Today’s featured Ferrari 250 GTO chassis #4293GT was originally assigned to Scuderia San Ambreous, the same team who famously fielded Formula One debutant Giancarlo Baghetti in the 1961 French Grand Prix which he promptly won, however for reasons that are not clear to me at the time of writing Scuderia San Ambreous never took delivery of the car which instead ended up in the hands of Belgian Jacques Swaters and his Ecurie Francorchamps equipe in April 1963.
Willy Mairesse drove #4293GT to an overall victory on it’s debut in the 500km race at Spa. The cars next outing was in the Le Mans 24 hours where noted Businessman/Jazz Guitarist/Car Collector and Sponsor Jean “Beurlys” Blaton shared the driving with Gérald Langlois van Ophem to record the 250 GTO models 2nd consecutive second place finish some 16 laps behind the winning prototype Ferrari 250 P driven by Lorenzo Bandini and Ludovico Scarfiotti.
“Beurlys” then drove #4293 GT to victory in a race at Zolder before the cars final appearance race appearance in the 1963 12 hour race at Reims where the car appears to have been driven solo by Belgian Lucien Bianchi to a 3rd overall and first in class. #4293 was driven in practice for the 1964 1000kms race at the Nurburgring by Lucien Bianchi, Jean Guichet and Nino Vaccarella but the car never took the start meaning it record of four starts and four class victories remained intact.
No further in period races are recorded for #4293GT and by the end of 1963 the car was in the United States where it remained until 1982. From 1982 to to 1996 #4293GT went to Japan and thence to Hong Kong until 2002 when it was acquired by William E. ‘Chip’ Connor of Incline Village, NV who is seen driving the car above in the 250 GTO 50th Anniversary demonstration at Goodwood Revival a couple of years ago.
Thanks for joining me on this “Never Beaten In Class” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking a my favorite Ginetta model. Don’t forget to come back now !
On June 2nd 1963 Frenchman Pierre Dumay took delivery of a silver Ferrari 250 GTO chassis #4153 and two weeks later it was entered under the Ecurie Francochamps banner in the 1963 Le Mans 24 Hours for himself and Belgian Léon “Elde” Dernier in which they finished 4th overall and second in class. Dernier means ‘last’ and Léon prefered to race under a pseudonym of the pronunciation of his initials LD. By the following week it appears that ownership of the car had been transferred to Ecurie Francochamps and entered in race for first Dernier and then Dumay at Zolder and Reims where 2nd overall and 3rd in class finishes were recorded respectively.
The following season it appears that the Marquis Philippe de Montaigu bought #4135 but continued to enter it in numerous events from 1964 through 1965 under the Ecurie Francochamps banner for the likes of; Georges Berger, Lucien Bianchi, Pierre Dumay, “Gauvin”, Gustave Gosselin, “Lagae”, “Lambrecht”, Francis van Lysbeth, Willy Mairesse, Gerard Langlois van Ophem
#4153’s biggest win was when Lucian Bianchi and and Georges Berger won the 1964 Tour de France. In 1965 chassis #4153 was entered into the first Marathon de la Route, an 82 hour race held at the Nurburgring that replaced the Liege Rome Liege Rally, but Bianchi, Berger and Jean Blaton failed to finish. Since then the car has remained in Europe with the current German owner acquiring it in 2003.
Seen at the wheel of chassis #4153GT during a 250 GTO demonstration at last years Goodwood Revival meeting is Daniela Ellerbrock.
Thanks for joining me on this “Tour de France Winner” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for a look at a Lotus tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !