Press Release: Christie’s to Sell Revolutionary Ferrari at Monterey

Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center
August 18, 2005

New York – Created after a revolt against Enzo Ferrari by a flamboyant European Count in 1961, a legendary and unique sportscar machine was born – the Ferrari ‘Breadvan’. Christie’s International Motor Cars is honored to be offering this supercar – the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT ‘Breadvan’ Berlinetta – at its flagship California sale on August 18.

A radical derivative designed and engineered specifically to beat the dominant 250 GTO, its evolution marked the creation of possibly the most distinctive Ferrari of all time. The car carries a pre-sale estimate of $3,500,000-5,000,000.

Framed by the most prestigious of all car auctions – the annual Christie’s sale of Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center – the ‘Breadvan’ will be at the center of the Monterey Week celebrations this August, with its sale timed to coincide with the biggest annual gathering of international motor car collectors.

Rupert Banner, Head of Christie’s International Motor Cars, says: “The Breadvan is one of the most instantly recognizable Ferraris of all time, a truly evocative car which was successful both in Short Wheelbase form and then broke new ground as Count Volpi’s GTO killer. With a long racing career it is immediately visible in so many contemporary photographs. Never previously offered publicly for sale, it offers a once in a lifetime opportunity for collectors across the globe.”

The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT ‘Breadvan’ Berlinetta – A Short History
The Breadvan, chassis 2819 GT, started life as a 250 SWB (the predecessor to the GTO) and was raced immediately following completion in September 1961, coming second in the Tour de France. Before the year was out, it had passed into the ownership of Count Volpi for competition use by his by his Scuderia SSS team.

After an infamous internal revolt at Ferrari at the end of 1961, Count Volpi seized the opportunity to staff his team with the Ferrari’s top engineers – and in doing so provoked Enzo Ferrari to refuse him the delivery of one of the much-heralded GTOs. As Volpi now had the engineers that had created the GTO working for him, he commissioned 2819 GT to be ‘evolved’ in order to compete with Ferrari directly.

The result was the birth of a car that quickly earned the name of ‘La Camionette’ (The Breadvan); engineered by Bizzarrini and with aerodynamic principles pioneered by Professor Kamm, the Breadvan featured a rakish nose and an abrupt rear end.

The car may have lacked the five-speed gearbox of the GTO, but using a similar mechanical specification proved a worthy contender. At Le Mans in 1962 the Breadvan was leading all the GTOs before a driveshaft failure in the fourth hour forced retirement and later in 1962 at Montlhèry it finished third overall (behind two and in front of seven GTOs) – it also took class honors at Brands Hatch in the hands of Carlo Abate.

In the years following retirement from the centerstage of GT racing, the Breadvan has led a documented, varied and charismatic life and has traveled the globe many times – and comes direct from long-term ownership in restored (yet used and enjoyed) condition.

Auction:

Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center
August 18, 2005

Viewing:

Monterey Jet Center, Monterey, California
August 15 – 18

Christie’s is the longest continuous name in the collectors car market, having held auctions devoted solely to cars since 1972. Christie’s remains the choice of the individual who wishes to sell a unique and rare motor car or collection. Uniquely placed in the market, Christie’s International Motor Cars concentrate on quality rather than quantity. The Department consists of eight specialists based in London, Brussels, New York, Texas and California, devoted to a wide network of sale sites that stretch from Monterey to Paris and include regular sales in London, Paris, Monterey and New York.

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