Art of the Automobile

21 November 2013

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Lot 110

1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Carrozzeria Pininfarina

  • Chassis no. 2473
  • Engine no. 2473

Sold for $2,035,000

  • Rare in the extreme
  • The only example that is factory certified as having covered headlamps and a hard top from new
  • Beautifully restored to concours standards
  • Matching numbers and Classiche certified

The 250 series was Ferrari’s crowning achievement of the 1950s and early 1960s. The highwater marks of this series have defined the “Prancing Horse” in the decades since, and in many ways, it has set the stylistic and cultural tone, which has grown exponentially model after model. From the lovely Lusso and the sporty California Spider, to the Tour de France and, of course, the Series II Cabriolet, the basic construction formula was nothing short of perfect: a high-revving V-12 engine, a shiver-inducing exhaust note, and an almost unbelievably sexy design that would envelop the chassis in two-door form.

From the outset, personalization and the owner’s wishes were paramount at Ferrari, as they influenced everything from the color and leather choice to the mechanical specification. As the years progressed, those bespoke touches have served to distinguish one example from another, and they have catapulted certain models into particularly rarified air. The stunning 250 GT Series II Cabriolet is no exception. It debuted in 1959 with a Pinin Farina design that was crafted completely by hand, and it was executed entirely at the discretion of the designer’s senses of touch and sight. The lines, smooth and flowing from front to rear, exhibited an air of sophistication, and they were complemented by dual exhausts at the rear, a hood scoop, sporting wire wheels, and all the trappings that defined the finest Ferrari “grand touring” cars.

Chassis 2473, presented here, is particularly special, as it wears covered headlamps, which is a very unusual and especially attractive feature that is known to have been applied to about six cars in total. Of those, however, this is the only one certified by the factory and its all-important Ferrari Classiche department as having been delivered new in this fashion, along with the lovely hardtop it is pictured with in the accompanying photos.

The car was originally slated for an April 1961 production date, but a special request by the customer caused a delay in the production of the car, resulting in a July delivery. It was originally sent to Franco Brittanic Autos, the official Ferrari dealership in Paris, France, in July 1961. As the 123rd Series II Cabriolet built, it wore Bianco (12.435, white) over a Pelle Bleu (VM 3087, blue) leather interior.

In 2008, the Cabriolet was shown at the Retromobile event in Paris, France, and it was still retaining its original blue leather interior. All of the original mechanical components were present, making it a prime candidate for a restoration. It was purchased shortly thereafter, and it made its new home with its current owner in Italy.

Since that time, the car has been fully restored by Rossocorsa, a Ferrari specialist in Milan, Italy. While Rossocorsa was responsible for the mechanical aspects of the restoration, the bodywork was outsourced to Carrozzeria Granturismo, in Milan. This Ferrari was complete with many of its original components, including the hard top and headlight covers, and all of the parts that were with the car were retained. Its condition was then brought to concours standards, and the results are truly outstanding. Rossocorsa also took the time to have the car Classiche certified, to ensure that it was mechanically original, that it had matching numbers, and that it was in keeping with that factory’s standards of authenticity. In addition to the Classiche documentation, over 200 photos were taken of the car during all the stages of the restoration, to chronicle exactly what work was done; all of this information will be included in the sale.

All told, only 200 Series II Cabriolets were ever constructed, which is a remarkably small number when one compares it to its contemporary, the 300 SL Roadster, but nevertheless, it was the start of series production for Ferrari on a grander scale. Chassis 2473 stands out among its colleagues, and it is blessed by the factory as an especially important example. It encapsulates Enzo Ferrari’s vision with utter perfection: a grand touring car that was intended for high-speed touring on the Continent, with a high-performance engine under the hood and the good looks and excitement to make a statement while speeding along a winding corniche or parked in front of the 21 Club.


Please note that an import duty of 2.5% of the purchase price is payable on this car if the buyer is a resident of the United States.

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

+1 864 313 6844
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

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
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

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

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

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

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Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

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Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

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

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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

+31 653 84 19 60
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