Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Pinin Farina
From the Tony Shooshani CollectionEnzo Isole, Milan, Italy (acquired new in July 1960)Victor Commune, Jamesburg, New Jersey (acquired circa 1980)Richard Cole, Orcutt, California (acquired from the above in April 1987)Don Davis, Dallas, Texas (acquired by 2013)Tony Shooshani, Beverly Hills, California (acquired from the above in August 2013)
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, August 2000Santa Barbara Concours d’Elegance, 2000 (Best in Class)Ironstone Vineyard Concours, Murphys, California, 2003 (Best in Class)
Benefiting from 26 years in the care of one owner, chassis no. 1939 GT claims an extensive restoration and documentation with factory build sheets, resulting in one of the most beautiful examples to be offered in recent memory. Following the success of the 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe, Ferrari sought to distinguish the Scaglietti-built California Spider from the Pinin Farina-built cabriolets.
Pinin Farina obliged by transforming the cabriolet’s prior design into a form mirroring the concurrent PF Coupe, reprising the coupe’s handsome shoulder lines and rear haunches while removing the first cabriolet’s chrome treatments and covered headlamps. The styling modification helped differentiate the more expensive Pinin Farina Cabriolet from the stripped-down California Spider, though under the skin the two cars were quite similar.
Furthermore, the Series II Cabriolet was equipped with disc brakes all around, giving it reliable stopping power to match its sheer torque. With only 200 examples produced through 1962, the second-series PF Cabriolet was almost as rare as it was beautiful. The model has since evolved into one of the most popular open 250 GT iterations, delivering style and performance at a fraction of the price of the mechanically similar California Spider.
According to the research of marque historian Marcel Massini, this car is the 39th example of the 200 second-series cabriolets built by Pinin Farina. The coachbuilder received the 250 GT’s frame on April 14, 1960, and in June a majority of the factory’s mechanical construction was executed.
A factory chassis sheet (Foglio Montaggio Autotelaio) dated April 14, 1960, specifies the use of Dunlop disc brakes, a Bonaldi brake booster, and an Abarth exhaust. Similarly, a gearbox sheet (Foglio Montaggio Cambio) dated June 10 mentions the provision of overdrive.
Chassis 1939 GT was originally finished in Grigio Conchiglia (shell gray) paint and trimmed with black upholstery. It was officially completed on June 18 and sold to a Milan resident, then remained in Europe until it was exported to the US in the early 1970s. The 250 GT reportedly was largely disassembled for restoration by 1974, as detailed in a feature article in the August 2005 issue of Forza magazine written by William Edgar (son of the famed Ferrari privateer John Edgar).
According to Edgar’s article, in 1987, the Ferrari was purchased in a still-unrestored state by Richard R. Cole of Orcutt, California, a longtime collector of fine Maranello road cars. Within a few years, Mr. Cole commissioned a full repaint in Blu Scuro (dark blue) by Dave McLaughlin of San Juan Capistrano, California. The brightwork was re-chromed, and the Borrani wire wheels were also refinished. Mr. Cole was so enchanted by the renewed appearance of the cabriolet that he embarked on a more comprehensive restoration that took many years to complete.
Bruno Borri of Los Angeles (the noted Ferrari mechanic who contributed to a Ferrari 365 GTB/4’s second-overall finish at the 1979 24 Hours of Daytona) was entrusted with restoring the tipo 128 F engine, which had only accrued a recorded 42,000 miles. Numerous details were attended to on 1939 GT time and again as Mr. Cole encountered other Pinin Farina Cabriolets and learned about minor inaccuracies on his own car. By 1999, he was confident enough in the cabriolet’s condition to apply for display at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, and the Ferrari was accepted and presented at the 2000 event, where it scored 94.5 points.
Following this distinguished appearance, the 250 GT was exhibited twice more, at the 2000 Santa Barbara Concours d’Elegance and the 2003 Ironstone Vineyard Concours, winning its class each time. The Ferrari has seldom been shown in competition, and its current availability only highlights its long absence from the greater concours circles.
In August 2013, 1939 GT was offered for sale and a cosmetic detailing by Brian Hoyt’s esteemed shop, Perfect Reflections, brought out the finest depth in the beautiful Blu Scuro paintwork. Purchased at that time by Tony Shooshani, the alluring Ferrari has continued to impress during private showings, though rarely enjoying the attention of the show field that it so richly deserves.
Currently displaying approximately 46,000 miles, this breathtaking Pinin Farina Cabriolet is accompanied by a matching factory hardtop, which only improves the car’s distinctively elegant profile. It is documented by a Marcel Massini report, copies of the factory build sheets, and should be welcomed at any marque event or FCA gathering. This 250 GT is also sure to draw serious consideration at regional concours d’elegance, as the restoration has aged very well.
With the mechanical advances made on the second-series Cabriolets, including the easier-to-service outside-plug 128 F engine, and disc brakes all around, this Ferrari combines modern driving qualities with vintage aesthetics. As Mr. Shooshani comments, “The brakes are amazing compared to an older version of the 250 GT. The engine puts out a lot of power, and it’s a great touring car on the Pacific Coast Highway on a beautiful day with the top down.” Whether the next caretaker prefers concours fields or the open road, this sensational 250 GT is sure to deliver a unique experience steeped in Maranello tradition and craftsmanship.