Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Pinin Farina
Ordered New by Willy-Peter Daetwyler | Rare Factory Competition EquipmentWilly-Peter Daetwyler, Beverly Hills, California (acquired new in 1960)Terrance Kincella, Playa del Rey, California (acquired in 1971)Gordon Frank Hall, Arcadia, California (acquired from the above in 1972)Paul Forbes, Camarillo, California (acquired from the above in 1988)Mark Baaba, Lafayette, California (acquired from the above in 1994)Paul Vasquez, Arcadia, California (acquired from the above in 1995)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2011)
Concorso Ferrari, Pasadena, California, May 2016 (Platinum Award)
The Ferrari 250 GT presented here, chassis 1743 GT, is one of 151 Series II Pinin Farina Coupes built in 1959 and 1960. These Series II models benefited from myriad improvements, including Dunlop disc brakes, an outside-plug engine, and a four-speed gearbox with electric overdrive.
This car, however, is no ordinary example, as it was custom-built for an important Ferrari client: Willy-Peter Daetwyler.
Daetwyler, born to a wealthy Swiss family in 1919, began racing in the late 1940s. Beginning with Alfa Romeos, BMWs, and Jaguars, he competed in European and US races, eventually graduating to a Ferrari 340 America. In 1955, Ferrari loaned him a 750 Monza, which he raced with great success for two seasons. In 1957, he drove a works Maserati 200 SI to four wins in six races, capturing the FIA’s first European Hillclimb Championship. Later that year, Daetwyler moved to California, where he continued racing with his friend John von Neumann.
In 1960, Daetwyler placed an order for a 250 GT Coupe and requested that the car be supplied with competition features. Original factory build sheets record that 1743 GT was built with a competition-spec 128 F outside-plug engine equipped with Weber 40 DCL6 carburetors, velocity stacks, high-lift camshafts, and 9.6:1 compression. In addition to this highly tuned engine, the 250 GT was supplied with a limited-slip differential, servo-assisted brakes, Borrani wire wheels, Pirelli Cinturato tires, and Abarth exhaust.
The order for coachwork was placed on January 15, 1960, and completed by Carrozzeria Pinin Farina on March 3. Finished in Grigio Argento (metallic silver gray) with red upholstery, Mr. Daetwyler’s PF Coupe received custom features to complement its competition-spec chassis. These included two map pockets above the rear parcel shelf, a passenger-side headrest, Blaupunkt radio, dash-mounted high-beam flasher, and centrally mounted Marchal spotlight, which necessitated a modified grille and offset prancing horse.
Though it was originally destined for delivery in France, 1743 GT was redirected to Ferrari of California, Eleanor von Neumann’s dealership in Los Angeles, where Daetwyler, who was then living in Beverly Hills and participating in local sports car races, collected it.
Daetwyler’s Ferrari has resided in California since it was first delivered more than 55 years ago. When the consignor acquired the car in 2011, it was still in largely original, unrestored condition, though it had been repainted white and its red upholstery dyed black. During his initial inspection, the consignor found 1743 GT stamped in the proper locations – the left-front frame tube, the engine timing chain case, the engine pad, and the firewall data plate. The internal numbers for the engine (182F), gearbox (98F), and differential (97F) all corresponded to factory records, and the Pinin Farina body number was located on the body trim, inner fender liners, door cards, and package shelf.
Recognizing the unique nature of 1743 GT, the consignor oversaw a complete restoration that returned the Ferrari to its original splendor. Meticulously documented by a series of photographs and invoices, every aspect of the restoration was carried out to exacting, show-quality standards.
Many respected craftsmen were called on to help complete the project. Jens Paulsen of Phelan, California, rebuilt the engine, gearbox, differential, steering box, and fuel pump. Calamia Customs in Vista, California, completed the body and paintwork, while Thomas Pocius of San Diego installed the interior upholstery, carpeting, and headliner. Bruce Marquand of Classic Competition in San Marcos provided expertise throughout the project, including the initial disassembly, driveline and suspension installation, and final assembly. Ferrari specialists Bill Attaway and Tom Shaughnessy were regularly consulted and proved instrumental in preparing the car for judged competition.
Beautifully presented in its original colors and specification, 1743 GT earned the Platinum Award at the Ferrari Club of America’s Concorso Ferrari in May 2016. The sale of this special Ferrari includes a handbook folio, with the correct combined parts catalogue/owner’s manual and warranty card; a concours-quality tool roll and jack; and the original California black-and-yellow license plate. The consignor has also assembled two three-ring binders containing detailed historical information, original build sheets, ownership and registration records, invoices, and photos.
A true wolf in sheep’s clothing, the Daetwyler competition-spec Pinin Farina Coupe is an important 250 GT that will appeal to the connoisseur.