Porfirio Rubirosa was an accomplished competition driver, finishing second at Sebring with the Lancia factory team in 1954 and first in class (500 Mondial Spyder) in the Governor’s Cup race in Nassau in 1955. He also scored a class win at Sebring in 1956 with Jim Pauley in his 500 Mondial.
The quintessential playboy as well, Rubi dallied exuberantly and publicly with a number of high-profile women, including Zsa Zsa Gabor, Ava Gardner, Kim Novak and Eva Peron. It was only natural that a man who combined serious racing with other, more hedonistic pleasures would want a car that was both sexy and fast. Hence, Rubi commissioned his own version of the SI PF Cabriolet from Ferrari and Pinin Farina.
And this is that very car. It is fitted with a pair of interchangeable windscreens that can be changed in four hours from a cutdown plexiglass racing screen to the stock full height windshield that accepts a folding soft top to protect the occupants from the elements. Its more luxurious accoutrements balance racing type hood catches and a faired headrest.
Restored in its original colors of red and tan leather, and in its dual-purpose configuration by the late George Frochen in 1984, the “Café Racer” has appeared at the Monterey Historic races and Ferrari events since, but has been otherwise little used. With the exception of the prototypes, it is the most personal and unique of this very attractive and desirable series.