Ferrari’s concours of Elegance
The Concours of Elegance, presented by A. Lange & Söhne, is set to welcome some of the world’s most significant Ferraris to its latest show, which will run from September 1st-3rd 2023 at Hampton Court Palace in west London, UK.
Models from the Italian supercar manufacturer always play a starring role at the event, which takes place every summer – but on this, the centenary year of Le Mans, it’s the Ferrari 275P which won at La Sarthe in both 1963 and ‘64 that fans of the prancing horse will be clamouring to see. It will be displayed alongside a 1961 250GT California Spyder that once belonged to French movie star Alain Delon, a 1963 250GT Berlinetta Lusso with just one owner for 50-plus years, a one-of-four, Pininfarina-coachbuilt 1967 330GTC Speciale, a 1964 250LM with impressive competition history, and more from the legendary marque’s early road and race history.
1963 Ferrari 275P
Only four cars in history have ‘done the double’ at the 24 Hours, and this mid-engined, V12-powered machine (chassis no. 0816) is the sole Ferrari. It won for Scuderia Ferrari as a 250P in 1963 and then as a re-engined 275P in 1964.
The initial victory in the world’s most important race was at the hands of Ludovico Scarfiotti and Lorenzo Bandini, and led to a clean sweep of the top six places for the Maranello marque in ’63. In the Scuderia’s fourth consecutive victory in the endurance event, the then 3.0-litre 250P won by more than 125 miles (16 laps), setting a new record distance at Le Mans and becoming the first-ever non-front-engined winner. That occasion also marked the first outright success for an all-Italian (both car and drivers) outfit.
Twelve months later, in June 1964, the redesignated 275P was driven by Sicilian Nino Vaccarella and Frenchman Jean Guichet. It was now sporting a 3.3-litre V12, and again it set a distance record for the 24 Hours, covering 2917.5 miles and averaging 122.2mph to lead home a Ferrari one-two-three. This victory was the very last time Ferrari would top the podium at Le Mans – until this year, when the 499P returned the marque to the top.
1961 Ferrari 250GT California Spyder
As a former Paris Auto Salon star, followed by a period in the ownership of Alain Delon, one of France’s foremost actors, this 1961 250GT California Spyder is no stranger to the spotlight.
After appearing at the French flagship motor show, it was sold new to performer Gérard Blain by Franco-Britannic Autos Ltd, France’s premier Ferrari importer. Blain eventually passed the Spyder on to newly established star of the screen Delon, who subsequently registered it in Monaco. The handsome and charming film star was often pictured in the Ferrari, no. 2935GT, often alongside world-renowned leading ladies such as Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine.
During his two-year period with the car, Delon shipped it to California, where he and his then wife, the model Nathalie Barthélémy, spent some time – long enough for him to change the indicator lights on the side of the front wings to adhere to American regulations (a subsequent owner found the original round flasher units in their box under the passenger seat). While residing in Beverly Hills, it proved the perfect vehicle in which to enjoy cruising along the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles.
Upon the 250GT’s return to Paris it was once again sold on, thus beginning a run of owners in France, and there it stayed, ultimately stored out of sight in a private collection, until the mid-teens, when it was rediscovered and sold by Artcurial at Rétromobile in Paris to a UK buyer, setting a new auction price record for the model in the process.
A comprehensive restoration by specialist Paul Russell and Company followed, along with appearances at the Pebble Beach Concours d´Elegance, Cavallino Classic and Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza. We are proud to welcome it back into the limelight at the Concours of Elegance.
1963 Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta Lusso
This 250GT Berlinetta Lusso is a particularly special example in the Ferrari world, as it has never been fully restored. Even more unusually, it has been in single ownership for the past 50-plus years.
No. 4785/GT is one of 22 right-hand-drive examples of the model, which is widely regarded as being among Pininfarina’s most elegant and timeless designs. Just 351 were built between 1963 and late ’64, as an ‘intermediate’ car intended to bridge the gap between competition racers and luxuriously appointed 2+2 coupés.
This example was ordered through Colonel Ronnie Hoare’s Maranello Concessionaires, and supplied new to FB Garvey, a client of Rowntree’s Garage Ltd, Bournemouth. Optioned in Blue (19.391 It.) over Beige (VM 3498), the 250GT was first registered in the UK on October 9, 1963 with the number plate 888 FPY. It was subsequently collected by Mr Garvey on the weekend of October 19, ’63.
In 1972 DK Engineering sold the Ferrari to its current custodian, with whom it has stayed ever since. Its impressive condition is testament to both his commitment and the fact that the car has covered only around 24,000 miles since new.
1967 Ferrari 330GTC Speciale
Numbering among the last great custom coachbuilt Ferraris, this 1967 330GTC Speciale is one of only four examples from Pininfarina. As such, it boasts many unusual design cues, including a more aerodynamic nose featuring covered headlights, an eggcrate grille and retractable driving lights, along with a distinct side profile influenced by the Italian design house’s contemporary mid-engined show cars.
This 4.0-litre V12-powered model, no. 9653, was finished at the factory in Azzurro Aurora. It was displayed on the Pininfarina stand at the 1967 Geneva Auto Show, and was then delivered to noted American surgeon Dr Michael DeBakey. During its life it has spent time in the collections of several distinguished Ferrari aficionados, and in the 1990s it underwent an award-winning restoration by top marque specialists. It has been lauded at numerous prestigious concours.
1964 Ferrari 250LM
With the model having debuted at the 1963 Paris Auto Salon, Ferrari 250LM no. 5909 was shipped in right-hand-drive form to Luigi Chinetti and the N.A.R.T. team in the US. It boasted an impressive entry roster in period events including the Le Mans 24 Hours, Nürburgring 1000km, Reims 12 Hours, Nassau Tourist Trophy and Canadian Grand Prix, driven by such stars as John Surtees, Lorenzo Bandini, Umberto Maglioli, Jochen Rindt and David Piper.
Its later life has been spent both in action at Historic gatherings and on the show field at prestigious concours including Pebble Beach, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering and Cavallino Classic.
The selection of top Ferraris will sit alongside further exciting machinery at September’s glamorous Concours of Elegance, including the Le Mans Centenary Celebration featuring some of the world’s most significant competition cars, as well as displays of rare and spectacular concours vehicles. Outside the main array, the event will assemble around 1,000 further cars in a series of special features and displays.
James Brooks-Ward, Concours of Elegance CEO, said: “Having assembled a remarkable line-up of Ferraris at last year’s Concours of Elegance to celebrate the marque’s 75th anniversary, we are equally delighted to welcome such a magnificent selection of the Italian manufacturer’s prestigious and storied machinery to the Palace in 2023.
“In this, the 100th year of the Le Mans 24 Hours – which we will be marking with our special Le Mans Centenary display – it is especially exciting that we will feature Ferraris which have competed on the hallowed circuit at La Sarthe. To host the very 275P that won the legendary endurance race in both 1963 and ’64 is a particular honour.”
Further star cars will be announced in the coming weeks, along with further exciting categories, as we build towards September’s event.
Away from the automotive displays, Concours of Elegance 2023 will again be an occasion of pure luxury, with champagne provided by Charles Heidsieck, picnics by Fortnum & Mason, and a collection of art, jewellery and fashion displays. Presenting Partner A. Lange & Söhne will once again showcase some of its most intricate timepieces.