1960 Ferrari 250 GT “Nembo” Spyder

The tradition of custom coachbuilding died in the 1960s as new technology made “frames” obsolete. Ferrari was among the last constructors still building automobiles with separate frames, and this accounted for the pre-eminence of Italian coachbuilders. The carrozzerie prospered, supported by sporting chassis and powerful drivetrains and nurtured by the Italian passion for design. Such supremacy drew the best talent from Italy and around the world.

Californian Tom Meade went to Italy to realize in metal the shapes in his mind. Meade penned a series of cars, both mainstream and extreme, and temporarily became a leader in the Italian community of automobile stylists. In 1964 Meade made a series of three similar designs, echoing the elements of the 1964 GTO.

Executing Meade’s concepts was the establishment of Srs. Giorgio Neri and Luciano Bonacini, mechanical specialists serving the Ferrari market. The three Ferrari 250 GTs were called Nembo, a neat contraction of Neri & Bonacini and the name of an Italian cartoon character with Superman-like powers.

This 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Nembo Spyder was built for Italian Sergio Braidi. He kept the car just three months before it was sold, through Meade, to Los Angeles Ferrari dabbler Ed Niles. In the next decades it passed through the hands of Carl Hedden of Pennsylvania, Chris Waldron of Florida, Dr. Earle Heath of Pennsylvania, Mike Schudroff of Connecticut, Rick Cole of California, and John Colling of Hong Kong before selling to the vendor’s husband at a Christie’s Monaco auction.

The Nembo spyder is a wonderfully flamboyant motor car. The spyder design is perhaps best summed up by authorities Warren Fitzgerald and Richard Merritt in their definitive book Ferrari: The Sports and Gran Turismo Cars.

They write: “The Neri & Bonacini spyder combines the best of GTO and GTB lines.Neri & Bonacini is one of the most beautiful Ferraris of all time and looks good from any angle.” It certainly does, and in our opinion is ideal for fair-weather cruising or show display.

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.

Posted in Ferrari