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1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Pinin Farina

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1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Pinin Farina
Chassis no. 0305 EU
Engine no. 0305 EU
Sold for $2,750,000 Including Commission
RM Auction, Monterey, CA. 2014
200 bhp, 2,963 cc 60-degree single overhead-camshaft V-12 engine, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with double wishbones and double leaf springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic springs and Houdaille shocks, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102 in.
The fourth of twenty-one 250 Europas constructed
Interesting early history, including period Italian concours events
Recently completed five-year, concours-level restoration by Ferrari specialists
Featured on the cover of Cavallino issue 198
First in Class at the 2014 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
Unquestionably one of the finest 250 Europas in existence
As the first Ferrari to carry the now legendary 250 series nomenclature, the 250 Europa marked the beginning of a wonderful time in Ferrari’s history. It was revealed to the public, alongside the 375 America, at the 1953 Paris Auto Salon, and it would be Ferrari’s first true grand touring automobile, showing that the company was willing to produce cars for well-heeled customers who were looking to drive their Ferraris on the road rather than on the track.
In addition to being the first car of the 250 series, the Europa is unique amongst other members of its family for being the only one to carry the Aurelio Lampredi-designed V-12. This engine, which was used in previous racing Ferraris, could produce over 200 horsepower and was capable of propelling its chassis and coachbuilt bodywork at speeds in excess of 135 mph.
Its coachwork was just as striking as the performance of the Europa itself, as it was designed and fabricated by Pinin Farina. The company was finally coming into its own in the early 1950s, and it was beginning to establish both a look and feel for the Ferrari bodies they were manufacturing. Pinin Farina’s design for the Europa proved to be a perfect blend of sportiness and elegance, which wonderfully represented the car’s personality.
Chassis 0305 EU was the fourth Europa of a total of twenty-one units constructed. It arrived at Pinin Farina’s premises on September 29, 1953, according to noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, and it was finished in Rosso Marrone, with a beige chiaro roof and beige sills. The interior was finished in Marrone leather and had a matching beige cloth. The exterior, which was shod with whitewall tires, featured one unusual feature, the gas tank lid was placed on the driver’s side rear three-quarter panel, whereas in other Europas it could only be accessed through the trunk. The day before Christmas Eve 1953, the bodywork was invoiced by Pinin Farina, and the chassis was sold new to its first owner, Magnolfi Latino of Florence, the son of Italian industrialist Giovanni Latino, on March 15, 1954.
Magnolfi was friends with Pinin Farina himself and must have seen ownership of this Europa as an excellent opportunity to showcase his friend’s craftsmanship, as evidenced by the unusual placement of the Pinin Farina logo, just above the Ferrari emblem, on the Europa’s nose. Magnolfi showed the car at two separate Italian concours events in his first year of ownership, at the Concorso Satorie Romana in Rome and at the Primo Raduno Mondiale della Carrozzeria at Villa Ormond in San Remo. Additionally, he drove the car on the 1954 Rallye du Cinéma in San Remo. It can be argued that the appearances of this car at period concours events helped to establish Pinin Farina’s “Ferrari look” not with Enzo but with the general public, as well as with those that would be lucky enough to become a Ferrari customer in the near future.
Sadly, once 0305 EU made its way across the Atlantic, its history becomes murky. Its original engine was replaced with a Chevrolet V-8, the fate of many early U.S.-bound Ferraris, as replacement parts for Italian motors were often difficult to find or too expensive to source. After leaving its chassis, the engine was reported to be with Basil Shadlun in Howell, New Jersey, while the Europa itself was making its way across the lower 48, residing with an owner in Kansas and then moving to sunny California.
By the 1990s, the Europa made its way back to its native Italy and passed through a pair of subsequent European owners before being purchased by an individual residing in the Netherlands, who completely dismantled the car in order to take inventory of the parts present for a future restoration. That specific restoration never began, and the car was passed to its current Belgian collector in 2006.
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