1957 Ferrari 250 GT Ellena - £495,000
This is a beautiful 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Ellena, Finished in Dark Green with Two-Tone Green Interior, she is wonderfully presented and is ready to form the centrepiece of any Ferrari collection. 240 bhp, 2,953 cc SOHC alloy V-12 engine with three Weber carburettors, four-speed manual synchromesh transmission, front independent suspension with unequal length wishbones, coil springs, and tubular shock absorbers, live rear axle with leaf springs, Houdaille shocks with axle location by twin trailing arms, and four-wheel disc brakes.
By the late 1950s, Pinin Farina had established itself as not only the creators of the “Ferrari look” but also the favoured design house in Maranello. However, whilst the coachbuilder was rapidly expanding, it was not yet ready to meet the demand for increasing Ferrari production. As such, the production of the first-series-built “production” Ferrari models were farmed out to Carrozzeria Boano, a coachbuilder established by Mario Boano, which built 82 “Low Roof” Coupés of the Pinin Farina design. At the end of 1957, Mario Boano left his company to establish a styling department at Fiat, leaving his son-in-law, Ezio Ellena, to take over, along with his former partner, Luciano Pollo. The renamed Carrozzeria Ellena continued in Ferrari production and built a further run of fifty 250 GTs, now referred to as “Ellenas” or “High Roof” models, thanks to a two-inch raised roofline that improved headroom and, arguably, body proportions. A standard four-speed gearbox shift pattern was also adopted for these cars, along with larger brakes, a ZF steering system, and the fitment of a single distributor for the engine.
In the January 1958 issue of Sports Car Illustrated, the late, revered automotive journalist Griffith Borgeson test-drove Richie Ginther’s Lime Rock-winning 250 GT, calling it “a Grand Touring masterpiece—without comparables—except other Ferraris…[with a] perfect seating position, silence at speed, the fully synchronised transmission, engine flexibility, rock-like solidity, predictable handling, and gigantic brakes”. He labelled the styling “contemporary Italian conservative, beautiful without being the least bit gaudy”. Its top speed was listed between 127 to 157 mph, depending on the final drive gear ratio, and the road-test car’s 4.57 gears provided a 0–60 mph time of 5.9 seconds. Such performance is not surprising, since the mechanical specifications of an Ellena, including the engine, gearbox, rear, suspension, brakes, wheels, and tyres, are the same as that of Ferrari’s GT racing car, which has been dubbed the “Tour de France”. Even interior aspects, like the steering wheel, instrument panel, gauges, and door hardware, were identical to its glamorous sister cars of the period, the TdF and the LWB California Spider.
CHASSIS NUMBER 0755 GT
The car offered here, chassis number 0755 GT, is recorded by Swiss Ferrari historian Marcel Massini as having been completed in December 1957 and then delivered the following month to Luigi Chinetti’s distributorship in New York City. That same month, chassis 0755 GT, finished in Verde Scuro with a gold roof, was displayed on Chinetti’s stand at the 1958 Chicago Auto Show. Shortly thereafter, Chinetti sold the Ferrari to its original owner, who was recorded only as a banker living in Connecticut. In the early 1960s, the 250 GT was overhauled by famous racing driver and team owner George Reed’s RRR Motors in Midlothian, Illinois. Further ownership is unknown until 1989, when the car appeared in the ownership of Randy Simon, of Beverly Hills, California. It was then owned for several years by well-known racing car enthusiast Richard Freshman.
In 2005, the Ferrari was restored from the ground up, with the body refinished in its original colour but with the addition of a silver-green racing stripe. The car retains its original offset transmission and Borrani wire wheels but has been outfitted with its present engine, number 2963, which came from a 250 GTE and had been fully rebuilt by well-known American Ferrari specialist Patrick Ottis. It also features 250 GTE gauges and disc brakes on all four wheels. The interior was reupholstered in Stockton, California, with assembly by Jens Paulsen. In 2006, the completed Ferrari was driven by owner Richard McClure in the 16th California Mille, proving itself a capable event car, a capability in which it has been maintained by its present European owner. The previous owner notes that the only major work required in his ownership was a replacement of the exhaust system and in the last couple of years, all the guages have been reconditioned and the car fully serviced and maintained. About £3,000 has been spent in the last couple of years so she is on the button and ready for the summer!
This exciting Ellena with important show history has been built to drive, and it will provide an unrivalled driving experience for the true tifosi. The fact that it is a non-matching engine car saves you a considerable amount of money in the currnet market.