This is one of just six examples of the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione that were built, a model perhaps best remembered today as the forerunner to the famous 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione “Tour de France.”
The Ferrari 250 model series were the vehicles that established the Italian automaker as a force to be reckoned with in the global sports and GT car market. The pace of development and innovation was rapid, culminating in cars like the 250 GTO, the 250 GT SWB, and the 250 LM.
Fast Facts – The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione
- The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione is a highly sought after early GT car in the 250 GT series, just six were made and only three of those were designed by Pininfarina, like the car shown here.
- The 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione was an evolutionary step between the Ferrari 250 MM and the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta “Tour de France” – a car that dominated the Tour de France Automobile from the mid-1950s through to the early 1960s.
- The car you see here was restored by Ferrari in 1977 in Maranello, 22 years after it had first been built there, and today it carries Ferrari Classiche certification.
- RM Sotheby’s are estimating that this car will sell for between $8,000,000 – $10,500,000 USD when it crosses the auction block with them on the 19th of November.
The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione
The pace of development for the Ferrari 250 series cars in the 1950s was remarkably swift, it mirrored much of what was happening in the world of Grand Prix racing as the engineers developed a better understanding of things like aerodynamics, suspension and braking systems, and of course, the engines themselves.
The development of the 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione built directly on the lessons Ferrari had learned building the 250 MM. That “MM” stands for “Mille Miglia,” a legendary race on open public roads that used to run between from Brescia to Rome and back starting in 1927 and ending in 1957.
The route was lined by up to five million spectators in later runnings of the event, it covered a distance of approximately 1,500 kms or 1,000 Roman miles. The name “Mille Miglia” means “Thousand Mile” in Italian.
Ferrari had made quite a name for themselves racing in the Mille Miglia, taking back-to-back victories in the event from 1948 until 1953, they would then win it again in 1956 with the Ferrari 290 MM Spyder Scaglietti.
The name “Berlinetta Competizione” translates directly as “Little Saloon Competition,” it essentially means that the car is a hardtop coupe designed for competition. Ferrari developed the 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione on the 250 Europa GT platform, a Tipo 508 chassis fitted with thew legendary Colombo-designed Tipo 112 V12 engine.
Just three examples of the six cars would be designed by Pininfarina, still known as Pinin Farina at this time as the name wasn’t formally joined in the middle until 1961.
Battista “Pinin” Farina and Enzo Ferrari had met just four years earlier in 1951, they opted to meet on neutral territory at a restaurant in the town of Tortona, exactly halfway between Turin and Modena. Neither man wanted to meet at the other’s headquarters.
Despite this cagey first meeting the two men formed an iron alliance, and Pininfarina developed the majority of Ferrari’s road cars for decades.
The Pininfarina-designed 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione saw the introduction of slightly better aerodynamics than its forebear, some of its design cues would also appear on exceedingly famous later Ferraris like the 250 GT SWB.
The 1955 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione Shown Here
The car you see here has had a more interesting life than many, it was originally bought by Mr. Luigi Bertett, the then President of the Automobile Club of Milan. In 1964 it was shipped to a new owner in Athens, Greece however it was involved in a traffic accident a year later in 1965.
After its accident the car would sit in storage for 10 years until it was discovered by an American named Stephen Barney who was living in Rome. He rescued the car and had it sent to the Ferrari workshop in Modena, near where it had been made over 20 years earlier.
Once it was restored it was shipped across the Atlantic to the United States where Barney kept it in his “car barn” until it was bought by the collector Brian Brunkhorst in 1983. In the years since the car has belonged to collectors in Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
The car is now due to roll across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s on the 19th of November, it has a price estimate of $8,000,000 – $10,500,000 USD and you can click here if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid.
Images: Peter Singhof ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
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