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Coachwork by Scaglietti
*Please note that since the time of cataloguing, Ferrari Classiche Certification has been issued for this car, and the “Red Book” certification documents accompany the sale.
Formerly the Property of Albino Buticchi, Norman Silver, and John ApenA World Record for a Ferrari 250 Tour de France
The 250 Tour De France
Between 1955 and 1964, Ferrari built approximately 200 competition cars on the 250 GT chassis – marking a steady evolution from the Europa GT to the incomparable 250 GTO.
At the hands of amateur and professional drivers, the various 250 GT competition cars won an astonishing number of races, dominating the three-liter GT category and supporting Ferrari throughout three consecutive World Championships. Powerful, reliable, and beautiful, the 250 GT competition cars cemented Ferrari’s reputation as the ultimate manufacturer of racing machines, doing so during one of the greatest eras in the history of motor sports.
None of Ferrari’s GT racers enjoyed more success, and none were more sought after and adaptable than the 250 GT Long- Wheelbase Berlinetta.
Built between 1955 and 1959, the model’s first important victory came in 1956, when Alfonso de Portago and Edmund Nelson won the weeklong Tour de France. The heroic competition left Nice on a 5,383 km circuit of France, which included six circuit races, two hill climbs, and one regularity test. Only 36 of the 103 starters survived to the finish. The 250 GT’s victory – over competition no less formidable than a factory-suppor ted 300 SL driven by Stirling Moss – earned the Long-Wheelbase Berlinetta the name “Tour de France.” The designation proved prescient and the model went on to win the grueling event for the next three years.
The earliest 250 GT Berlinettas were bodied by Pinin Farina and clearly owed their design to the earlier 250 Mille Miglia. Gradually, they evolved to the characteristic fastback style with tapered rear fenders and rear-quarter louvers to vent cockpit air.
The first 250 GTs to adopt this classic style were the 14-Louver Berlinettas, of which only nine examples were ever built. Significantly, these were the first GT Ferraris built by Carrozzeria Scaglietti; until 1957, the Modenese coachbuilder was solely responsible for the design and construction of Ferrari sports racing cars.
In developing the 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta, Sergio Scaglietti combined the basic elements of Pinin Farina’s mighty 375 MM Berlinettas and two unique 250 GT show cars, 0393 GT and 0425 GT. In so doing, he exercised his own artistic influence to soften some of Pinin Farina’s lines, but remained true to the master’s concept.
Constructed of lightweight aluminum, with Plexiglas windows and minimal trim, the first Scaglietti Berlinettas were, first and foremost, purpose-built racing machines. Beauty was to be found in the finer details – the trail of louvers descending the sail panel, polished aluminum bumperettes trimmed in white rubber, and headlamps gently recessed into the bodywork protected by Plexiglas covers.
Throughout the 1957 season, the distinctive 14-Louver Berlinettas compiled an enviable race record, taking GT class honors at the Giro di Sicilia, Mille Miglia, Reims, Nürburgring, Spa, Tour de France, and Coupes du Salon.
The 14-Louver Berlinetta presented here, 0703 GT, was completed on May 7, 1957, making it the penultimate example built. Originally finished in Italian racing red, the Ferrari was sold new to successful amateur driver Albino Buticchi of Milan.
In 1954, Buticchi launched his racing career with Alfa Romeo’s new Giulietta Sprint, which he campaigned in the Mille Miglia, the Coppa delle Sei Ore, and the Coppa delle Dolomiti. In 1956, Buticchi acquired a more powerful Sprint Veloce and raced it at the Mille Miglia, the Coppa delle Dolomiti, and the Coppa Inter-Europa. On April 14, 1957, Buticchi drove his first 12-cylinder Ferrari, the Scuderia Sant’Ambroeus 250 GT Zagato Berlinetta, to a 15th overall finish at the grueling Giro di Sicilia.
For the 1957 Mille Miglia, Buticchi pinned his hopes on the new 14-Louver Berlinetta, a car that he only just acquired and had little time to prepare.
In total, 22 Ferraris were entered in the 1957 Mille Miglia, the majority consisting of privately entered 250 GTs, 500 TRCs, and Mondials. Scuderia Ferrari fielded five cars for the important road race: two 315 Sports, two 335 Sports, and a single 14-Louver Berlinetta.
On May 11, 1957, Buticchi and 0703 GT departed Brescia at 4:30 am with 1,000 miles of Italian countryside ahead. 11 hours, 44 minutes, and 27 seconds later, Buticchi’s 250 GT Berlinetta crossed the finish line, just eight minutes after Gino Munaron’s 500 TRC.
In an astonishing feat for an amateur racing driver and without the assistance of a co-pilot, Buticchi placed 9th overall and 4th in Class. Even more remarkable was the fact that the 14-Louver Berlinetta was one of only four GT cars to finish in the top 10, generally the domain of specialized sports racing cars.
Following his successful outing at the Mille Miglia, Buticchi campaigned his Ferrari at the Coppa Lombardia Velocità at Monza; and, that August, he repainted it silver.
On September 1, the 14-Louver Berlinetta competed in the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo Hillclimb and, the following week, it took part in the prestigious Coppa Inter-Europa at Monza. One of the most important races on the calendar, the Coppa Inter- Europa was designed strictly for GT cars and attracted an impressive grid of Ferrari 250s, Maserati A6G 2000s, Fiat 8Vs, and Alfa Romeo Giuliettas. Wearing race number 82, Buticchi placed 4th overall, trailing two Zagato-bodied 250 GTs and Lualdi’s 14-Louver Berlinetta.
In March 1958, 0703 GT was sold through Orlando Palagna to its second owner, Oreste Fezzardi of Genova. During his brief ownership, Sig. Fezzardi entered the Ferrari in just one race, the Varese-Campo dei Fiori hill climb, where Luciano Gramegna drove it to 8th overall and 2nd in Class.
On January 20, 1959, Aldo Marotta of Rome purchased 0703 GT and it subsequently passed through fellow Romans Armando Berni and Mario Cuzzoli. In fall 1960, the 14-Louver Berlinetta relocated to Naples and remained in the region through 1968.
About this time, 0703 GT came to the attention of Tom Meade. A California-born car enthusiast, Meade moved to Italy in 1960 and set up an operation outside of Modena brokering and customizing Italian sports cars. During this period, Meade commissioned the Thomassimas and the Nembo Spiders, 250 Ferraris with stylized custom coachwork. He also created a variety of mild-customs by updating classic Ferraris and Maseratis with more modern features and personalized touches.
In 1968, Meade repainted the 14-Louver Berlinetta red and updated the original Scaglietti coachwork with covered headlights, later Tour de France side vents, and 250 MM-type rear taillights. The following year, 0703 GT was exported to the US and sold to famed exotic car dealer John Delamater of Indianapolis, Indiana. From there, the Ferrari was sold to Allen Powell of Mishawaka, Indiana.
In March 1973, Ferrari collector Norman Silver of High Point, North Carolina, acquired 0703 GT through Delamater. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mr. Silver built one of the finest Ferrari collections in the US. At its peak, his stable included a Vignale 212 Export, 250 MM Berlinetta, 375 MM Spider, 400 Superamerica Cabriolet, 250 GT Coupe Speciale, 500 TRC, NART Spider, and the one-off 4.9 Superfast.
Preferring elaborate coachbuilt Ferraris to the more purposeful competition models, Mr. Silver sold 0703 GT, along with a low-mileage 365 GTB/4 Daytona, in April 1977 to John Apen of FAF Motorcars Inc., in Tucker, Georgia.
Over the next two decades, Mr. Apen enjoyed the 14-Louver Berlinetta as it was originally intended, on both road and track. In a recent conversation, Mr. Apen recalled fond memories of racing the Ferrari across the US, from Monterey to Watkins Glen. Throughout a decade of active vintage racing, the 14-Louver Berlinetta never failed to finish an event.
In 1989, Mr. Apen was invited to take part in the first running of the Colorado Grand. Although he had several eligible Ferraris at his disposal, he elected to drive the Tour de France on the 1,000-mile event. When time came to choose a car for the 1990 running, he once again turned to 0703 GT.
In 1994, Mr. Apen demonstrated what is perhaps the greatest testament to this 250 GT Berlinetta’s dual-purpose nature. Taking part in the Laguna Seca historic races, he drove 0703 GT from his home in Atlanta to Monterey, successfully participated in a weekend of racing, and then drove the entire distance back to Georgia. Mr. Apen’s remarkable effort was acknowledged during the awards ceremony and he was presented with Automobile Magazine’s “The Way It Was” trophy.
In 1997, after two decades of enjoyable motoring, Mr. Apen finally decided to part with 0703 GT. Since that time, this important Ferrari has been a fixture in a private collection in the Pacific Northwest, where it has been kept among a superb assortment of the finest sports and racing cars.
In 2008, the consignor commissioned Dennison International of Puyallup, Washington, to perform a complete show-quality restoration. A firm equally renowned for their high-quality race preparation and award-winning concours restorations – including Best of Show at Pebble Beach – Dennison International approached this project with their characteristically high standards of excellence, and the results speak for themselves.
During the comprehensive two-year restoration, 0703 GT was returned to its factory-delivered specification and appearance. This process included stripping the coachwork down to bare metal and carefully restoring the original features, including the correct front-end profile, side vents, and taillight assemblies. As the coachwork was undergoing restoration, the chassis was completely restored and detailed to concours standards, all the while adhering to factory specifications and finishes. Refinished in its original Rosso Corsa livery, this 14-Louver Berlinetta looks just as it did upon its debut at the 1957 Mille Miglia.
In August 2010, 0703 GT made its postrestoration debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Displayed in Class M-2 for Ferrari Competition cars, the 14-Louver Berlinetta completed the 60-mile Tour d’Elegance without incident and was awarded 2nd in Class.
Maintained in pristine show-quality condition since its sole concours outing, 0703 GT is a prime candidate for the finest international events – from the upper-lawn at the Cavallino Classic to the exclusive Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Combining marvelous show-carinspired details with the purposeful character of a thoroughbred, the 14-Louver Berlinetta is an early Scaglietti masterpiece – one that is as visually arresting as its sports racing equivalent, the pontoon-fender 250 Testa Rossa.
Eligible for the best historic races and rallies, this 250 GT Berlinetta offers the opportunity to appreciate, firsthand, the incredible dynamic experience of an important 1950s competition Ferrari. Unlike many contemporary rivals, the 250 GT Berlinetta was a genuine dual-purpose sports car: comfortable and reliable enough for regular road use, yet easily capable of winning the GT class at any international racing event. In the eyes of many enthusiasts, there is no more well-rounded pre-1958 sports car.
Not only is 0703 GT a Ferrari of unrivalled rarity and beauty, its history, provenance, and originality are beyond reproach.
Delivered new to a successful Italian privateer, this Tour de France achieved outstanding results at the Coppa Inter- Europa and the final running of the legendary Mille Miglia. Since arriving in the US in 1969, it has been owned by a short list of knowledgeable Ferrari enthusiasts, including John Delamater, Norman Silver, and John Apen. With its complete matchingnumbers drivetrain (engine, gearbox, and rear-end) and original Scaglietti coachwork intact, 0703 GT must be considered among the very best 14-Louver Berlinettas, and thus, one of the finest sports cars of the 1950s.
The fortunate new caretaker of this 14-Louver Berlinetta will be acquiring a competition Ferrari of exceptional pedigree and undisputed aesthetic brilliance.