1959 Ferrari 250 PF
- Fully and Sympathetically Restored
- Matching Numbers
- Report by Marcel Massini
This stunning example of a Series One Ferrari 250 PF Coupe was originally delivered new to French concessionaires Franco Britannic Auto Ltd in 1959.
In its original colour scheme of Rosso Bordeaux and Grigio Conchiglia, with black leather interior it was returned to the factory to be modified with disc brakes shortly after. On returning to France it was stored at Charles Pozzi’s and having developed an early problem with the engine, it was fitted with a replacement engine from a Ferrari 250 GT Speciale (0853 GT), which was also stored at Pozzi’s, as documented by the leading Ferrari historian Marcel Massini in his 2015 report. This report also confirms that it some thirty years later, in 2009, it was reunited with its original engine and therefore is a genuine matching numbers example.
In remained in France for the next 40 years enjoying long term ownership with a handful of enthusiasts. In 2007 it was displayed by Ruote Borrani at Retromobile, Paris, from where it travelled to Switzerland and was sold by Massini to an American collector, Lee Harrington who also owned the original Speciale (0853 GT). It was during his ownership that the original engines were reunited, with the work done at Mark Allin’s shop in Newburyport, MA. While 0853 GT, the ex-HRH Prince Bertil of Sweden Speciale, went on to win numerous concours awards, our car remained in its essentially untouched, factory delivered condition still sporting its original paint, and Franco Brittanic delivery label, and would have been a contender in its own right for ‘preservation class’ awards. Faced with such a dilemma of whether to restore or leave ‘as is’ its new owner Giovanni Mercelli, decided put the car through a concours level restoration with Billy Smilovsky of Engineered Automotive in Concord, Cananda. Three years and $250,000 later the car emerged from a full, but very sympathetic restoration.
In their restoration summary Smilovsky describes the ‘pleasure of restoring a virgin car’, and although fully restored there are subtle hints of the original patina, showing through. All the instrument were fully restored internally, for example, but the chrome bezels are unrestored and show their age. Everything possible was overhauled and reused, and any items like hides and carpets that could not be salvaged were sourced from the original suppliers in Italy. Everything was either rebuilt to factory spec or where necessary returned to Italy for restoration.
The result is a rare balance between a fully restored car and one that still retains much of its period feel.
Since it was acquired by its current UK owner in 2016 it has been subject to more lavish attention from marque specialists GTO Engineering, with invoices in the history file for over £50,000, and a full photographic record of the work done.
One of only 350 cars built, of which perhaps half survive, this a beautiful example of a Grand Tourer from the halcyon days of Ferrari 250 GTs. Sharing an almost identical chassis to the legendary Ferrari 250 Tour de France Competizione, but tailored as a more elegant and sophisticated road car, it is a wonderful Ferrari with great pedigree, and the ultimate expression of 1950s La Dolce Vita