| Monterey, California
- A very late and exceptionally desirable Series II complete with factory disc brakes, overdrive, and numbers-matching “outside plug” engine
- Among the last 45 examples produced
- Wonderfully presented in Argento Nürburgring (101 C/36520) over Rosso Connolly leather
- Retained by the previous owner for 46 years; fastidiously documented since 1975
- Emerged from a complete restoration in 2017; nearly $42,000 in additional improvements since
1851 GT: AMONG THE LAST
Powered by a revised “outside plug” 3.0-liter V-12 producing 240 horsepower, fitted with an overdrive-equipped transmission and updated mechanical underpinnings, and clothed in a beautiful skin penned by Pinin Farina—Ferrari’s second-series version of their venerable 250 GT model range is undoubtedly the most sought-after by collectors.
These “Series II” 250 GT Coupes were produced in very limited quantity only for the 1960 and 1961 model year, and even fewer survive to the present which have experienced such a well-documented and pampered life as our subject lot.
Marque historian Marcel Massini notes that 1851 GT was completed by Ferrari on 5 May 1960 wearing a Grigio Milano exterior and Connolly blue leather/vinyl interior. Two weeks later, it was sold by a dealer in Turin to a Mrs. Gabriella Chiora for 5,500,000 Lire. By September 1963, factory maintenance records show that she and her beautiful Ferrari had recorded nearly 30,000 kilometers (~18,641 miles) together! Chiora later sold her 250 GT in January 1965 to another Turin resident in a deal brokered and financed by the originating dealer. After passing through one more subsequent owner just outside Turin, 1851 GT was imported to the United States in late July 1968 and soon thereafter acquired by Joseph Tourigny of Seattle, Washington.
WITH CAPTAIN SMITH
In June 1975, 1851 GT was acquired from Tourigny by fellow Seattleite George E. Smith for the princely sum of $2,500. Smith—a commercial pilot for Alaskan Airlines and itinerant tinkerer of some evident skill—immediately submitted his new acquisition for a complete restoration to his personal specifications. By mid-1976, 1851 GT emerged from its total restoration clad in a striking monochrome color scheme of Blu Scurro over new blue leather upholstery.
Following another 29 years of continued enjoyment, exhibition, mechanical improvement, and routine maintenance (often done himself), in 2005 Smith elected to return 1851 GT to his garage for an extended, leisurely restoration. This work proceeded in stages, until its eventual completion in 2017 by Terry’s Custom Auto Works of Seattle. All the while, Smith’s process is recorded by handwritten notes and interesting technical drawings which show that he left no detail to chance. Notable contributions from local marque specialists include a complete engine rebuild and custom machining work provided by Autosport Seattle, a beautiful Rosso Connolly leather interior commissioned from world-class upholsterer John Parkhurst, and exterior repaint in Argento Nürburgring (101 C/36520) by Close Encounters of Issaquah.
Similarly, the car’s Tipo 508 four-speed manual transmission was rebuilt with all-new synchros and mated to a new OEM-spec clutch, and flywheel. The transmission’s signature overdrive function has been retained in working order, and the drivetrain was finished out with new differential bearings, driveshaft, and an upgraded pinion bearing. Furthermore, its distinctive Series II lever-action shock absorbers and complete disc brake system were also rebuilt to ideal roadgoing specifications.
Lastly, 1851 GT’s entire electrical system was upgraded with a Roelofs Engineering Powermaster 90-amp alternator (which ingeniously sits inside the car’s original generator casing) starter motor, fuse/relay panel, and new electrical wiring throughout.
Since its post-restoration debut showing at the FCA’s 2018 Pacific Northwest Regional Concours, 1851 GT has been continuously enjoyed and fastidiously maintained under current ownership. A gentleman’s Ferrari in every sense, a well-restored 250 GT Coupe with Pinin Farina coachwork will never go out of style. Quintessentially Italian in every sense, this particular Series II example would be a wonderful example to enjoy.