• This Month's Issue

    Crank Up the AC: Acecas Are Getting Hot

    Ferrari Profile: The Days of Bargain 308s Appear to Be Over

    $291k 911 Euro Carrera: Huge Money, But a Smart Buy

    Miata: 25 Years of Affordable, Wind-in-Your-Hair Driving

    Zzzzzzz No More: Once a Sleeper, Datsun's 240Z Wakes Up to $41k

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    Over 200 cars that sold at auction covered in every issue of SCM. Our market reports include detailed information about the vehicle, including VIN, condition, options, and expert analysis from SCM's auction reporters.

    SCM Platinum is the largest database of collector cars sold at auction. Over 150,000 vehicles, including over 59,000 with detailed write-ups from our auction reporters.

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  • Glovebox Notes

    SCM doesn't just cover collector cars. Every week, SCM reviews a brand new car online and in our newsletters, and there are new reviews every month in the magazine. Thinking of buying a new car? Check out our reviews!

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  • Insider’s Guide to Concours d’Elegance

    The 2014 guide includes a calendar of events and detailed descriptions of 21 featured concours.

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Recent Blog Posts

  • The Alfa, Viper, Volvo, Méhari and Me +

    A Gearhead's Trip Through A Vintage-Car Theme Park You can tell the weather is getting better because I'm spending more time in the SCM/ACC garage. It all started last week when seven-year-old Bradley asked if I would take him to school in the Viper. I asked why that car, and Read More
  • Old Cars: More Reliable Now Than Ever +

    I was giving a talk at the local MG club meeting last Friday evening. We were discussing road trips, and the SCM “Road to Reno” adventure came up. In 2011, we bought three 1972-73 MGBs (two convertibles and a GT), refurbished them and drove to Reno for the All-MG Register Read More
  • April 2015 Cover Poll +

    Our Art Director, David Tomaro, has created three possible cover concepts, and we'd like to know which one is your favorite. Click here to cast your vote! In addition, please take a few moments and answer some questions about collector cars. It should all take less than a minute, and Read More
  • Wild Double-Outside Pass +

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  • A Badass Volvo 1800S Joins the SCM Fleet +

    "It's black, and it's slammed." That was my first thought when I set eyes on the '64 Volvo 1800S. My daughter Alex and I had just arrived at iRoll Motors in San Martin, CA. I purchased the car in July, but it took this long for the shop to address a Read More
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Collector Car News

  • SVRA and Motostalgia Partner for June 12 Auction at Indianapolis Motor Speedway +

    Motostalgia is now the Official Auction Company of the SVRA. The partnership kicks off with an exclusive collector car auction at the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational on June 12. This joint venture will provide the true enthusiast the opportunity to enjoy two of the most exciting experiences in motorsports: auctions and Read More
  • Sotheby’s Acquires 25% Ownership Interest in RM Auctions +

    Sotheby's has acquired a 25% ownership interest in RM Auctions, which will now be known as RM Sotheby's. This long-term investment comes as the more than $2 billion market for the finest automobiles continues to grow, presenting increasing opportunities for both companies. Sotheby's and RM have previously collaborated on successful sales in Read More
  • 1966 Jaguar XKE Series I 4.2 Roadster at AA Fort Lauderdale +

    Auctions America has consigned a 1966 Jaguar XKE Series I 4.2 roadster for their Fort Lauderdale auction. The sale takes place March 27–29. This car has been fully restored and features some upgrades for an improved driving experience on modern roads (Auctions America estimate: $250k–$290k). Read more here. Read More
  • Meet the SCM Gang at Amelia Island +

    We hope to see you at Amelia Island! Stop by any of our booths, meet the gang and check out our special renewal rates! The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance takes place March 13–15. Cars and Coffee at the Concours is on Saturday, March 14. Publisher Keith Martin returns to serve Read More
  • $18.5m 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder Leads Paris Sales +

    Three collector car auctions took place this past weekend in Paris. The most expensive lot was a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder (pictured above). Artcurial sold the car for a record $18.5m. Artcurial reported an 89% sell-through rate and $52m in total sales. View the Artcurial results here. A 1963 Read More
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I don't recall any stories of Porfirio Rubirosa romancing the lady of the week in his PF coupe, and there is little competition history



1961 ferrari 250 gt pinin farina coupe


When the 250 GT Europa was launched at the 1954 Paris Salon, it was described as the first series production car for Ferrari. The 3-liter cars were in production for 10 years. The 250 series encompassed a whole range of models catering to everyone from wealthy gentlemen to ambitious racing drivers. The 250 Pinin Farina Coupe introduced at the 1958 Paris show replaced the 250 Europa, also a Pinin Farina design.

The coupe was a milestone for Ferrari. Using proven 250 GT components, all 353 Coupes were bodied by Pinin Farina at its new Turin manufacturing facility. The combination of competition-derived engines and chassis with quality bodies made the coupe Ferrari's best seller by 1959.

This 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe, #1617, was delivered in September 1961 as the 241st built.

It has had four owners, and in 2004, the car competed in the Liege-Rome Rally. It currently shows 44,000 miles, and when inspected by a Christie's specialist, the bodywork was straight with good panel fit, though a few minor imperfections were evident. The car started "on the button" and performed faultlessly.

Although not a concours example, it presents very well, and all mechanical components are reported to be in good working order. The heads were rebuilt around 2004 and the car was serviced 1,600 miles ago. With the majority of components similar to or shared with some of the most valuable and desirable Ferraris, this 250 GT provides comfortable, competitive touring and is ideal for a host of European events. The estimate is $120,000-$190,000.

{analysis}{auto}909{/auto} This 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe sold for $152,400 at Christie's February 2007 auction at Rétromobile in Paris.

The sale was a higher price than any achieved at recent auctions, and for an average condition PF coupe without major restoration bills or vetting at an important judged event. Two years ago this price would have bought a very nice PF Cabriolet.

Donald Osborne, Sports Car Market's man on the scene, observed: "Good paint, shows some sinkage and some orange peel. Variable panel fit, both doors slightly out at rear edge. Good chrome, which has light scratches and pitting on bumpers. Very good seats, slightly soiled, carpets stained in places. Red is not the best color in my opinion, but this car seemed clean and honest, and it presented better than the description above might indicate. These are much better drivers than conventional wisdom states, and values have jumped in the past few years."

Donald's judgment about color corresponds with the factory's perceptions, since 169 cars were painted gray, silver, or white. Only two of the 353 were painted Rosso Corsa (racing red), and one had a silver roof-one of 32 that received two-tone paint. These subdued colors were consistent with the nature of the car.

Not meant to be a sporty Ferrari



It was never meant to be a low-cut sporty Ferrari, but rather an elegant, conservative GT. Enzo Ferrari reportedly wanted to stabilize his company's finances and asked Pinin Farina to design a practical coupe with proper heating and ventilation that could be built in series. Introduced at a Milan press conference in 1958, Pinin Farina's staid design eschewed fender vents for clean lines and adopted a notchback three-window greenhouse with a panoramic rear window. The oval grille was gone, replaced by a long narrow grille flanked by protruding headlights.

Because of its conservative styling, the Pinin Farina Coupe has never been popular with Ferrari collectors and has often been one of the most affordable Ferraris. This meant that by the early '70s, most were in deplorable, neglected condition, and many were parted out to support more desirable 250s or to become the basis for replicas. It is estimated that fewer than half of the original 353 survive.

All cars in the series had the classic 3-liter Colombo single overhead cam V12 engines, detuned from the competition version. All had the same LWB 102.4-inch tubular steel chassis, almost identical to the chassis used on the competition 250 Ferraris. By 1959, as the coupe continued to sell, some important updates were implemented. Around s/n 1499, after about 200 had been produced, Dunlop disc brakes replaced the traditional drums. A little later, the much improved outside spark plug engine, Tipo 128F, was fitted to s/n 1527 and the cars that followed. The 4-speed transmission was dropped in favor of a 4-speed with electric overdrive. These changes made the later cars much better drivers and stoppers.

Using the Thorson collectibility scale, (February,"Race Profile," p. 65), where does this Ferrari fit?

First, was it special when new? Well, it was expensive, at $12,600; it cost as much as a very delectable selection of other Ferraris. It was the same price as an alloy-bodied Tour de France, and more expensive than an LWB California. Even a Testa Rossa was comparably priced and available, if you had the right racing license and a good team. Sort of reminds me of the lucky-unlucky guy who inherited his dad's 365 GTC/4 bought new 35 years before. The father chose it because, while it was more expensive than a Daytona Spyder or even a leftover NART Spyder, it was more civilized.

Second, was the Pinin Farina Coupe ever associated with special events or people? I may have missed them, but I don't recall any stories about Rubirosa romancing his lady of the week in his PF coupe, and of course there is little competition history, let alone any victories. So on the second scale, the 250 GT Coupe is pretty low in the Ferrari hierarchy.

Vast numbers sacrificed for parts



Third, rarity. It outsold all other models available in the late '50s and all models preceding it. When the first prototype, s/n 0843, was finished, Ferrari had produced fewer than 800 cars since its founding ten years earlier, so the sale of 353 cars in a little over two years was very significant to Ferrari's cash flow. Because of the vast numbers sacrificed for parts, they are now somewhat rare.

Finally, what's its fun quotient? Well, parts and service are readily available, if not cheap. It would probably be admitted to most of the international driving events, maybe after languishing on the waitlist. It will probably not be Pebble Beach material anytime soon, but most other events would welcome it. And it is a V12, makes all the right sounds, and should impress almost everybody at the local cruise night. So maybe it's a 50-60 percentile car.

Is it worth $153,000? The Ferrari Market Letter shows this model to have the highest increase in its Asking Price Index of any Ferrari over the last two years, close to 100%. Are we seeing a "bubble" in prices of second-tier Ferraris, similar to the 1986-90 period? Or is this vindication for the bottom-fishing theory of investing, that buying the cheapest house on a great block is the best way to go? Only time will tell, but meanwhile, it will be a great tour car, and as the prices of all old V12s continues to climb, this may be the new price of entry to the club.{/analysis}

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