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						250 Gt Pf Body
Some Don’t Make it

Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina body

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

With a 240 hp Colombo V12 under the hood and spacious two-seater cockpit, the 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe was a proper gentleman’s Ferrari in every sense of the phrase. It was built on a comfortable long-wheelbase tube chassis with telescoping dampeners, a Laycock electric overdrive and Dunlop disc brakes by late ’59. In all, the 250 Coupe would propel you to nearly the same speeds as Ferrari’s dedicated race cars, but with a level of comfort and elegance unmatched in its day. Ferrari built 353 Pinin Farina Coupes from 1958 to 1960, and their values stretch from $500,000 to well over $700,000 today. With that in mind, we have to question what sort of circumstances would land this Pinin Farina Coupe in such a state of disrepair, and what could its future hold?

Beyond its svelte styling and graceful performance, the 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe holds the distinction of being Ferrari’s first effort towards a series production car. Unlike earlier coachbuilt Boana and Ellena Coupes, the majority of the Pinin Farina-designed coupes were built at the company’s brand new facility in Gruliasco on the outskirts of Turin. Steps were made to make the car more standardized and modern, versus the old-world artisan approach.

Like any proper V12 Ferrari GT car, the interior of the Pinin Farina Coupe was luxurious and trunk space was ample for weekend getaways. Performance was top notch, as the triple Weber-fed Colombo V12 produced 240 hp at 7,000 rpm, nearly hitting 150 mph flat out. One of Ferrari’s most successful road cars of the period, over 353 Pinin Farina Coupes were sold before production ended in 1960.

To put it plainly, you’re not likely to find one of these cheap today, not unless a mysterious wealthy relative leaves you one in their will, or any other fairy tail business. Enter then this 1958 Pinin Farina Coupe, an example that once wore the chassis number 1543GT, before a life of misfortune left it the miserable hulk we see today here on BringaTrailer.com. Today’s the final day of the auction and the high bid didn’t break $20,000 until just after 1:00 p.m. Could this finally be the prodigal “affordable Ferrari,” the one you can finally afford? Probably, but first I think we need to cover the circumstances that lead to this car’s current state.

Our known history of 1543GT begins in 2014 from an article on classicvirus.com, when the car was still complete and seemingly still in reasonable condition. Sure, it was in desperate need of a restoration, but the body was still mounted on its numbers-matching chassis, and the original engine and transmission were still present. Furthermore, the seller described the car as “90 percent complete” at the time, and he was asking $249,000 for the vehicle. It’s odd then to consider how far this car fell in the last seven years then, and we have only forum entries and the BaT comment section to fill in the blanks.

You can thank me later for saving you from reading over 330 BaT comments (so far), which mainly consist of puns regarding the car’s condition (i.e. Bring a Welder), but here’s our best synopsis. One relatively early comment suggests this car was stolen from São Cristóvão Imperial Palácio in Brazil, and subsequently parted out on the black market. The bare shell was then allegedly cut into several pieces and left on the street by a character called “the Tenement Torchman” to discourage any who would seek to repair the car. In summary, I think I’m missing some part of the commenter’s sarcasm, because there doesn’t seem to be any sources to back up this story. Also, the car was in New York at the time of the sale in 2014, and is in California now, making the Brazil occurrence even less plausible.

What seems to be the actual fate of 1543GT is a whole lot less entertaining. From a 2016 forum entry on FerrariChat.com, it seems that the engine for 1543GT was stolen from a shop in Modena, Italy, along with another 250 engine, and they may have never been recovered. The comments then suggest that the chassis from the car was used as the basis for a 250 SWB recreation, and the body was cut into pieces for a wall art project that was never finished. A lot less dramatic that the earlier tale of fire, theft and this so called Tenement Torchman, but it all seems pretty logical.

So what will happen now? As I update this story, the body has just sold for $35,000 indicting that someone needed this cursed scrap, and needed it badly. A full restoration could be performed to some semblance of original specification, but suffice it to say that cost concerns would likely prohibit such an undertaking. It’s more likely that the body panels from 1543GT will be used to repair other cars, which just goes to show, that sometimes one good one has to be sacrificed to put a couple others back on the road.

See the concluded auction for the 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe here on BringaTrailer.com.

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