Modern day racecars, with their various wings, scoops and flares, are rarely beautiful. But before engineers discovered the benefits of downforce, racecars were often as beautiful as they were fast, and many remain some of the most beautiful cars ever created.
Among those, in our opinion, is the Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta ‘Tour de France’, one notable example of which will go under the gavel at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island sale later this month. The car, chassis 0619 GT, has an extensive competition history dating back to 1958 and is currently eligible for a number of vintage racing events all around the world.
The car’s first owner, Pierre Noblet, raced the car “no less,” than 10 times in various circuit races and hill climbs from 1958 to 1960 and took two 3rd place finishes at Reims and Monza and two 4th place finishes and Spa and Monza. Noblet sold the car at the end of 1960 and it ended up in Paris, where it was stolen and damaged in a crash.
In 1963 the car ended up in the hands of a French Ferrari dealer, who passed it along to a Maserati dealer after properly repairing the car. It was then sold to a young man who crashed it into the stone wall of a Peugeot factory and damaged the entire right side of the car and ended up in the hands of Gary D. Schmidt, an American service man stationed in Germany. He then passed the car off to Wayne Sparling, a former senior technician for Ferrari’s North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.), who sat on the car for 20 years before applying his renowned expertise in restoring Ferraris to the once great racecar.
The 250 GT LWB Berlinetta TdF features the numbers-matching 260 horsepower 2.9-liter V12 engine and four-speed manual transmission and, despite its tumultuous past, includes copies of its factory build sheets, a correct spare tire/wheel, and a complete factory tool roll. A pricing estimate is available on request, but we get the feeling anyone seriously considering buying this car will just show up on auction day with a blank check.