In 1955, the FIA was tasked with reclassifying sports car racing in an effort to reduce the influence of grand prix technology on sports cars that were simply becoming too fast for open road courses. The new fixed displacement classes put Ferrari and their 3-litre Colombo V12 engine in an ideal position. Ferrari had a long tradition of building dual-purpose road racing cars, and the new Scaglietti-bodied 250 GT Berlinetta (built on the 2,600mm LWB chassis) was a stunning start to what would become a legendary series of cars. In 1956, the 250 GT Berlinetta distinguished itself in a multitude of races, including the victory of the Marquis de Portago in the new Tour de France rally in September. Soon after, Oliver Gendebien won the race in another LWB Berlinetta in 1957 and again in 1958. The versatility and reliability of these cars proved beyond doubt that the combination of circuits and 3,600 mile hill climbs hardly lived up to the capable 250 GT.
With four consecutive French rally victories, this model would become affectionately known as the 250 GT Tour de France, or TdF. Ferrari would build these cars until early 1959, establishing the 250 GT TdF as one of the most desirable early racing models, and eventually reaching the pinnacle of collector status. The combination of racing prowess, impressive historical provenance and stunning Scaglietti alloy bodywork results in one of the finest hand-built cars Ferrari has ever created.
According to Ferrari factory build sheets, the chassis was delivered to Scaglietti on February 22, 1958, with instructions to build an alloy headlamp and covered body, while the engine, gearbox and end aft were assembled and completed on March 25 and 26. Four days later, the car was officially completed at the factory and prepared for delivery. During the research and restoration of this car, Ferrari Classiche verified chassis No. 0899 GT as the third example of approximately 37 single louvered cars built, and the 42nd example of 77 Tour de France Berlinettas built.
At the beginning of April 1958, the newly completed car was delivered to private racer and textile entrepreneur Eduardo Lualdi-Gabardi, a resident of Busto Arsizio. Over the following year, Lualdi-Gabardi entered the 0899 GT in no less than thirteen races, securing first places in its class at the Coppa della Consuma and the Varese-Campo di Fiori Hill Climb. In September 1958, the Berlinetta finished third overall at the Coppa InterEuropa in Monza and second in the Trofeo Lumezzane. This was followed by a remarkable first overall finish at the Coppa Sant' Ambroeus in Monza in November.
At the end of 1958 Gabardi sold 0899 GT to Ferdinando Pagliarini who campaigned throughout the 1959 season, achieving third place overall in the Coppa San Marino Hill Climb in April. A month later, the Berlinetta took an overall victory in the Castell' Arquato-Vernasca hill climb, and class second places were recorded at the coppa della Concuma Hill Climb in June and the Pontedecimo hill climb -Giovi in September.
In the spring of 1960, Paul Mounier, a Frenchman residing in Algeria and president of the Lycée Techniques d'Alger, became the new owner. Mounier, importer of French cars in Algiers, registered the TdF in the French colony for the race. Mounier campaigned in France and Africa, finishing fourth overall in the Algiers-Hassi Messaoud-Algiers Rally in April 1960, competing in the Oran hill climb and finishing 7th overall in the Rouen Grand Prix.
In 1961, after luckily escaping the ravages of racing for two years, the car was damaged in a road accident, forcing Mounier to sell the car to Marseille mechanic Aldo Montagna. As is the case with many of these early racing cars, the engine was sent to a new owner. The experimental race-prepared engine (internal no. 174 C) was sold to French shoemaker Charles Jourdan, who installed it in a second-series 250 GT Cabriolet.
Most importantly, and for the benefit of the story, the chassis, complete with gearbox, front and rear suspension, brakes, steering box, rear drive, fuel tank and complete dash console, was preserved in as a unit. In 1969, Jacques O'Hana from Marseille bought the chassis. O'Hana registered the car and retained possession of it for almost 20 years, at one point selling components to sculptor and racing enthusiast François Chevallier. At this time, Chevallier attempted to use part of the original bodywork, mating it with a 250 GT coupé in an attempt to create a TdF replica, while unfortunately stamping the replica as 0899 GT. For a time, two cars claimed the original 0899, while the original replica and chassis existed. Eventually, Chevallier resold the original components to O'Hana, who in turn sold them to Michel Ferry of Monaco in 1987. Mr. Ferry worked tirelessly to quickly put an end to the replica's erroneous claims about 0899 GT by obtaining a letter via Ferrari France F40 LM team principal Jean Sage explaining the real history of the chassis and the fake stamping used on the replica car.
Ferry retained rightful possession of the car and in 1990 commissioned the creation of a proper alloy body by the esteemed award-winning craftsmen of Carrozzeria AutoSport in Modena, Italy. In 2012, the restoration process is taken a step further to the highest standards, entrusted to the masters of Ferrari Classiche, ensuring the utmost authenticity and historical accuracy befitting a car of this stature. Along with a full chassis restoration, a newly cast and correct specification Type 128 C engine was supplied by the Ferrari factory. Ferrari stamped and authenticated the engine as an 0899 GT, mating it to the original 0899 GT chassis. In February 2014, the factory certified the Berlinetta with a Ferrari Classiche red book claiming that the car today retains its original chassis (including suspension and brakes), gearbox and Borrani wire wheels . To further verify and confirm their results, a metallurgy test was performed during the certification process confirming the correct age of the 0899GT chassis. As part of the documentation process, copies of the original Ferrari build sheets were retained. In the final declaration of authenticity, the factory has confirmed, beyond doubt, that this car is the legitimate and singular 0899 GT, as verified by Ferrari's Marco Arrighi, stating unequivocally: "Your car is certified by Ferrari and this means that no other car can be recognized as chassis number 0899 GT. »
This 250 GT Tour de France features a stunning and meticulous restoration by Ferrari Classiche. During the final points of restoration, 0089 GT was entrusted to Rod Drew and Francorchamps Ferrari Service in Costa Mesa, California, with additional work by Rex Nguyen and Moto Technique, to ensure the highest mechanical and performance standards. possible, as well as the best cosmetic preparation worthy of scrutiny. In August 2016, the 0899 GT was shown at the Concorso Italiano in Monterey, California, where the car won the 'Best in Show' trophy and the 'Best Ferrari' trophy, as well as the 'Art Center's Students' Choice' award. . Subsequently, the TdF won the “Excellence in Class” prize at the Mar-a-Lago Concours d’Élégance organized as part of the Cavallino Classic 2017.
For the past four years, this exceptional car has been exhibited in a major automobile museum. As road use had been minimal during this period, it was determined that proper mechanical inspection and maintenance was in order. In August 2021 this Ferrari was consigned with Fantasy Junction and sent to Ferrari expert Patrick Ottis who inspected the engine and running characteristics to ensure proper operation while attending to the fuel and electrical system as required. Carbs cleaned, new carburetor top gaskets installed, mechanical fuel pump rebuilt, new electric SU fuel pump installed. and new sealing rings installed on the fuel rail. The car has been tested to run smoothly at idle and throttle. Carburetors have been timed and adjusted, then road tested to ensure proper operation, correct engine performance and good driving manners.
Today, this magnificent Tour de France features an impeccable restoration and is up for auction in California for $4,350,000.