Arizona

18-19 January 2018

A Century of Sports Cars

1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Pinin Farina

  • Chassis no. 1939 GT
  • Engine no. 1939 GT
  • Gearbox no. 167 F
  • Differential no. 182 F

Without Reserve


Please note that this lot is titled as a 1961. Please also note that Internet bidding is not available for this lot. Interested parties that are unable to attend the sale may register to bid by telephone or place a commission bid online at rmsothebys.com.

  • A Century of Sports Cars Collection
  • The 39th of 200 examples built
  • Accompanied by matching factory hardtop
  • Comprehensively restored over the course of 13 years
  • Documented in a feature article in Forza magazine
  • Presented at the 2000 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
  • Only two owners over the last 30 years


As the 250 GT model line continued to develop at the twilight of 1959, Ferrari introduced a second generation of Pinin Farina-bodied luxury cabriolets, essentially a grand touring version of the concurrent competition-derived 250 GT California Spider. Featuring four-wheel disc brakes and the outside-plug engine developed during the Testa Rossa campaigns, the new cabriolet was the most tractably powerful 250 GT to date, claiming both fine road manners and strong performance.

Only 200 examples of the Series II Cabriolet were built, lending the model equal parts rarity and elegance. These mid-production 250 GTs offer the best of both ends of the spectrum, as their striking open coachwork clothes more modern chassis components, in a combination that today’s collectors can particularly enjoy on vintage touring events.

This beautiful example of the second-series Pinin Farina-built cabriolet benefits from a well-maintained restoration that was later detailed in a feature article in Forza magazine. According to the research of marque historian Marcel Massini, chassis no. 1939 GT is the 39th example built, and its frame entered the coachbuilder’s Grugliasco factory for bodywork in mid-April 1960. The rear axle, gearbox, and engine were completed during mid-June, as confirmed by copies of factory build sheets.

Finished in Grigio Conchiglia (Shell Grey) paint and trimmed with a black leather interior, the Ferrari was sold new to Enzo Isole of Milan. By the early 1970s the car was exported to the United States and soon prepared for a restoration. A prior title reflects that the cabriolet was registered in October 1980 to Victor Commune of Jamesburg, New Jersey, and he retained possession for seven years before selling it to Richard Cole of Orcutt, California.

As detailed in an article by motoring author William Edgar (son of famed SCCA racer John Edgar) in the August 2005 issue of Forza magazine, 1939 GT remained unrestored when Cole bought it in 1987. Though he gradually oversaw a complete refurbishment, his efforts began with a cosmetic freshening that included a repaint by Dave McLaughlin of San Juan Capistrano, California, in the correct Ferrari color blu scuro (dark blue). The brightwork was re-chromed and the Borrani wire wheels were refinished, leaving the exterior in a beautiful state of display. Inspired by the cosmetic restoration’s success, the owner soon opted for a commensurate mechanical refurbishment, and he entrusted an engine rebuild to Bruno Borri of Los Angeles, the esteemed Ferrari mechanic who once tuned a hopelessly outmatched Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Berlinetta into a 2nd-overall finisher at the 1979 24 Hours of Daytona.

Cole gradually corrected minor factory inaccuracies through comparisons to other restored examples observed at various concours d’elegance, and by 2000 the cabriolet was sufficiently well sorted to earn an invitation to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it scored 94.5 points during judging. In September 2000, Cole presented the cabriolet at the Santa Barbara Concours d’Elegance, winning the Ferrari class, and in the fall of 2003 the cabriolet won a class award at the Ironstone Vineyard Concours. During Cole’s 26 years of custody, 1939 GT was routinely serviced and maintained as needed, and the high-grade restoration looked remarkably well preserved when the car was presented at the Palo Alto Concours d’Elegance in June 2013.

Acquired by the consignor the following August, this 250 GT continues to exhibit the benefits of the fastidious restoration. It is accompanied by an original factory hardtop that substantially enhances its aesthetic profile, and would make an ideal candidate for touring events, vintage rallies, and concours d’elegance around the globe. Alternatively, 1939 GT may be enjoyed in the anonymity of the open road, where the model’s all-wheel disc brakes and outside-plug Colombo V-12 engine promise unique driving satisfaction. Claiming rarity and a desirable early position within the evolution of Ferrari’s open grand tourers, this outstanding cabriolet would beautifully complement any collection.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more