1957 FERRARI 250 GT COUPE
COACHWORK BY PININFARINA/ELLENA
Chassis No. 0817 GT
Engine No. See text
Red with beige leather interior
Engine: V12, single overhead camshaft per bank, triple Weber 36 DCS carburetors, 2,953cc, 240bhp at 7,500rpm; Gearbox: four speed, all synchromesh; Suspension: front, independent with helicoidal springs, rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs, Koni shock absorbers; Brakes: drum all round. Left hand drive.
When the new 250 Gran Turismo was launched at the 1954 Paris Salon, it was described as the first standard series production Ferrari. It represented a milestone in the marque's history and was beyond doubt one of Enzo Ferrari's most important models for more than ten years, bringing pure race technology into production cars in order to generate funds for the Scuderia's racing activities. Based on the 250 GT chassis and fitted with the legendary Colombo engine, cars like the famous 250 SWB, the 250 GTO and the 250 'Tour de France' won the most prestigious races in their period and are still viewed as being among the most desirable sports cars ever manufactured. The 250 GT model series provided a whole range of cars catering to everyone from wealthy gentlemen to ambitious racing drivers.
The Ferrari 250 GT was intended as a replacement for the 250 GT Europa and was initially bodied by Pininfarina, but it soon became clear that Pininfarina did not have the capacity for building another Ferrari model, therefore the production was transferred to the Turin-based carrozzeria of Boano. Then by mid-1957, the firm's name had to be changed to Ellena, who was Mario Boano's brother-in-law, after he and his son Gianpaolo moved to Fiat to head their styling department. Now with Ellena in charge, the 250 GT's remained identical mechanically and chassis-wise, but the most notable alteration was a slightly higher roofline and enlarged side glass in order to provide more headroom for the driver and the passengers of this classic and elegant gran turismo.
Although the 250 GT was a production car,the model could not deny its competition roots, as Johnny Lurani wrote in his first drive report for Motor Trend's 'Sports Car Quarterly', "Although clearly betraying its genuine racing genealogy, the 250 GT appears today to have been successfully tamed. Signor Ferrari has not detracted from excellent performance, at the same time injecting those qualities that are needed in a machine for ordinary touring."
The 250 GT Ellena presented here today has been in the Tunick Collection for over 20 years and though not currently running is believed to be in nearly complete condition. A very dated repaint of the car has given way, exposing a large section of the hood. The engine, while correct to a 250GT, appears to be a replacement as no stamping or engine number is found. Christie's is pleased to present this 250GT 'Ellena' as it warrants an extraordinary opportunity for a dedicated collector, since it widely believed that only 139 Ellenas remain.