Brian Henniker, © and courtesy of Gooding & Company
  • The final example of 353 PF coupes built
  • Equipped with factory disc brakes, overdrive and outside-plug engine
  • Originally finished in attractive Blu Sera with Ivorio interior
  • An ideal restoration candidate; retains matching-numbers engine per factory records
  • Offered with important original sales documentation

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1960 Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe
Years Produced:1958–60
Number Produced:353
Original List Price:$12,600
SCM Valuation:$643,000
Distributor Caps:$350 each
Chassis Number Location:Front frame tube
Engine Number Location:Right rear engine mount
Club Info:Ferrari Club of America, P.O. Box 2488, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33303
Alternatives:1965–69 Aston Martin DB6 coupe, 1955–58 Bentley SI Continental, 1959–61 Jaguar XK 150 3.4
Investment Grade:B

This car, Lot 39, sold for $335,000, including buyer’s premium, at Gooding & Company‘s Amelia Island, FL, auction on March 8, 2019.

It is high season in Florida, with some kind of auto event nearly every weekend. The Amelia Island auctions became a victim of the chaos.

I had no time to preview the offerings and hadn’t reviewed the results when this assignment came in. As I covered the sale of Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina coupe chassis 6225GT in January’s SCM (p. 70), it was quite surprising to be assigned another PF coupe so soon.

Seeing the sale price sent shivers down my spine.

My January Ferrari Profile car, 1625GT, had sold for $1,137,943.

This profile’s subject car, 2081GT, sold for $800,000 less. I had called the sale of chassis 1625GT quite high — but not crazy.

Chassis 2081GT didn’t make a third of that number, so Publisher Martin rightfully thinks there’s some ’splaining to do.

There could have been an easy way out. Maybe chassis 2081GT was a Series I example with a low-compression, inside-plug engine, drum brakes, and the early pedal box.

No such luck.

Chassis 2081GT was the very last 250 GT PF off the line. It had every update — plus a couple of features that might be unique to the series.

It looks like I’m in trouble.

A little background

The seller of our subject car, 2081GT, is an active Ferrari enthusiast and a regular at many South Florida Ferrari events.

In addition to 2081GT, he has a 250 GTE that he drove to Florida from California when he moved East, and he has a 330 2+2. He added a fiberglass 308 GTB the weekend the PF coupe sold.

I encountered our subject car years ago on the way to a Cavallino Classic track event.

A speck of blue in the rear-view mirror steadily closed in on our car. Eventually, the speck revealed a Ferrari, then a 250 GT Pinin Farina coupe. As we were overtaken, a billow of oil smoke engulfed our car, dissipating as the Ferrari faded in the distance. Later that morning the same 250 lapped Moroso — now called Palm Beach International Raceway — in a spirit that forgave the trailing smoke.

Unseen from a distance, the smoke was the least of chassis 2081GT’s issues.

A tough life

Age had been hard on the old girl, and while she was quite original, her condition was beyond redemption. Mechanically, she was still serviceable, but cosmetically, her run was over.

A previous inexpensive paint job still looked good from 15 feet, but a meeting with a curb during an Autocross event — and a bit of rust in the quarters — pushed the boundaries of acceptable.

The interior was dead, dead, dead.

A sizeable patch of leather on the driver’s seat had been lost to dry rot, and the balance of the interior leather was as stiff as cardboard. The carpet, headliner, trunk lining and hood pad fared no better.

A tale of two 250 GTs

Chassis 1625GT — the car I profiled in the January 2019 issue — was the polar opposite of our subject 2081GT.

A group of Italian Ferrari specialists had painstakingly — and expensively — restored chassis 1625GT. The car was finished in a rich Chestnut color with complementing beige leather interior.

The owner had made every effort possible to make it a premium example of its type — and absolutely succeeded.

Accompanying the car was a Classiche Red Book ensuring the effort was spent on a proper Ferrari. It was sold at just the right venue, and it caught the eye of two bidders who were determined to have it. It had sold for what was a record price and deserved it.

Our subject 2081GT has passed through several owners who appreciated its originality and resisted a restoration just for the sake of making it pretty.

A look in the engine compartment shows original components and hardware — including at least a couple of original Cheney hose clamps. Unfortunately, sometimes a car can be too original, and by the time 2081GT got to Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island tent, she was too far gone for preservation.

A comprehensive restoration is needed.

A bargain price for a shabby car

The sale price of $335,000 was far too light for this car.

Gooding & Company correctly estimated $350,000–$450,000, and the car should have sold well into that range. It was the last 250 GT PF built, and it has all the updates. It has a unique passenger’s side headrest and rare — if not unique — luggage straps to the rear area.

It was exceptionally well documented with factory and dealer paperwork including a document signed by Enzo Ferrari. The engine and all components were original to the car. As a finished restoration car, it will be one of the most desirable of the series.

The seller’s perspective

The seller also felt the number was light and was conflicted on accepting the bid. He recognized the car had reached a point where it had limited usability.

He also knew he wasn’t interested in doing a restoration. He had bought it many years back for a fraction of the sale price. The prospect of going home with a fiberglass 308 GTB and a pocket full of cash won him over.

It takes two people wanting the same car to get top dollar at an auction. The condition of 2081GT — and the unknowns of an expensive restoration — must have scared a second bidder away.

The buyer’s perspective

The new owner is a dealer who sells a lot of projects. A few days after the auction, the car was back on the market at $425,000.

A restored 2081GT may not be worth the $1,137,943 that 6125GT sold for in October 2018, but it will be a trophy for any collection.

The next owner may be the real winner of this sale. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of Gooding & Company.)

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