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Ferrari 250 GT Competizione Berlinetta TdF, Red, for sale in San Juan Capistrano, California, price on application.
Truly the LAST 14-louver 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione built. Never damaged, never raced, and offered as a no-mileage, literally new 1957 Scagliegtti-bodied Tour de France
1958 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione Tour de France
Enzo Ferrari kept his factory very busy in the mid-50’s building sports racing cars, and an array of Grand Prix and Formula (Two) racing machines. To finance this equipment, he was wiling to build racing cars for customers that had the funds to pay. A good car with great potential was beginning to surface, in the form of the 250 GT.
As a bit of prior history to set the scene for the thought process: after the terrible racing disaster at LeMans, attempts by the sanctioning bodies/organizers were underway to slow the racers down. Ferrari, ever the engineer, knew that a lightweight sports racing vehicle with a powerful engine was the right combination for continued success.
The 250 GT series, already having some competition success with earlier models, became the canvas. The new 2600 mm long wheelbase chassis was designed of two oval tubes with varied thickness, with cross tubes at the front, and multiple cross tubes to support the suspension and properly stiffen the structure.
Suspension included a 1354 mm front track and 1349 mm rear, with two coils in front, and one single leaf per side in the rear, all managed by Houdaille lever arm dampers and anti-roll bars. Huge drum brake drums of alloy measured 360 mm in diameter for aggressive stopping power.
Four-speed transmission gears were enclosed in an alloy box, and transferred power to a limited-slip rear axle. The 250 series was equipped with horsepower variations of the Tipo 128 Series V-12 engines with a capacity of 2953 cc. This engine has a chain-driven single overhead camshaft per cylinder bank, with valves actuated by “mouse-trap” springs. Three twin-choke carburetors adorn the top of this Lampredi designed engine.
For the Berlinettas (Berlinetta was the designation for purpose-built race cars, Coupe was the designation for fully equipped road-going, luxury appointed street machines), a new design by “Pinin” Farina (Pinin was a nickname prior to his later application to the Italian government for a legal name change to Pininfarina) was created. With fourteen louvers on the sail panel behind the door windows, and almost straight top edges for the rear fenders. All bodies, in lightweight aluminum alloy, were built by the talented artisans at Scaglietti for Ferrari.
While never an official factory 250 GT designation, the Tour de France nomenclature came about after the early vehicles were so successful in multiple wins of the prestigious French race, consisting of nine circuit races and hill climbs, with timed sections in between outright racing.
While all early Ferraris by now have an interesting history, this particular Tour De France has an intriguing story. In June of 1957, Ferrari 250 Berlinetta Competizione chassis number 0707 was purchased by Michel Ringoir, a wealthy amateur driver, through Ecurie Francochamps, the Ferrari dealer in Belgium. 0707 GT was the last of the 14-louver Berlinettas, with the further distinction of the only one having the largest fuel tank (capacity: 137 liter) installed. While Ringoir registered his new Ferrari for road use, he immediately began racing, first entering a GT event on the 14-mile Nurburgring. The following week, he won at Zandvoort (Holland). Four more victories followed, and then he went on to the 1957 Tour De France, where he DNF’d. He campaigned the vehicle in 1958 for a full and successful season, entering many hillclimbs, street races, winning in many. 1958 also marked his return to the Tour de France, but again, he did not finish. 1959 brought one more attempt toward conquering the Tour de France, but records reflect that he did not start, due to a financial downturn for the gentleman racer.
We understand that somewhere during this era (perhaps 1958) 0707 suffered a bad shunt, with Ringoir deciding that rather than repair the body, he commissioned Scaglietti to create an entire new body, and at the same time upgrade the front end to include the recessed, covered headlamps with Perspex covers. Since Scaglietti was the original body manufacturer, it was an easy, yet authentic task. With body project nearly complete, Ringoir had a change of heart and decide to make the necessary repairs on the original 0707 body.
While 0707 has been associated with interesting names, including Peter Giddings, Eric Clapton, Prince Zourab Tchkotura, and Lance Hill, the “new” TdF Scaglietti body sat, un-mounted to a chassis and unused, for decades. It is important to note that this is a period correct body, built by the original, premiere coach builder, offering tremendous investor value.
Family Classic Cars acquired the body and united it with the engine of 0885. This tri-Weber equipped engine was completely rebuilt to the original TdF specifications. A complete rebuilding process was applied to the transmission, suspension, brakes, etc. in a no-expense spared restoration. The result is an all original components, period-correct, meticulously restored/created '57 TdF that Family Classic Cars “discovered “ and commissioned by mating to an authentic 250 series chassis brought up to full 250 GT TdF era correct standards.
Now revealing this nearly-complete programme; truly the LAST 14-louver 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione built. Never damaged, never raced, and potentially, as a no-mileage, literally new 1958 Scagliegtti-bodied 250 GT Tour de France, this would be an enviable asset and must-have vehicle for any Ferrari collector.
In the last year there have been three Ferrari 250 GT TdF's offered for sale at auction. The first brought $3.2 million in Monaco; the second did not sell at $3.6 million at Pebble Beach. One additional 250 Tdf (a 1958 model) just sold at auction for US$3.6 million in the Fall of 2011. All these cars have undergone sheet metal changes and the second one had a replacement engine.