more athletic appearance, offering a perfect complement to the gleaming, sporty Borrani wire wheels at each corner.

The Ferrari 250 GT was a success when new, and its attributes are still readily apparent in the modern era: Its thrilling Colombo V-12 and timeless Pinin Farina styling have only grown more appealing in the years since its debut. This example, which retains its numbers-matching engine and boasts notable provenance, offers its next owner the opportunity to experience the fruit of Maranello’s golden era.