1957 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe by Ellena

Tom Wood ©2015, courtesy of RM Auctions

By the late 1950s, Pininfarina had established itself as not only the creators of the “Ferrari look” but also as the favored design house in Maranello. However, whilst the coachbuilder was rapidly expanding, it was not yet ready to meet the demand for increasing Ferrari production. As such, the first series-built “production” Ferrari models were farmed out to Carrozzeria Boano, a coachbuilder established by Mario Boano, which built 82 “Low Roof” coupés of the Pininfarina design.

At the end of 1957, Mario Boano left his company to establish a styling department at Fiat, leaving his son-in-law, Ezio Ellena, to take over, along with his former partner, Luciano Pollo. The renamed Carrozzeria Ellena continued in Ferrari production and built a further run of 50 Ferrari 250 GTs, now referred to as “Ellenas” or “High Roof” models, thanks to a two-inch raised roofline that improved headroom and, arguably, body proportions. A standard 4-speed gearbox shift pattern was also adopted for these cars, along with larger brakes, a ZF steering system, and the fitment of a single distributor for the engine.

In the January 1958 Sports Car Illustrated test of the model, the top speed was noted as up to 157 mph. The road-test car provided a 0–60 mph time of 5.9 seconds. Interior aspects, like the steering wheel, instrument panel, gauges, and door hardware, were identical to its glamorous sister cars of the period, the TdF and the LWB California Spider.

Chassis number 0755GT is recorded by Swiss Ferrari historian Marcel Massini as having been completed in December 1957 and then delivered the following month to Luigi Chinetti’s distributorship in New York City. That same month, it was displayed on Chinetti’s stand at the 1958 Chicago Auto Show.

In 2005, the Ferrari was restored from the ground up. The car retains its original offset transmission and Borrani wire wheels but its present engine, fully rebuilt by Ferrari specialist Patrick Ottis, came from a 250 GTE.

This exciting Ellena has been built to drive, and will provide an unrivaled driving experience for the true tifosi.

Steve Ahlgrim

Steve Ahlgrim - SCM Contributing Editor

Steve taught high school auto shop before moving to Atlanta, GA, where his love of sports cars led him to FAF Motorcars, the former Ferrari dealer where he served as General Manager and Vice President. He has been a self-proclaimed “one-trick pony,” coveting the Ferrari marque. He has been involved in concours judging for over 25 years and is a member of the IAC/PFA, an international committee overseeing high-level Ferrari concours judging. He is chief judge of the Celebration Exotic Car Show in Celebration, FL.

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