By 1961, Ferrari was taking road cars very seriously and production was running at a rate of nearly one a day. The 250 GT, in both LWB and SWB forms therefore became the first 'production' Ferrari. With the company's policy of developing models 'on the run', it meant that hardly any two cars were identical and improvements were made all the time.

In effect, the 250 GT chassis had become the common ground on which all coachbuilders fought for prominence, and Pininfarina emerged the clear winner. Customers had voted and thereafter Pininfarina became Ferrari's first choice and made an incalculable contribution to the Ferrari legend.

The 1st Series PF Cabriolets were produced from 1957 to 59, with only 40 built. The 2nd Series was far more successful, with 200 built between 1959-62.

While having a powerful 3-liter Ferrari engine, the PF Cabriolets were really elegant touring cars that gave the wealthy enthusiasts of the time a stylish way to drive to summer resorts.

Most of the 250 PF cabriolets were exported to America, but European buyers included the French literary sensation, Francoise Sagan, and the most glamorous couple in the world, Roger Vadim and Brigitte Bardot.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1961 Ferrari 250 PF
Years Produced:1959-1962
Number Produced:200
Original List Price:$12,000
SCM Valuation:$95,000-$135,000
Tune Up Cost:$1,200-$1,600
Distributor Caps:$200 two required
Chassis Number Location:On frame tube near right front top wishbone anchorage
Engine Number Location:Right side of block above starter flange
Club Info:Ferrari Owners Club, 8642 Cleta Street; Downey, CA 90241. 562/861-6992
Alternatives:Maserati 3500, Vignale Spyder

This unique car, owned by a Swiss Ferrari collector, received distinctive coachwork modifications, presumably after delivery, with a nose similar to the later 33O GTC/S and a tail treatment reminiscent of the Princess de Rethy 33O GTC Speciale. Otherwise the car appears to be a standard 250 GT PF Cabriolet Series II, and indeed could be easily returned to the normal appearance if desired. The car was imported to Switzerland from America and last underwent its expertise test of roadworthiness in 1995, when $23,200 was spent on an overhaul. A recent examination showed the engine to start immediately, without any trace of smoke, and to idle smoothly. The vendor reports that the car is in good order throughout.

Finished in red with black upholstery and hood, and supplied with Swiss papers, this is a very attractively priced open Ferrari .

The car described here sold for $48,248 including commissions at the Brooks Europe Auction held in Geneva on March 15, 1999. A typical price for a good Series Two is somewhere in the low $100,000 range. A sale price listed at well under half the usual price makes one wonder, what’s wrong with this picture? The restyling of the front and rear bodywork isn’t explained in a way that would make it more valuable. If the car had been a special order for an important Ferrari customer we could expect the car to sell for a figure in excess of a standard-bodied Cabriolet. The car is presumed to have post-delivery modifications; this can mean that a later owner wanted a different look or that the bodywork was restyled after a crash.

Either way, the provenance and origins of the subsequent bodywork aren’t documented in a way that increases a buyer’s comfort zone. To return the car to original appearance would be expensive to recreate in steel and totally incorrect in alloy. This particular car might appeal only to someone who likes the car as-is and has no illusions of resurrecting the coachwork to the original specs.

Still, with all the caveats, this car still seems cheap enough for an open 250 with sometimes hard-to-get Swiss papers.-Michael Duffey

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