Last month, we reviewed Ferrari’s 250 series of “production cars” from 1955 to ’65. We began with the 250 Europa GT of 1955 and went as far as the LWB California Spyders. Now let’s resume with the rest of the 250s:
•250 Pinin Farina coupes. Popular when new with 353 examples built, they are one of the true bargains in the Ferrari world. Good cars are worth only $35,000, and the best on the planet is under $85,000, less than the cost of restoration. They get my vote as the best buy for the first-time Ferrari buyer who wants a ’50s car.
•250 Pinin Farina series II cabriolets. With 201 examples built, “just a car” is $85,000 and the best of the best only bring about $125,000, or less than the cost of a top-quality restoration. Best bet to go topless in a Ferrari at the Colorado Grand.
•250 SWB Berlinetta. Popular when new with 167 examples built. Very user friendly. Eligible for almost anything on the planet and priced accordingly, with a good-quality street car at $500,000 and prices of up to $1,200,000 for a lightweight SEFAC hot rod.
•250 SWB California spyders. Only 54 examples made so they are the “E-ticket” ride today. A good example brings about $750,000 and the best covered-headlight cars creep up on $1.000,000.
•250 GTE 2+2. Here’s proof that markets change with time. With 954 examples made, they were certainly the most popular Ferrari built to date when new. But today they are clearly at the bottom of the pecking order with the cost of restoration far exeeding the market value. Buy a decent car for $25,000 or the best on the planet for $75,000. Its most redeeming value is that it is a Ferrari.
•250 Lusso. With 350 examples built, they were the “gentleman’s express” of the early ’60s and one of the prettist Ferrari’s of all time. User friendly when sorted out. Rationally priced today at $100,000 for a “driver.” The best on the planet sold in December for $175,000, less than the Pebble Beach winner’s cost of restoration.
•250 GTO. The ultimate in GT racers from virtually any era. Only 36 examples were built, all selling for $4,000,000 plus. If you can afford to drop all the right names, this is the name to drop.
•250 LM. The most exotic of the 250s, with its entire rear body lifting up to reveal its mid engine and rear-mounted gearbox. All 32 were raced, and many were crashed. Many have been raised from the ashes and built around a tach needle. Simply put, more cars exist today than were ever built by Ferrari, keeping values down and buyers nervous. From $500,000 to $2,000,000 for the best.
So if you seek entry into virtually any vintage event on the planet and want to park a Ferrari in your garage, there is a 250 with price and performance for virtually any wallet. To quote from a 1972 Road & Track article that changed my life, on buying a Ferrari, “It’s the nicest thing I ever did for me!”