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1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT by Pinin Farina

RM Sotheby's

1955 Ferrari 250 Europa GT by Pinin Farina
RM Sotheby's
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SH ID

24-0513009

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FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

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Negotiation

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Monaco

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Dealer

Engine number 0399 GT

 

Gearbox number 13 P

 

Rear Axle number 44 GT

 

Ferrari’s show car at the 1956 Torino Motor Show

 

Acquired new by Sydney Chaplin, half-brother of Charlie Chaplin

 

A multiple Mille Miglia and Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este entrant

 

One of just 28 250 Europa GTs bodied by Pinin Farina, with features unique to this car

 

Ferrari Classiche certified; retains its original chassis, engine, gearbox, and bodywork

Description

Ferrari’s 250 Europa GT lays claim to being the very first series production Ferrari model to be fitted with the now-iconic Giacchino Colombo-designed 3.0-litre V-12 engine. Having been developed over a number of years and iterations in a variety of configurations, the Colombo V-12 would be a mainstay in roadgoing Ferraris through 1964 and is considered one of the marque’s most celebrated engines. Not only did this bring about an increase in horsepower over the outgoing Lampredi-designed V-12, the wheelbase was shortened by 200 mm over the outgoing 250 Europa, and the car was fitted with independent front suspension, a first for a roadgoing Ferrari. Just twenty-eight 250 Europa GTs were bodied by Pinin Farina, with chassis number 0399 GT falling midway through production, and being the only example with a split windscreen. Originally finished in Grigio over a Pelle Rossa interior, the stunning 250 Europa GT was first owned by Sydney Chaplin, elder half-brother of the early film star Charlie Chaplin. While it was Charlie who stole the silver screen, Sydney initially acted alongside his brother before he turned to business; his negotiation of a monumental $1,250,000 contract for his brother in June 1917 led to him handling most of Charlie’s business affairs. However, perhaps his most important business was setting up the Syd Chaplin Airline Company, the first privately owned domestic airline in the United States. Chaplin resided in France in his later years, at which point the 250 Europa GT came into his life, delivered to him in December of 1955. Despite being delivered to Chaplin a few months prior, 0399 GT would be essentially borrowed back and displayed by Ferrari at the Torino Motor Show in April of 1956. By the early 1990s, the 250 Europa GT had moved to Italy, where it resided in the collection of Giuseppe Prevosti, who restored the car in its current Rosso over beige colour scheme. Its next owner would be Piergiorgio Mastroeni, a doctor from Brescia, who acquired the car in 1994. He set about using the car just as its creators intended, running the car in seven editions of the Mille Miglia, showcasing it twice at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, as well as at Ferrari’s 50th and 60th-anniversary celebrations, held in Rome and Florence respectively. Under Matroeni’s care, 0399 GT was also granted Ferrari Classiche certification, confirming that it retains its original chassis, engine, gearbox, and bodywork —rare for such an early Ferrari to retain all of its major original matching components. Further to this, Matroeni obtained an Automotoclub Storico Italiano certificate for the car and had it featured in a handful of Ferrari-specific magazines. Acquired by the current owner in 2013, the car has participated in the Mille Miglia on two further occasions. Since then, the car has remained well preserved in its current collection. Hugely eligible for vintage events and supremely capable of tackling them in style, as it has proven time and time again, this 250 Europa GT is a highly usable car and presented in concours-ready condition, ideal for grand touring as Ferrari intended.