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$13,200,000! 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione 'Tour de France' by Scaglietti

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1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione 'Tour de France' by Scaglietti
Sold For $13,200,000 Including Commission
RM / Sotheby's Auction
Monterey, California 2015
Chassis No.0557GT
Engine No.0557GT
Placed 1st overall at the 1956 Tour de France Auto
The actual car that instituted the “Tour de France/TdF” nomenclature
Raced and owned by the legendary Marquis Alfonso de Portago
The fifth of only seven Scaglietti-bodied first-series competition berlinettas
Awarded First in Class at Pebble Beach and Meadow Brook and the Prix Blancpain Award at the Louis Vuitton Concours d’Elegance
Cavallino Classic Platinum award winner
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the most historically significant competition Ferraris of all time
260 bhp, 2,953 cc SOHC V-12 engine with three Weber 38 DC3 carburetors, four-speed all-synchromesh manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and parallel trailing arms, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102.4 in.
This long-wheelbase 250 GT may be the most important Tour de France example. As winner of the 1956 Tour de France Auto, it is the primary namesake of the TdF moniker.
Chassis number 0557GT is the ninth example of fourteen first-series cars and the seventh of only nine to be clothed in Scaglietti’s louver-less coachwork. Originally sold to the Marquis Alfonso de Portago on April 23, 1956, the car took some months to prepare, with original build sheets showing the specification of the rear axle on August 28 and the Tipo 128B engine on September 10.
Registered with Italian tags reading BO 69211 and decorated with #73, the ravishing Berlinetta was entered by the Marquis in the Tour de France Auto on September 17, where he was joined by Ed Nelson. The 1956 TdF was routed at 3,600 miles and included two hill climbs, one drag race, and six races at various circuits, including Le Mans, Comminges, Rheims, and Montlhéry. Portago and Nelson managed to win five of the six circuits, taking 1st overall in the Tour and beating both Stirling Moss’s Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and future three-time Tour winner Olivier Gendebien’s Ferrari 250 Europa GT.
On October 7, the Marquis drove the Berlinetta to a 1st overall finish at the Coupes du Salon at Montlhéry, while two weeks later the car achieved a 1st in class finish at the Rome Grand Prix. Portago’s final triumph in this car came the following year at the Coupes USA on April 7, where he once again took 1st overall. Sadly, this would be the car’s final outing with the Marquis at the wheel, as his tragic death in the 335 S would occur a month later at the Mille Miglia.
Following Fon’s passing, chassis number 0557GT was returned to the Maranello factory and was offered by the Portago family to Alfonso’s friend, C. Keith W. Schellenberg, of Richmond, Yorkshire, England, a Lichtenstein-descended shipping magnate. Schellenberg kept 0557GT for over two decades, and the car was seen little before being offered for sale in 1983.
Chassis number 0557GT was then purchased by the esteemed Peter G. Palumbo, of England, who sold the car in 1992 to Lorenzo Zambrano, the late and equally esteemed Ferrari collector who resided in Monterrey, Mexico. During his ownership, the car received a ground-up restoration by highly respected Ferrari restorer Bob Smith Coachworks, of Gainesville, Texas. Shortly after the restoration, a leather-bound book documenting the car’s history and restoration process was produced to showcase its amazing story and restoration, and this book still accompanies the car. Often seen during Zambrano’s ownership with California dealer plates reading 31333, the 250 GT was exhibited frequently over the following 12 years, starting with a First in Class win at the International Ferrari Concours d’Elegance at Monterey, California, in August 1994. A few days later, the car was displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, again taking home a First in Class award.
Presented as a non-judged entry at the Cavallino Classic in February 1996, the Berlinetta then won the Prix Blancpain Award at the prestigious Louis Vuitton Parc de Bagatelle Concours d’Elegance in Paris in September. Shown at Rétromobile the following February, the car then returned to the United States and was exhibited at the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance in August 1997, where it garnered a Blue Ribbon award. Presented again at Pebble Beach in August 2004, the Berlinetta won a Third in Class award and then took a Platinum award at the FCA’s International Concours a few days later.
Following Mr. Zambrano’s passing in May 2014
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Robert Myrick Photography
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