Like some Bristol cars there are some Ferrari’s you either love or see as opportunities to tear apart for recycling into more desirable models or heaven forbid turn into complete replica’s of more illustrious models, in the UK these vehicles are known as “Marmite” cars, you either love, or love to hate them.
One such is the first production model, as opposed to special order model, Ferrari to be fitted with a rear seat and useable boot / trunk as standard like today’s featured Ferrari 250 GT/E.
The practicalities of the 250 GT/E made it a huge, by Ferrari standards, seller with 955 cars built in 3 series between 1959 and 1963. Today’s featured car chassis #2259 GT, seen by Geoffrey Horton at Carmel by the Sea some years ago, is one of the 302 Series I vehicles built between 1960 and 1961.
The first owner was Carlo Durante who bought the car in Milan in 1960, Carlo who runs his own auto shop Alfa of Tacoma in Washington drove the car for nine years before some bad fuel clogged up a carburetor causing one of the pistons to run too lean and get holed.
Carlo got his 63,000 mile car back to his shop striped the engine out and for next 40 years nothing more happened as the pressure of work meant Carlo did not have time to attend to his pride and joy.
Fast forward to the Autumn of 2009 and California Ferrari preservation expert Tom Yang got wind of Carlo’s car and through a mutual friend built up a friendship that culminated in Tom introducing Carlo to a potentially sympathetic new owner. After they had been to visit Carlo and his 250 GTE all three went to a Wendy’s and a deal was struck.
Tom who would take care of the recommissioning of #2259 GT received it at his workshop on the last day of March 2011 and fourteen months later it was back, in not just working order, but Concours condition as can be seen in these photo’s taken by Geoffrey in August 2012.
Most of the car is still original, including the paintwork, despite having the 3 liter / 183 cui V12 motor painstakingly rebuilt, the rear differential resealed, brakes overhauled to better than original condition and the carpets replaced. The seats were saved and repaired as was the original wood rimmed Nardi steering wheel which has been beautifully preserved.
The new owner was awarded the FCA Pacific Region Vintage Concours Preservation Award at Concorso Italiano, Laguna Seca Golf Ranch just 3 day’s after these photo’s were taken. Coincidentally the man responsible for the preservation of #2259 GT, Tom Yang is seen in the bottom photo wearing the grey blazer on the right.
My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s featured photographs and to Tom Wilson, not only for his lightening quick response to my enquiry about today’s featured Ferrari at Ferrari Chat, but also for recommending Tom Yang’s excellent website which documents it’s preservation and recommissioning.
Thanks for joining me on this “Wendy’s Indoor Playground” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the last of this month’s Gilbern series. Don’t forget to come back now !