Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Pinin Farina
A World Auction Record for a Ferrari 250 Europa GT
There is perhaps no finer example of the magnificent 250 Europa GT than the car presented here – 0409 GT.
Completed at the Ferrari factory in July 1955, this 250 Europa GT was finished in Grigio (Max Meyer LC 49) with the top section finished in Amaranto, while its luxurious interior was upholstered in a handsome combination of gray cloth and contrasting red leather trim.
On July 30th, the certificate of origin was issued and, by year’s end, the Ferrari was sold to its first owner, Istituto Italiana Farmacoterapico S.p.A., and registered in Rome. The Europa GT remained in the hands of its first owner for just over a year before being sold to Proclama S.p.A. at Corso Italia 15 in Milan.
On September 9, 1957, 0409 GT was sold through Bruno Minigliano to its third owner, José Beruto Guiherme Mario, a 22-year-old Brazilian, who maintained an address at the Automobile Club of Italy in Rome.
After a brief period in his care, the Ferrari was sold once again, ending up with Giuseppe Norvaggi of Messina, Italy. The Europa GT remained in Messina until November 1963, when it was sold through Roman car dealer Pacini & Boncompagni to Pasquale Monterano, a resident of Reggio di Calabria.
In February 1966, 0409 GT was sold to Giuseppe De Lorenzo, who registered the Ferrari in Taranto, a coastal city in Puglia. Later that year, ownership of the Ferrari passed to local mechanic Raffaele Lacarbonara, thus beginning a remarkable 45-year period of ownership.
The Europa GT was Sig. Lacarbonara’s most prized possession. During his extended ownership, 0409 GT was always jealously guarded and used only on special occasions. A selection of photographs taken during the late 1960s and early 1970s illustrate the Lacarbonaras’ special relationship with this car, with all five members of the immediate family posing with their beloved Ferrari.
In the early 1970s, the Ferrari was retired from road use and discreetly hidden away in the family garage. It wasn’t until Sig. Lacarbonara passed away decades later that the Ferrari was rediscovered; however, it remained with the family in Southern Italy until August 2011, when it was sold to a collector in Switzerland.
In September 2012, the Europa GT made its first public outing in almost 40 years, when it was invited to take part in the ultra-exclusive Uniques Concours in Florence. Following its concours debut, 0409 GT attracted the attention of a respected California collector, who eventually managed to acquire the car following a careful negotiation.
Throughout his ownership, the Europa GT was sympathetically maintained by the renowned Patrick Ottis Company in Berkeley, California, and displayed just once at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it was a standout in the Postwar Preservation Class.
The current owner has not displayed 0409 GT publically, allowing its next owner the rare opportunity to take part in the finest concours and driving events with a special 250 Ferrari that has been shown only twice in over 60 years.
Since leaving the factory in July 1955, 0409 GT has led an unusually pampered existence for a Ferrari of this vintage. At the time of cataloguing, the odometer displayed just over 14,200 original kilometers, a remarkable figure that is supported by the car’s time warp condition and impeccable provenance.
Save for some minor blending on the tail section, the elegant Grigio paint is the very finish originally applied by the Pinin Farina workshop. Overall, the Ferrari displays a remarkably uniform appearance and wears the distinct traces of age that speak to its minimal use and careful stewardship in the care of its few owners. From its beautiful Marchal headlamps, to the wonderfully faded Carello taillights, the Europa GT exudes an inimitable charisma and appeal that could never be matched by a restored example.
The exquisite interior, one of the true highlights of 0409 GT, is just as well preserved as the exterior and remains in exceptional, original condition throughout. The two-tone leather and cloth upholstery has a beautiful patina and possesses a warm, inviting feel. Beyond that, the carpets, Pirelli diamond-pattern rubber floor mats, headliner, painted dashboard, instruments, and hardware all have a consistent age and unmistakable quality.
Amazingly, two Oliofiat oil-change stickers remain affixed in the driver’s doorjamb and the Pinin Farina body no. (14982) is visibly stamped in various locations throughout the car. Even the locks are stamped with the original key number – “28” on the driver’s door and “23” on the trunk handle.
The engine bay is equally untouched and its well-kept appearance is in keeping with the low mileage. The original, matching-numbers V-12 engine is fed by an impressive trio of factory-installed Weber 36 DCZ3 carburetors, numbered “381,” “386,” and “387.” Elsewhere, one finds original stickers, clamps, and finishes, along with the various ancillary components sourced from firms such as Marchal, Marelli, Vicar, and FIM.
The outstanding condition of this Europa GT is not simply limited to its cosmetic presentation. On a recent outing with a Gooding & Company specialist, 0409 GT performed beautifully, with the unmistakable feel that can be found only in a low-mileage unrestored car.
As would be expected of such a well-preserved piece, all the important accessories are intact, from the original tool roll and jack to an original Ferrari key fob and charming key chain watch. The leather handbook pouch is complete with an original owner’s manual, detailing cloth, two factory brochures highlighting the Europa model, and an ultra-rare original issue scheda di omologazione (specification sheet) for the 250 Europa GT.
Also included among the collection of original paperwork are the original Automobile Club d’Italia carta di circolazione (logbook) and foglio complementare (registration supplement) issued by the province of Taranto, along with an invoice dated “June 17, 1966” from Ferrari SEFAC to Raffaele Lacarbonara.
In addition to these important documents, the car’s historic file includes numerous archival photographs, copies of the Ferrari production record for 0409 GT, ACI registration records, a file of invoices from Patrick Ottis (dating from February to July 2013), and a history report compiled by marque authority Marcel Massini.
The next caretaker of this fabulous Ferrari will have in his or her possession an Italian automobile of the absolute highest order. Here is a car that will serve as a ticket to the finest motoring events in the world, from the very best concours d’elegance to prestigious driving events including the Mille Miglia.
In every respect, 0409 GT is a true mechanical objet d’art – an exclusive and important Ferrari of unrivalled beauty and sophistication, whose unquestioned authenticity, exceptional originality, and magnetic presence place it among the top tier of collectible automobiles. This 250 Europa GT has many unique distinctions and characteristics that separate it from its brethren, from its extremely low mileage to its superb color scheme and impressive documentation.
Admired and coveted by enthusiasts the world over, this Europa GT is, without a doubt, one of the most charismatic 250 Ferraris in existence and among the finest unrestored sports cars that Gooding & Company has ever had the pleasure to offer.
As the finest surviving example from an important series of coachbuilt 250 Ferraris, the appearance of this car at auction should be recognized as a significant opportunity that may never be repeated.
The 250 Europa GT
At the Paris Salon, held in October 1954 at the magnificent Grand Palais, Ferrari introduced an important new model – the 250 Europa GT.
The previous year, Ferrari had unveiled the 250 Europa, a companion to the exclusive 375 America. The two models were virtually identical, with the exception of the engine displacement: The 375 America featured a 4.5-liter Lampredi V-12, while the 250 Europa was fitted with a Lampredi engine of three-liter capacity.
Due to its similar outward appearance to the original 250 Europa, the new 250 Europa GT did not create much commotion. However, the new model was nothing less than a true innovation and a meaningful step in the evolution of the now legendary range of 250 Ferraris.
The foundation of the new Europa GT was the thoroughly redesigned Tipo 508 chassis, featuring a wider track and a wheelbase about 8" shorter than the previous model. Most significantly, the Europa GT benefitted from independent coil-spring front suspension, a great improvement over the previous model’s transverse front leaf-spring arrangement.
Thanks to its modern coil-spring front suspension and more manageable proportions, the 250 Europa GT offered superior road holding, more precise handling, and greater stability at speed.
Whereas the original 250 Europa was powered by a three-liter version of the Lampredi long-block engine, the new Europa GT was the first road-going 250 model to utilize the classic Colombo-designed V-12, a family of engines that can be traced back to the earliest days of the marque and was responsible for some of Ferrari’s greatest achievements in motor sports. In fact, the Tipo 112 engine fitted to the 250 Europa GT was simply a lightly detuned version of the engine found in the race-winning 250 MM competition models.
Not only did the Colombo engine offer exceptional performance and increased power output, it was better suited for road use in that it was much less temperamental, easier to keep in tune, and took half the time to rebuild. It also had the added benefit of being substantially lighter than the Lampredi V-12 engine, an aspect that contributed to more balanced handling and ease of use at low speeds.
Mechanically, the Europa GT also featured a greatly improved gearbox, utilizing Porsche-type synchromesh on all four forward gears, allowing for fast, seamless shifting.
As with the original Europa, the GT chassis was almost exclusively tailored by Carrozzeria Pinin Farina. The handsome design was instrumental in defining the “Ferrari look,” with its imposing eggcrate grille, elegant proportions, and restrained yet sporting lines. Though similar to the original 250 Europa and 375 America, Pinin Farina’s design for the 250 Europa GT is perhaps even more resolved and harmonious due to the compact scale of the chassis.
Although it was primarily designed for high- speed touring, the 250 Europa GT was so technically advanced that many owners entered the model in motor-sport events such as the Tour de France, where they were immediately successful and highly competitive.
It is widely acknowledged that the fundamental concepts first introduced by the 250 Europa GT – independent front suspension, a three-liter Colombo V-12 engine, and a fully synchronized gearbox – were found in every 250 GT model that followed, from the Tour de France to the GTO.