• 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!

    Read More
  • Sports Car Market Magazine

    SCM is renowned for its unbiased coverage of the most prominent auctions around the world. Every issue of Sports Car Market is packed full of information you can't get anywhere else at any price. Find out the pro's secrets — what to look for and how much to pay for the classic of your dreams.

    Read More
  • Insider’s Guide to Concours d’Elegance

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

    Read More
  • SCM Platinum

    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.

    Now optimized for your mobile devices!

    Read More

Recent Profiles

load more / hold SHIFT key to load all load all

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}

Recent Blog Posts

  • Keith's Blog: Monterey 2014 in Over 250 Photos +

    Monterey Classic Car Week 2014 is over.You’ll be able to read the complete auction results in an upcoming issue of SCM, along with reports on the concours and gatherings.For collectors, the most awaited moment was when the 250 GTO crossed the block at Bonhams on Thursday night. Some media fantasizers Read More
  • Alfas Swimming in a Sea of Porsches: The 2014 NW Passage +

    It does say something about the nature of a tour when the primary topic of conversation each night revolves around whether or not your car has air conditioning. And when you offer someone the chance to drive your vintage Alfa in exchange for a turn behind the wheel of their Read More
  • Which Rally Car Gets the Most Air? +

    Read More
  • This Week's Classic Mystery Photo +

    The monthly Mystery Photo has been an SCM tradition for 25 years. Each week, we’ll share one of our “greatest hits” photos from the past and give you a chance to provide a new witty and provocative caption. Each week’s winner will be announced in the Newsletter. Share your caption Read More
  • Alex's Blog: Robert Brooks Discusses the 250 GTO — Exclusive! +

    I went to London in early July with my father, SCM Publisher Keith Martin, to attend a special anniversary dinner at Bonhams' headquarters — and to witness the unveiling of the Ferrari 250 GTO consigned for Bonhams' August 14-15 auction in Carmel, CA. Last week I spoke with Bonhams Chairman Robert Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Collector Car News

  • First Look: Preliminary Monterey Sales Total $400m, and a Post-War Ferrari Wins Pebble Beach Best of Show +

    Preliminary reports put the cumulative sales of Monterey Car Week 2014 at a whopping $400m, with 745 cars sold out of 1,235 offered -- growth of 30% over last year's cumulative $308m, and a bump in average sold price to $536k from $405k. The overall totals are sure to increase, once Read More
  • Bonhams Sells Ferrari 250 GTO for $38m! +

    A Ferrari 250 GTO hammered sold for $34,650,000 at day one of Bonhams' Quail Lodge sale. Including the 10% buyer's premium, the GTO was $38,115,000. Today's sale consisted of the 10-lot Maranello Rosso Collection. The Collection sold for a combined $65,945,000. About 100 more cars will cross the block on Read More
  • Eight Zagatos to be Shown Together for the First Time at Concorso Italiano +

    Monterey, Calif. (August 5, 2014) – In honor of Zagato Atelier’s 95th Anniversary Concorso Italiano, known as the world’s largest showing of exotic Italian cars, announced today that it will display eight stunning Zagato Atelier Contemporary Collectibles on Aug. 16 at the Black Horse Golf Course in Seaside, Calif. This Read More
  • Monterey Car Week Starts Now! Here's Our Final Star Car Preview +

    SCM is on the road, headed to Monterey. Here are six star cars with links to all the auction house catalogs: RM Auctions will offer a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 by Scaglietti (pictured above, RM estimate: $8m–$12m) at their sale in downtown Monterey. The auction takes place August 15–16. View the RM Read More
  • Visit Us in Monterey and Win a Free Motorbooks Book! +

      Free is a rare word during Monterey Car Week, but our good friends at Motorbooks are helping us make it happen. Just stop by an SCM booth at the Gooding & Company auction, Concorso Italiano, Legends of the Autobahn or SCM's Monterey Insider's Seminar to enter our drawing for a free Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4