250 Europa Coupé at RM Sotheby's/Ferrari Auction
On September 9, at the Ferrari – Leggenda e Passione in Maranello, RM will auction the most significant of the 250 Europas, chassis 0313 EU, as it is one of just four examples to be clothed by Vignale.
It is an archetype of Vignale’s coachwork, featuring numerous characteristics that the coachbuilder was known for. Headlights inset into the front bumpers and the turn indicators are deeply recessed into the front wings. A chrome trim strip wraps around the bodywork from the front wheel arches toward the stern around the trunk, emphasizing the length of the car. Finally, the vents located just ahead of the doors and on the sail panels are accented with chrome.
0313 EU arrived in New York City at Luigi Chinetti Motors in December of 1953. One month later, it appeared at the World Motor Sports Show at Madison Square Garden. Sporting red paint, the car had been repainted just prior to the show, allegedly at Chinetti’s request. Afterwards, the Ferrari was purchased by Mike Garber of Framingham, Massachusetts and then sold through Gaston Andrey to George H. Parker of Rome, New York. The Europa became Parker’s four-season daily driver, and proved to be quite a reliable car over the next two years. Parker was married in March of 1959, and he and his new bride immediately hit the road in the Ferrari, moving both the car and themselves to California for Mr. Parker’s new job. The Europa remained in California with the Parkers until 1960, when it was sold to Leonard Renick, a Cadillac dealer in Fullerton. Interestingly, he replaced the Ferrari’s original Lampredi V-12 with a supercharged Chevrolet V-8, a common engine swap at the time, as Ferrari parts were difficult to source in North America. Furthermore, the car’s distinctive bumpers were removed along with its rear chrome trim, and its nose was repaired after a minor incident. It went through a succession of owners in California before being sold in 2009 to Heinrich Kämpfer of Switzerland. With a reputation for accurate and well-executed Ferrari restorations, it is estimated that Kämpfer spent over 3,000 hours on the car in restoration and an additional 800 hours with outside specialists to painstakingly bring 0313 EU back to its former glory. Various missing trim pieces, including the bumpers and grille, were reproduced to exacting specifications. Kämpfer commissioned the same company that produced the leather in 1953 to re-trim the car, as well as new Wilton wool carpeting down to the proper thickness, and even sourced period-correct ICI nitro-cellulose lacquer to refinish the car in its original Bruno Siena. During this time, the engine, number 0331 EU, was found to be largely complete, though the block was beyond repair. As such, a new block was cast by Ferrari Classiche, and that engine was fitted to a gearbox of the correct type.
Finished in October of 2011, the car’s first public outing was at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2012, where it was awarded the Trofeo Foglizzi for best interior design, and would later earn an 11-page color feature in issue 194 of Cavallino magazine and would also grace both digital and print pages for a handful of other publications. Perhaps its most interesting source of fame since its restoration is becoming the inspiration for one of the featured liveries for Ferrari’s 70th anniversary models, dubbed ‘The Grand Tourer’. Returning to North America in 2013, the Vignale coupé was shown at a variety of shows, including the 60 Years of Ferrari celebration in Beverly Hills in October of 2014 and at the 2015 Cavallino Classic, where it was awarded Platinum and the Ferrari Classiche Cup. Following its purchase by its current custodian in 2015, the car has been exceptionally well preserved in its as-restored condition. Benefitting from a recent service, it remains ready to drive, enjoy and show at Concours events worldwide.
Photo Credit: Jeff Creech ©2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
For more information, please visit RM Sotheby’s at https://www.rmsothebys.com.
Please note that there is no general admission to the auction or the preview; attendees must be registered bidders.
See Cavallino 194 for a major history of s/n 0313 EU.