1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet

Sometimes, we achieve the best results when we keep things simple. Simplicity may not be the first thing that comes to mind on the subject of 50s and 60s Italian sports cars, yet a commitment to simple, proven design is exactly what made Ferrari’s milestone 250 series such a resounding success. Like most Ferraris of the day, the 250 was born in competition, and it relied on robust mechanicals that laid proof to the old adage, “to finish first, you must first finish.” The road cars followed suit, all sharing essentially the same tubular trellis frame with a live rear axle, front wishbone suspension, and the light, powerful 2,953 cc V12 designed by Gioacchino Colombo. The platform was incredibly significant for Ferrari, spawning such legends as the 250 Testarossa, Short-Wheelbase Berlinetta, and the GTO. It also provided a massive boost to Ferrari’s road-car business, and was by far the most successful series to that point. While bred on the race track, the chassis adapted to road use with ease, and the 250-series Gran Turismos are renowned for their comfort, flexibility and performance.

As demand for Ferrari GT cars ramped up, Enzo needed some “volume” production models to satiate buyers. After several relatively low production models like the 250 Europa, 250 Boano/Ellena, and Pinin Farina Cabriolet (series 1), it was time for Ferrari to step up production. Conveniently, Pinin Farina (the company name officially two words until 1961, when it was reincorporated as “Pininfarina”) had recently expanded its manufacturing capacity, so Enzo Ferrari asked Battista Farina to design a clean and simple GT coupe for the 250 chassis. The resulting 250 PF Coupe was a hit with buyers, becoming the firm’s first true volume production model, with 353 built between 1958 and 1960.

At the 1959 Paris Salon, Ferrari unveiled a new 250 GT Cabriolet based on Pinin Farina’s coupe design. Officially known as the 250 GT Cabriolet Series II, it is also colloquially known as the Pinin Farina Cabriolet or simply, the PF Cab. Crisp, clean, and elegant, the new Cabriolet was less overtly sporting than the California Spider, and was all around softer and more comfortable for long-distance touring, a task at which it excelled. Collectors still covet these cars for their simple elegance, durability, and remarkably comfortable, usable character.

Presented in a stunning shade of Grigio Ferro Metallizzato over supple natural hides, S/N 2135 is a standout example of Ferrari’s elegant open-topped gran turismo, with an exacting nut-and-bolt concours restoration by Farland Classic Restorations of Englewood, Colorado. It is a superb car, offered complete with a rare factory hard top, tool roll, and extensive documents including a Ferrari Classiche Red Book.

According to the accompanying Massini Report, 2135 was completed in October 1960, finished in Sabbia Sahara (sand) over red leather, and a month later, was delivered to the USA via Luigi Chinetti Motors in Greenwich, Connecticut. Mr. Frank Carter of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada became the first owner, acquiring the car from Chinetti in 1960. In February, 1973, 2135 was sold to Jon Granik, a veteran Canadian actor and star of CBC radio and television. In 1977, Joseph Schlesinger of Ontario acquired the car and kept it for the next 40-plus years.

It was during Mr. Schlesinger’s tenure that a full nut and bolt restoration to IAC/PFA (International Advisory Council for the Preservation of Ferrari Automobiles) judging standards was commissioned, starting in 2014. Every aspect of the car was tended to by Jack Farland and his team at Farland Restorations, and the project is well-documented via a large stack of receipts. After three years of meticulous work, this stunning Ferrari earned a coveted Platinum Award and the Wayne Obry Memorial “Excellence in Restoration” award at the 2017 Palm Beach Cavallino Classic. Since then, the car joined a private collection where it has been lovingly maintained and preserved.

Documentation shows this car retains its original, numbers-matching engine and four-speed gearbox with overdrive. The rear axle was replaced at some point, though it is of the correct type and specification as the original. The car is in superb mechanical order, thanks to a complete overhaul of the drivetrain. It runs beautifully, with the signature smoothness and underlying muscle that characterizes the magnificent Colombo V12.

Cosmetically, this elegant Cabriolet is an unqualified knockout, with crisp, finely defined body lines, precise panel alignment, and exquisite paintwork. The plating and brightwork are all finished to the highest standards, and the car is thoroughly detailed with correct glass, Marchal headlamps, properly stamped wiper arms, and gorgeous fully restored wheels with period-correct Pirelli tires. The engine bay is finished to the same level, with correct hardware, finishes, decals, and labels.

The Pinin Farina Cabriolet was always intended as a Gentleman’s express, with comfort and convenience high on Enzo Ferrari’s wish list. This example certainly does not disappoint, with its rich and supple leather seats, correct low-pile carpet, and simple yet finely considered detailing. Comfortable seats and a generously-sized boot underline the car’s GT ethos, and with the added hard top it can be a genuine three-season tourer. For the warmer months, with the hard top off, there is a black Stayfast canvas soft top to keep occupants comfortable.

While intended to appeal to a wider audience, Ferrari produced just 200 of the Series II 250 GT Cabriolet, and they remain highly sought after by collectors. S/N 2135 remains one of the finest of its kind available, and while ready to continue collecting hardware on the concours lawn, it is equally ready to be enjoyed to the fullest on the open road.


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