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Introduced in 1960, the Series II 250 GT Pininfarina represented Ferrari's increasing tendency towards production road cars, both to showcase the technology tested in racing, and to provide income to support racing. The cars were elegant, understated, and luxurious. They were available as both open and closed cars. Fitted with the powerful 3-litre V-12, the 250 GT is in many ways the quintessential classic Ferrari. The cabriolets, with their fully lined tops, provide generous space for both passengers and luggage.
This Ferrari 250 GT Series II Cabriolet Speciale was built and originally sold in 1960 to the well-known Belgian industrialist and Ferrari aficionado Jean Blaton, a long-term friend and patron of Enzo Ferrari. Mr. Blaton was a Belgian billionaire, whose fortune was attributed to real estate and construction companies. As a prominent and successful gentleman racing driver, he drove Ferraris using the pseudonym, "Beurlys", when racing. Many of his cars scored great success in the 24 hour Le Mans Endurance race in the 1950s and the 1960s.
As one of Mr. Ferrari's friends and loyal clients, Mr. Blaton could request special features to suit his tastes when he ordered a car from Ferrari, and as a highly regarded customer, his requests would be accommodated without hesitation. It is therefore no surprise that this car was one of the very few Series II cabriolets that was configured by the factory with the 410 Superamerica (Series III) type side vents fitted by Pininfarina at the request of Mr. Ferrari. The factory-built Pininfarina Speciales such as this example are highly sought after because of their uniqueness, their undeniable similarity to the Series I Cabriolets (almost all of which carried side vents of various types), and, their shared styling theme uniformly used on the more sporty Scaglietti Spyder California (both long wheelbase and short wheel base variants). This car with its special feature was displayed prominently in the 1960 Ferrari year book.
This car was sold by Blaton to Luigi Chinetti in the early 1960's, and imported to America, and then sold to a Mr. Gilbertson and his wife Pat Gilbertson from Vista, California. In 1978 it was acquired by Dr. Gerber who kept the car for 32 years. Dr. Gerber was able to purchase the car from the widow of the prior owner, the deceased Mr. Gilbertson and it was Dr. Gerber who later oversaw the fastidious restoration of this wonderful vehicle.
Dr. Gerber entrusted the precision machine work on the engine and mechanical systems to Master machinist Bob Wallace in Phoenix, Arizona. The car carries all of its original parts that were each carefully catalogued and faithfully researched and restored, and the few parts that needed replacing were either tracked down or perfectly reproduced. The paint is a non-metallic Rosso Rubino which is still in a concours condition. The paintwork, as well as the fit and appearance of the door, hood, and boot fitment are all finished to the highest and correct "as per original" standard. The restoration is of a concours standard although not "over-restored" as is often the case with American restorations.
This car has been shown at various events in the USA including Quail Lodge and the Pebble Beach Concours. It has also made occasional appearances at Ferrari Club events in Southern California. The car won a gold medal at the extremely prestigious Cavallino Concours in January of this year, which stands as recognition for the condition of the car. It is uniformly acknowledged as one of the most accurately restored Series II Cabriolets in existence and for the first time in many years it is available for sale on the open market. This car represents an incredibly rare opportunity to own a unique car in stunning condition with a fantastic history.