For the 1961 model year, Ferrari produced only 55 examples of its 250 GTE Series I 2+2 sports coupes with right-hand drive. The company’s first 2+2 coupe was special enough to make its debut as the marshal’s car for the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Recently, one of those cars has been discovered after being parked in a garage for 35 years, and now is the Pick of the Day, a 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE Series I being offered in “barn-found” condition by a dealer in Astoria, New York, through an advertisement on ClassicCars.com for $367,500.
“Despite its luxurious four-passenger Pininfarina coachwork, the 250 GTE was pure Ferrari, with near-perfect weight distribution and excellent handling,” the dealer notes.
“The GTE’s thoroughbred Colombo-derived V12 engine delivered 240 bhp at 7,000 rpm, mated to a full-synchromesh four-speed manual gearbox with Laycock overdrive on fourth. Race-bred Dunlop disc brakes were a Ferrari road-car first.
“Production of the 250 GTE spanned 1960-1963. Ferrari built 954 along three distinct series, beginning with 299 Series I cars, which can be distinguished by their grille-mounted driving lights, three-light taillamps, and original dashboard layout.”
According to the dealer, who notes that the car comes with a Marcel Massini history report, this 250 Series 1 GTE was built in June 1961 and was delivered to Col. Ronnie Hoare’s Maranello Concessionaires Ltd. in Surrey, England, in Shell Gray with orange leather interior. The dealership used the car as a demonstrator and it was featured in an Autosport article titled, “The Fascination of Ferrari.”
The car was purchased from the dealership by “Mr. B. Coleman. It was sold around 1965 to Maj. R.J. Bailey, who owned it through the late 1970s.
Apparently, there’s a gap in the car’s history, because the dealer reports the car recently was discovered in a garage in the U.S., where it had been parked since 1983.
“The Ferrari retains its original matching numbers engine, the body has been repainted dark red, and the original leather trim has been dyed black,” the dealer reports.
“A rare early 275 GTB/GTS steering wheel was fitted, but otherwise the car is in good, complete and original condition. It would be a perfect Ferrari to restore to show quality especially in its original factory delivered colors.”
Hagerty reports that a 1961 GTE in concours condition can be worth $500,000 in the current collector car marketplace.