The introduction of the 250 GT in 1954 is seen by many as the company’s first serious attempt at making a rational production car and it started a line of some of the most successful GT cars ever built. Of all the 250 derivatives, the “Tour de France” long-wheelbase berlinetta is one of the most evocative ever made. It remains a milestone in Ferrari history as the first definitive road-racing berlinetta and the car that contributed most significantly in the mid to late 1950s in giving Ferrari its reputation as the customer car to beat.
This specimen has been restored to what is generally considered to be the most desirable “Tour de France” specification of all. The basis for the project was a 1959 250 GT, chassis number 1657GT. This was fitted with the rare and correct inside-plug V12 engine as used in the “Tour de France.” The work was undertaken by Italian specialists, Autosport, located in Bastiglia.
The engine was rebuilt to TdF specification, the chassis was comprehensively restored and fitted with new brakes uprated to GTO specification, with aluminum calipers and new fuel system built and fitted by Paul Jaye Engineering, well-known historic car specialists based in the U.K. The whole was clothed in a reconstruction of the 14-louvre “Tour de France” body. Internally the car was retrimmed by master coach trimmers, the Luppi brothers of Modena, the family concern responsible for trimming a majority of GT Ferraris in their heyday.
Upon the completion of the project, 1657GT, now visually and mechanically to “Tour de France” specification, has been used for a number of historic events including the Louis Vuitton Italia Classica and the Danish Classic Car Rally. It is finished in maroon with tan leather interior.