Let's try to put ourselves in a situation. We are in the gardens adjacent to the Malaga Automobile Museum, a quiet place with landscaped areas and close to the coast. Suddenly, a harsh roar begins to be heard from afar, accompanied by some explosions of greater or lesser depth.
Any "profane" passerby would expect anything but an elegant GT uttering such "coughs", but what appeared there was this attractive Ferrari from the 50s, specifically a 250 GT Coupe Speciale Pinin Farina.
Synonymous with millionaire figures, the Ferrari 250 GT presented in 1954 were the first to be built in acceptable quantities. If since 1949 only around 200 street Ferraris had been manufactured, when the production of the 250 GT ended in 1964 there were already around 670 a year assembled.
This was especially the case from 1956, when for the first time the catalog mentioned a “serial assembly”. And yet, as it has been happening to date, Ferrari continued to build unique custom models, or some small series.
The model that we bring here today can lead to confusion, Well, it is one of these small special series. Some expert on Ferrari from the 50s would say - at first glance - that it is a 410 Superamerica Pinin Farina. And it could be, but no, it's a 250 GT. Let's see.
The 250 GT was officially presented at the Paris Motor Show in October 1954, and despite the importance of the model - if we look at it from a historical perspective - the star of the Ferrari stand that year was the 375 MM bodied by Pininfarina.
The debut of the legendary Colombo engine
The reason was most likely that the new 250 GT was presented to the public with a Pinin Farina body almost identical to that of the "old" 250 Europe and 375 America. Only the very attentive observers could have noticed the 20 cm lowering in the wheelbase of the new chassis, which gave the overall design a more compact and harmonious appearance.
But under that familiar skin, the greatest novelties were hidden. The engine was one of the main changes, since the previous “large” engines designed by Lampredi were abandoned to make way for the smaller ones from Gioacchino Colombo, also with V12 architecture.
These famous 3 Liters from Colombo already had a magnificent track record in competition, and when Ferrari began production "in series" for street models, they were designated Type 112, although they were nothing more than a somewhat refined version of the 250 MM. racing.
It had the same dimensions (73 × 58,8 mm) and a cubic capacity of 2953 cc, which meant almost 250 cc for each cylinder, hence the model name. The biggest differences from the competition engine were the adoption of three twin Weber “36 DCF” carburettors and a slightly modified cylinder head design.
[su_youtube_advanced https = »yes» url = »https://youtu.be/mlQORcStJCA» width = »700 ″]
The chassis for its part was of a completely new design. It was still a platform made up of tubular sections, but for the first time on the make the two main spars passed over the rear axle. The biggest novelty, however, came from the front end, Well, at last, the old-fashioned crossbow of previous models was abandoned to now mount coil springs.
As we said before, the battle was reduced from the 2.80 meters of previous models to 2.60, although according to the chronicles of the time this reduction of 20 cm did not mean a reduction in the space available for the cabin, especially due to the smaller size of the new engine. .
Only one year later, in September 1955, Pinin Farina workshops were already working on the first prototype of what would become the Second Series of 250 GT, officially presented in January 1956. The biggest difference was in the new designs, more elongated and straight.
The engine was the same 12º V60 from Colombo, but with reinforced crankshaft and timing. On the other hand, for this second series presented in 1956, a totally new gearbox with Porsche synchro was designed, which had a curious arrangement of the gears, starting with the first one located on the right and upwards, than in sports cars from the 50s. it was a more or less common option.
Returning to the aesthetic aspect, this second series, despite having been designed by Pinin Farina, was built in a “semi-serial” regime by the Turin-based company Carrozzeria Boano, which had been founded in 1953 by Mario Felice Boano and Luciano Pollo.
The first 6 pre-series units had still been assembled by Pinin Farina, but this company was immersed between 1956 and 1957 in the construction of a new factory, since the previous one had become too small and obsolete to meet the demand for labor that the Italian bodybuilder had at that time. And for this reason the almost 80 units of the 250 GT MK II "standard" were manufactured by Boano, with a slightly different design.
However, Pinin Farina still accepted some special commission, and a sample of this is our protagonist, belonging to a short series of 4 units whose chassis numbers were 0463GT, 0465GT, 0467GT and 0469GT, which are interspersed between the Boano bodywork, whose chassis carried the numbers between 0429GT and 0675GT .
[pro_ad_display_adzone id = »41754 ″]
Gala dress, but without excesses
These numerical "gibberish" are a constant in the history of Ferrari -especially in the early days- and, as if it were not a little complication, the 4 examples of the 250 GT Pininfarina were the only ones in the entire production to mount a chassis called "Tipo 513 ".
To add to the confusion, this short series of four units had an identical design to some 410 Superamerica. In turn, this model, contemporary to the 250 GT, had in its 2nd and 3rd series an engine of almost 5 liters and a wheelbase of 2.800 mm, making it the largest Ferrari of the early days.
Even its price, announced at $ 16.800, was much higher than the rest of the Ferraris of its time, and for example the 250 GT stayed at $ 12.800. Of the first series of the Superamerica Pinin Farina - with a "long" chassis - 16 units were manufactured, which was followed by another of 9 units with a short chassis of 2.600 mm wheelbase.
Outwardly, the 410 SA “long and short” were distinguished from each other only because the ventilation outlet on the sides of the second had 3 slats, while in the first it had 4. And looking closely, you notice a change in length. of the doors ... but you would have to have one next to the other, very difficult thing ...
A somewhat atypical Ferrari «black leg»
Our protagonist has no aesthetic difference with the "short" 410 SA, but as we have explained it is a 250 GT. And on balance, of this specific design Pinin Farina built 29 units - as always with slight variations - if we add the 410 SA and 250 GT.
The one in the photos we are lucky to have it in our country, and also in view of anyone as it is part of the magnificent collection exhibited in the Malaga Automobile Museum. Specifically, it is the third of the 4 built –Number 0467 GT- and presents an incredible original condition, unrestored.
Its first owner was a certain Fernando Galvao from Lisbon (Portugal), and it seems that a short time later it passed into the hands of Joao Magalhaes, its current owner and the collector who has shaped the exhibition of the Museum of Malaga.
According to himself, this was the vehicle he used during his university days (!) But apparently it was used very sporadically, and he was quickly cornered. Continuing with the "official version", the car was transferred to a warehouse in Switzerland after the Carnation Revolution of 1974, which forced the fall of the Salazar dictatorship.
And it is that after this, Portugal lived a turbulent period in which banking and part of the large industry were nationalized, and the threat of a new communist regime made many individuals remove their most precious assets from the country, as was the case of this Ferrari.
After several years thus "hidden", the 250 GT returned to Portugal, where it remained one more season standing and gathering dust, until the Malaga project was finally given the green light and it was transferred to Spain.
For its exhibition, a brief start-up and cleaning was carried out by the museum's technical director, Ricardo Serbén, who was also the one who attended us when making this report.
[su_quote]This Ferrari is a real treat for lovers of pure originality. Small bubbles of rust are found in the corners of the bodywork, the rear badge is missing some letters, and even the tires are old ...[/ su_quote]
Adjust only the essentials
According to Ricardo, the body was completely covered with soot and grease, accumulated after long periods in different garages. It seems that this has managed to preserve the original paint in very good condition, although a thorough cleaning is still pending to remove the greasy remains that are all over the body.
As for the mechanics, although the engine was not blocked, all the supply lines were blocked by fuel residues and had to be dismantled and conditioned by Ricardo himself, who also cleaned the carburettors.
Finally, it was necessary to remove the thick original radiator to clean the circuit ... and nothing else, at least for now. And this is how we have photographed it; with an incredible patina and originality, without any type of makeup or restoration.
Therefore, the appearance that he looks today is very close to what he had again, except for a couple of details. Two fog lamps were installed on the front grille, which have mysteriously disappeared, although the holes for their placement are still present.
Inside, there are missing light indicators and switches -probably those for the fog lamps- and the central clock, which was a multiple indicator of oil pressure, fuel level and water temperature, and which must have been replaced at some point by the Jaeger chronometer that it now carries ... although perhaps it could have been assembled that way at the express request of the first owner.
Untouched, how would the english say
For the rest, and if we inspect it carefully, this Ferrari is a real treat for lovers of pure originality. Small bubbles of rust roam the corners of the body, the rear badge is missing some letters, and even the tires are old Pirelli Cinturato that almost certainly were the ones that came from the factory.
These are not currently a guarantee of safety, but for a vehicle that is normally exhibited in a museum they are most appropriate. And the same can be said of the state of mechanics. With few kilometers but without a thorough overhaul, at the time of our visit he started the first time and proved capable - and a lot - of moving the 250 GT under his own power.
But, yes, the powerful sound -typically V12 and typically Ferrari- was accompanied by a strong smell of “stale” gasoline, small explosions and backfire, as well as irregular idling, undoubtedly caused by a poor carburetion setting. Something still typical and expected of a car that spends long periods of inactivity, and that also has a reputation for having a practically indomitable carburetion.
Anyway, these minor flaws only add to the appeal of this unit - in our judgment - and should not be taken as a criticism but rather as a check that the vehicle is superbly original, top to bottom. And this is certainly unusual today, when most old Ferraris have already received detailed restorations to obtain the much coveted “Ferrari Classiche” certificate.
Hopefully this unit never loses the charm it now has and remains this authentic for many years to come. True amateurs would accept a mechanical overhaul at best, but nothing more, since a complete restoration could even detract not only interest, but also economic value.