Ferrari Expert’s Pristine PF Cabriolet Offered at Gooding
The 40 Pinin Farina Series I Cabriolets produced between 1956 and 1959 are referred to and grouped as a distinct “series” – this is somewhat misleading, since each of these spectacular cars is utterly unique in its combination of mechanical specification, interior appointments, exterior details, and overall character. Despite their differences, all 40 examples share the same basic 250 GT chassis and timeless style that have garnered the model a revered reputation with collectors.
All of the Series 1 Cabriolets were assembled by Pinin Farina in its custom shop, not just in the effort of maintaining a superior build quality, but also in the interest of accommodating the wide variety of requests specified by the car’s original owners – generally top clients of Ferrari.
The 250 GT Series I Cabriolet presented here, chassis 1475 GT, is the very last example built. As such, this is a virtually unique example in terms of its coachwork and mechanical specification. Completed in 1959, s/n 1475 GT was first sold to Eric Don Pam, an American citizen living in Monaco, who took delivery at the Ferrari factory. In the mid-1960s, the Ferrari was exported to the USA and spent approximately 10 years in Florida. By 1974, s/n 1475 GT was owned by the famed proprietor of Simpson Automobili, “Sid” Simpson, a Ferrari specialist in Houston, Texas.
Two years later, Mr. Simpson offered the Series I Cabriolet for sale in Ferrari Market Letter and his ad caught the attention of Hilary A. Raab Jr., a pioneering enthusiast whose early efforts to document Ferrari production have proved instrumental to the collector-car community. The contribution of Mr. Raab to the documentation and provenance of many early Ferraris cannot be overstated. He was one of the pioneers.
Mr. Raab flew to Houston, bought s/n 1475 GT, and drove it nonstop from Texas to his home in Indiana. Since that time, s/n 1475 GT has served as Mr. Raab’s preferred driver and, in 1989, it was the car he chose to take on the inaugural Colorado Grand, and it has since covered approximately 8,000 miles including two other Colorado Grands and two Copperstate 1000 rallies. Beyond these long-distance tours, the Series I Cabriolet was regularly used to drive to events throughout the Midwest, from Ferrari Club of America National Meetings to regional Concours d’Elegance.
In a recent conversation, Mr. Raab stated that s/n 1475 GT is a car that he “would drive anywhere” and hopes that its new caretaker continues to enjoy this beautiful Ferrari as he has for the past 38 years. Amazingly, since it was delivered to its first owner in fall 1959, this Pinin Farina Cabriolet has covered just over 70,000 km (42,000 miles).
As presented today, this Ferrari remains in outstanding condition throughout and is finished in a very attractive color combination of Amaranto Bull Lea, a rich metallic dark red, with Crema Connolly leather upholstery. Unlike the vast majority of 250 Ferraris, this Series I Cabriolet has never been fully restored from the ground up. Instead, it has been regularly exercised and meticulously maintained in good working order. As a result, this car displays a refreshing, authentic character.
These magnificent 250 GT Cabriolets are the result of a brilliant collaboration between Ferrari and Pinin Farina, each firm operating at the height of its powers. They are mechanical objects of exceptional beauty and sophistication that have long captured the interest of connoisseurs.
Source: Info from Gooding & Company. Image from Brian Henniker.