Time to dream big. Very big. Because the Pick of the Day is an incredibly beautiful vintage Ferrari with a one-off body that was originally owned by Argentine president Juan Perón. And yes, quite expensive.
The 1952 Ferrari 212 Inter coupe was first shown at the 1952 Paris Motor Show, where Presidente Perón caught glimpse of it, and the next thing you know, it was on a ship bound for Buenos Aires.
That is, after a side trip back to Maranello so that the factory could finagle with the registration number to turn it into a used car, thereby ensuring that Perón could import it to his country without incurring the full weight of the import tax on a new one. Perón was a lavish collector of expensive cars and apparently knew all the tricks.
The Inter, chassis 0191, has a known ownership history after Perón was ousted from office in 1955 and fled the country without his Ferrari. In the 1990s, the coupe was extensively restored in its original Paris-debut colors, and it subsequently won awards at such prestigious events as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the Cavallino Classic.
The car has binders full of documentation, as well as Ferrari Classiche certification, and has been featured in books and magazines, according to the Houston, Texas, dealer advertising the Ferrari on ClassicCars.com. A number of the published pieces, including pictures of Perón with the car, are shown in the extensive photo gallery with the ad.
“The restoration is of exceptional quality and remains in concours condition today almost 25 years later, a true testament to the fine craftsmanship by the Italian specialist that performed the work,” the seller says in the ad, noting that this historic Ferrari would be welcomed at essentially any of the world’s top-drawer concours events.
It is indeed a spectacular automobile, the splendid body designed by Ghia with striking proportions, a lovely interior and a set of gorgeous chrome wire wheels. Just 73 versions of the 212 Inter were built, bodied by a who’s who of the world’s greatest coachbuilders, but this is the only one with a body that Ghia designed especially for the Paris show.
Power is provided by the original jewel-like 2.6-liter Columbo V12 engine, fed by three Weber carburetors and developing 170 horsepower. The Inter, which is left-hand drive with manual transmission, comes complete with its original owner’s manual, tool kit, jack and period photos, letters and reports, according to the seller.
Obviously, this classic Ferrari from the early days of the brand has been owned by some of the wealthiest collectors among us, which is likely to continue with an asking of $1,595,000. But go ahead, make an offer.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.