Available in Los Angeles: 1956 Ferrari Tour de France
Don’t get me wrong, I like Rosso Corso as much as the next guy. Isn’t it a bit refreshing though, to see a classic Ferrari in a color other than red? This French racing blue 250 GT LWB on offer from Symbolic Motors looks fantastic with it’s tri-color French racing stripes. The long wheel base cars don’t seem to get as much respect as the ridiculously popular 250 SWB, the 250 GT California, and the later GTO; but the extra 8 inches hardly seems worth quibbling about when a car looks as absolutely fantastic as this.
Like all 250s, the Tour de France draws power from the Colombo designed 3-liter V12. Although restricting engine size in the wake of the tragedy at the ’55 Le Mans was a bit unpopular at the time, the engine is still impressive, drawing 240 hp in the early Tour de France configuration. This, coupled with the very lightweight body, allowed to 250 Ferraris to be strong GT competitors.
This car, chassis 508, is the 8th Tour de France of 9 bodied by Carozzeria Scaglietti using the original Pinin Farina designed body style. True to its name, gentleman racing driver Jacques Peron and his co-driver, Jacques Bertrammier, debuted #508 in the 5th annual Tour de France Auto, placing 8th. Peron continued to track the car, largely in mainland Europe, for another 2 years with fairly high levels of success. Notable races include wins at the ’56 Rallye des Forets, ’56 USA Cup at Montlhéry, ’57 Grand Prix of Paris, and what must have been an exotic rally indeed, the 1957 Rallye Allier in Algier.
After Peron returned the car to it’s lessor (who knew you could lease Ferraris in 1956?), the car was sold to Bruce Kessler in the States and dropped out of competition. Damaged in the 1970’s the car sat dormant until a series of restorations in the 80’s and 90’s brought it to the concours quality you see today. 508 took 2nd in it’s class at the 2003 Concours at Pebble Beach and since then has been bouncing around from auction to auction.
There’s no question that the car is beautiful; and a 250GT is an impressive addition to any collection. I’d prefer the car’s interior was kept the original black in the restoration. And the current climate of 250GT sales is atmospheric, even for cars without long racing provenance (the ridiculous price brought in by the ex-James Coburn 250GT California comes to mind). I say that, of course, but if I had the funds I’d be jumping on the opportunity to put this amazing car in my garage. The car last sold for $4.5 Million; certainly a princely sum, but given recent 250 prices, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it breaks that price.
Here’s some footage of the ’56 Tour de France Auto. Keep your eyes peeled for #75—the number this car wore for the race.