Amelia Island

10 March 2012

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Lot 141

1956 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina

  • Chassis no. 0465 GT
  • Engine no. 0465 GT

Sold for $1,430,000

240 bhp, 2,953 cc V-12 engine, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with parallel trailing arms and semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102.3"

• One of only four examples produced

• Rare 410 Superamerica-style, Pinin Farina Berlinetta coachwork

• Ferrari Classiche certification

• Sold new to Agnelli family member with numerous special order items including gauges, telescopic steering wheel, high bolster seats, twin fuel tanks with twin fillers and custom lowered driver’s window crank

• 1992 Ferrari National Concours, First in Class and Ferrari of Exceptional Merit award

• 1992 Pebble Beach First in Class, 1993 Cavallino First in Class and Ferrari GT Cup

• 2012 Cavallino First in Class Platinum and winner of Most Elegant Ferrari award

• Recent freshening by Wayne Obry’s Motion Products

The Geneva Motor Show of March 1956 represented a milestone development for Ferrari, as the company debuted its seminal 250 GT, regarded by many historians as the first true series-produced model to emerge from Maranello. Two versions of the new model were exhibited at the company’s display, a cabriolet bodied by Boano and a Pinin Farina-designed berlinetta that was clearly influenced by the 410 Superamerica that sat beside it.

Though both versions of the new 250 GT were scheduled to enter production with the bodies made by their respective carrozzerie, coupe production was ultimately taken on by Boano, which clothed the chassis in its own variation of the show car’s coachwork. Accounts vary as to why Pinin Farina did not end up producing the coupe shown at the Geneva Motor Show, with some historians contending that Ferrari was loathe to take on the coachbuilder’s minimum production order of 500 cars. Other accounts maintain that despite any possible minimum order requirements, Pinin Farina was in the midst of building a new factory and did not yet have the capacity for such a sizeable order anyhow.

Despite the fact that Boano earned the contract for 250 GT coupe production, four chassis in the series were sent to Pinin Farina for individual coachwork. These cars were classified with their own chassis designation, no. 513, and were subsequently clothed in Superamerica-style bodies that endowed them with the stout appearance of their more muscular stable-mates. The resulting 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe Speciale examples have become prized for their rarity and classic Superamerica styling and can be regarded as an important precursor to the long and celebrated relationship between Ferrari and its most prolific coachbuilder.

According to the research of Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, 0465 GT was delivered to Pinin Farina for coachwork on August 4, 1956 and was the second of four examples of chassis type 513 that were so bodied. It was clothed with a Superamerica-style body without fender vents and finished in Cassa Blu Genziana paint with a Pelle Naturale interior of Connolly leather. As was customary for special order cars of this caliber, the car was built with numerous custom items, including specially ordered gauges, telescopic steering wheel, special high bolster seats, twin separate fuel tanks with twin fillers and a custom, lowered driver’s side window crank.

Completing assembly on August 11, the car was sold the following month to Emmanuele Nasi, a member of Fiat’s controlling Agnelli family who worked as a director for the Turin-based automaker. By October 1961, this Ferrari was acquired by Kurt Harbauer of Weilheim, Germany, who ran the car on the famed Nürburgring race circuit before selling it to the well-known Martini Racing Team in Adenau, Germany.

In 1968, an American G.I. stationed in Germany named Grant Stapelton found this beautiful 250 GT Speciale in Modena, Italy, and roughly one year later he exported the car to his home in Youngstown, Ohio. Mr. Stapelton retained possession of the car for 14 years before selling it to a fellow Ohio resident. In 1984, 0465 GT was acquired by Bill Rhodes, a marque enthusiast living in Concord, North Carolina. Recognizing this coachbuilt Ferrari’s inherent rarity and value, Mr. Rhodes commissioned a total restoration that was undertaken by David Carte’s Classic & Sport Auto Refinishing in Edinburg, Virginia.

Mr. Carte’s concours-level restoration resulted in numerous exhibition accolades, including a First in Class at the Ferrari Club of America’s June 1992 annual meet in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the car also garnered the Ferrari of Exceptional Merit award. Two months later, this intoxicating 250 GT took First in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a crowning achievement by any measure. The awards continued the following February when the car won the GT Ferrari Cup at the 1993 Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach, Florida.

In mid-1994, this award-winning Pinin Farina Coupe Speciale was acquired by Paul Gilpatrick of Westminster, Colorado. Records reflect that Mr. Gilpatrick presented 0465 GT at many national events in 1994, including the FCA’s International Concours in Monterey, California and the Concorso Italiano in Carmel, California. In May 1995 the car won the Coppa d’Oro Award at the FCA National Concours held in Columbus, Ohio. When this 250 GT was purchased in early 1996 by Japanese citizen Kentaro Kato, it still displayed the splendid benefits of its award-winning restoration, prompting the new caretaker to exhibit the car in his own personal Ferrari museum in Hokkaido, Japan, the Museo del Cavallino.

Sold by Mr. Kato in mid-1998, this car passed to well-known Ferrari collector Bill Jacobs of Joliet, Illinois before being acquired in January 2001 by Dan Kary of Lewiston, Maine. Mr. Kary immediately began campaigning the car in national events, including the 2001 and 2002 editions of the Cavallino Classic, the latter of which saw the car earn a Silver Award. During both years, 0465 GT was also proudly exhibited at the prestigious Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

Most recently, the car received its Ferrari Classiche certification, attesting to the authenticity of the body, chassis, engine, suspension, brakes and wheels under the program’s strict standards. While there are conflicting opinions from marque experts as to whether the engine block currently in the car is the original factory-supplied block or a correct, early Tipo 128 unused replacement block, the car has been definitively certified by Ferrari’s Classiche program and, as such, is deemed authentic not only by Ferrari themselves but also the industry’s most respected marque experts.

Since being acquired by the consignor, this car has been refurbished and maintained as needed by Wayne Obry’s esteemed shop, Motion Products in Neenah, Wisconsin. 0465 GT’s superb state of condition was further confirmed earlier this year when it received a First in Class Platinum award and the Most Elegant Ferrari award at the 2012 Cavallino Classic.

Presented in immaculate cosmetic condition, this 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe Speciale is a splendid example that epitomizes the quality and breathtaking aesthetics of Ferrari’s early coachbuilt cars. The scintillating Superamerica-style coachwork exudes rakish appeal, while the meticulously finished paint and brightwork testify to the dutiful care and attention that has characterized recent ownership. In addition to the highly desirable Ferrari Classiche factory certificate of authenticity, this early 250 GT is accompanied by a complete set of tools and owners manuals and a file containing multiple restoration photographs, as well as copies of receipts totaling over $230,000. It is a wonderfully complete and particularly rare coachbuilt example of one of Ferrari’s most prized models and would make a noteworthy addition to even the most distinguished collections of Prancing Horses.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

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David Swig

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California, United States

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Don Rose

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Gord Duff

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Kurt Forry

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Matt Malamut

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United Kingdom

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Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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Shelby Myers

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more