Thoughtfully Preserved – 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Cabriolet

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A 250 Ferrari of any kind is hard not to love. The 3.0-liter V-12 is one of the greatest engines ever put into an automobile, and the different styles of bodywork that were fitted over the years are some of the prettiest shapes ever laid over the top of one. The 250 GT Cabriolet is no exception. Although it was more comfortable and less explicitly sporty than some of its siblings, the Cabriolet nevertheless shared the intoxicating wail of the V-12 and exquisitely proportioned if somewhat restrained Pinin Farina bodywork, and in its role as a luxurious open touring car it was superb. About 40 250 Cabriolets were built before an improved Series II with disc brakes, telescopic shock absorbers, twin distributors and redesigned cylinder heads was introduced. The Series II was a big success for Ferrari, but since they were such a small-scale manufacturer, only 200 were built.

This example, chassis 2441, recently resurfaced from over three decades of storage in Southern California. It was a very clean example even after so many years of neglect, so its discoverer decided that, rather than restore it, he would give it a “rehabilitation”. When possible, original parts and finishes were cleaned, repaired or detailed rather than replaced, and anything that wasn’t period correct was made that way. In the end, the only significant cosmetic things that were replaced were the carpets, floor mats, and possibly the correct Becker Europa radio. The mechanicals, meanwhile, were all fully sorted with preservation in mind and the finished product is quite the car. The 250 GT Cabriolet is a rare car, but to find one so well preserved and with just over 5,000 actual kilometers is something else entirely. All of this will get bidders’ attention, and Series II Cabriolets easily sail into seven-figure territory these days, so this is one to watch.

This 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Cabriolet is available at the upcoming Mecum Monterey sale, scheduled for August 14-16, 2014.

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