1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta

Sold new in Italy to A. Demetrialdi in May 1961, this 250 GT SWB “Lusso” was imported into Switzerland in April 1963 and entered for its first race by its new owner, Daniel Siebenmann of Switzerland, at the “Auvergne 3 hours” in France, where it finished 23rd (pictured in Jess Pourret’s “Ferrari 250 GT Competition,” page 132). In 1963 and 1964, Siebenmann raced the car at several hillclimbs in Switzerland.

Siebenmann sold the 1961 SWB Berlinetta and it was exported to the U.S., where it remained until 1979 when Swiss broker Charles Gnädinger re-imported it to Switzerland. It was in this period when a replacement engine (#4467, from a 250 GTL Lusso) was fitted. (Additionally, a newly-cast block from the Ferrari Classiche center is included. See below for details.-SCM.)

In 1984, it was acquired by a Ferrari collector in Geneva and continued its race history (1998 Tour Auto). In December 2001, the car was sent to Tony Merrick’s GTO Engineering Ltd. for a technical check and race preparation (fitting a roll cage and safety devices). In spring 2002, the 250 GT SWB changed hands again. In the hands of its new Swiss owner it was raced regularly at the Shell Historic Ferrari Maserati Challenge from 2002 until 2005, and at the Tour Auto and Tour d’Espana. It also participated in the 2002, 2004, and 2006 Le Mans Classics with Henri Pescarolo (2004) and François Fillon (2006) behind the wheel.

The race history is well documented and accompanying the 1961 SWB Berlinetta is a thick folder of period and recent photos, bills, result lists, and event programs. Equipped with the necessary alterations like outside filler cap, integrated fire extinguisher, and roll cage, the car has current FIA papers. Since 2002 it has been meticulously serviced by Graber Sportgarage AG and all work is well documented with invoices available (over $318,000).

The car is well sorted, in excellent condition, and ready for any track event or even a Sunday afternoon cruise. #2563 is currently Swiss-registered.

John Apen

John Apen - SCM Contributor

John holds degrees in engineering and operations research from the University of California-Berkeley, New York University, and Johns Hopkins. He vintage raced a Ferrari TdF for 13 years and has been restoring old cars for nearly 50 years. He owned the Atlanta Ferrari-Maserati dealership, FAF, for 17 years. He’s always had an affinity for obscure American cars, and in high school, he drove a 1936 Packard convertible coupe, followed by a 1949 Olds Holiday hardtop that got him through college. Today his garage includes 11 cars, including a Top Flight 1960 Corvette he’s owned since day one, a 1957 T-Bird, and several vintage Ferraris. His automotive library contains over 5,000 magazines and books and 1,800 auction catalogs. He has contributed to SCM since 1996.

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