Auctions and Brokerage
FCA Platinum Award WinnerMelchior Bournique, Livorno, Italy (acquired new in May 1960 via Garage La Rotonda)Giancarlo Folco, Vicenza, Italy (acquired from the above in April 1961)William D. Greenthal, Knoxville, Tennessee (acquired in 1977 via Ferrari of Los Gatos)Dr. Carl Redmon, Knoxville, Tennessee (acquired from the above circa June 1978)Wade Alexander Morris, Atlanta, Georgia (acquired via F.A.F. Motorcars circa 1983)Jefrey D. Rowe, Ontario, Canada (acquired circa 1980)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
XII Rassenga Internazionale dell’Automobile, Rome, Italy, May 1960Ferrari Club of America Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, June 1978XXIII Cavallino Classic, Palm Beach, Florida, January 2014 (FCA Platinum Award)
The Ferrari presented here, 1817 GT, is a very special example of the Series II Pinin Farina Cabriolet, of which only 200 were produced between 1959 and 1962. Designed and built by Carrozzeria Pinin Farina, the beautifully finished cabriolet was the most refined model in the 250 GT range and, with an asking price of 5,800,000 lire, it was also the most exclusive.
Completed at the Ferrari factory in May 1960, 1817 GT was finished in the most popular color for the Series II Cabriolet range, Grigio Conchiglia, an elegant dark gray that ideally complements the restrained Pinin Farina design. Other original features included red vinyl and leather upholstery, an Abarth exhaust system, polished Borrani wire wheels, and Pirelli Cinturato tires. The first owner of 1817 GT was Melchior Bournique, the proprietor of a successful shipping company based in Livorno, Italy. A valued Ferrari client, he requested that his new Pinin Farina Cabriolet be custom-tailored with side vents, which imbue the car with a most distinctive appearance. Just as they do on the contemporary Series III 410 Superamerica, these attractive vents also serve as a visual break in the long, unadorned front fenders, giving the Ferrari a shorter and more sporting appearance.
In addition to this special side-vent treatment, 1817 GT was originally specified with bumper-mounted driving lights (versus the more usual placement behind the grille) and an optional hardtop. Before M. Bournique took delivery of his new Ferrari, it is understood that 1817 GT was displayed in the XII Rassenga Internazionale dell’Automobile, a prestigious concours held in Rome on May 28 and 29, 1960. In Antoine Prunet’s book, The Ferrari Legend: The Road Cars, chassis 1817 GT is mentioned as winning an award at the 1960 Concours d’Elegance in Rome. Two photographs published in the 1960 Ferrari Yearbook are further evidence of 1817 GT’s participation in this Roman concours outing.
Copies of the original Automobile Club d’Italia registration records indicate that M. Bournique sold 1817 GT to Giancarlo Folco of Vicenza on April 18, 1961, less than a year after taking delivery of the new Ferrari.
As with many used Ferraris, the Series II Cabriolet was exported to the US in the 1970s. During this period, 1817 GT was fitted with a later 250 engine, 3867 GT, which had originally been installed in a 250 GT SWB California Spider.
In 1979 or 1980, 1817 GT was sold to Jeffrey D. Rowe of Paris, Texas, and Ontario, Canada. During the time that he owned 1817 GT, Mr. Rowe’s enthusiasm for the Ferrari led him to create a registry for the Series II Cabriolets; he also penned a comprehensive overview of the model that was published in Issue No. 99 of Prancing Horse magazine.
In researching the history of 1817 GT, Mr. Rowe corresponded with Gerald Roush, who had inspected the car at F.A.F. in Atlanta during the late 1970s, and even managed to track down Carlo Bournique, whose father Melchior had originally taken delivery of the Ferrari in 1960.
In a letter dated October 30, 1985, Carlo Bournique recounts the early history of 1817 GT:
“I can in the meantime confirm to you that the car was delivered to us by the Ferrari dealer in Florence (at that time the name was ‘Garage La Rotonda’ and was owned by Mr. Renato Nocentini) where my father and me were buying almost all our Ferraris. It had been ordered with special air outlets (is this the exact wording?) and this modification to the standard type as delivered by the factory costed quite a high price. To my knowledge there shouldn’t be many other cars of that type with this kind of modification as same was, I repeat, specially ordered and requested by us.”
In December 2002, Mr. Rowe structured a trade whereby 3867 GT was reunited with its original engine, while the Series II Cabriolet received a period correct, factory-replacement block fitted with the original, stamped timing case from 1817 GT.
In June 2009, Mr. Rowe finally decided to part with 1817 GT and it was sold to the current owner, a Florida collector with a passion for the Ferrari marque. Even by this time, the 250 GT had never been completely restored and, though it had been repainted and reupholstered, the interior retained its original red carpets and undisturbed sections of the original Shell Grey paint were discovered beneath the sill plates.
Seeking to return the Ferrari to its former splendor, the consignor commissioned The Creative Workshop in Dania Beach, Florida, to perform a comprehensive, show-quality restoration.
During this process, the consignor submitted an application to have 1817 GT certified by the Ferrari Classiche Department and the engine was sent to Italy to be inspected by the factory. At this time, the factory confirmed that the block was a correct, factory-replacement unit and stamped the blank pad with the correct engine type, 128F, and the requisite Ferrari Classiche symbol.
Now presented in its elegant original color scheme, 1817 GT was completed in time to take part in the Palm Beach Cavallino Classic in January 2014, where its authentic presentation garnered a favorable response as well as an FCA Platinum Award.
Offered with the sale of 1817 GT is an impressive file of documentation that includes several Ferrari books (including a copy of the 1960 Ferrari Yearbook), important correspondence, magazine articles, archival photographs, a history report compiled by marque historian Marcel Massini, as well as copies of the Ferrari assembly sheets and ACI registration records.
Considering its many desirable qualities – documented custom features, a fascinating provenance, and a Platinum Award-winning restoration – this is an exceptional 250 GT Series II Cabriolet that demands serious consideration.