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Year: 1955

Manufacturer: Ferrari

Model: 250 Europa GT

Country: United States

Owner(s):
Bo Williams

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1955 Ferrari Europa GT

This car is one of 24 Pinin Farina Berlinettas bodied in this style. With the shorter chassis, and with the Columbo engine, the Europas are considered the first of the Ferrari 250 GT family, which went on to include the TdF, SWB, GTO and finally concluded with the Lusso.

Only two Europas competed in period, this car being one. The second owner was Olivier Gendebien (who purchased the car from his cousin Philippe Washer, whose brother Jacques was often his co-driver). He drove it to third place in the 1956 Liège-Rome-Liège Rally. He also drove the ‘sister’ car to this one to third place in the Tour de France. That car still actively competes in historic competition today, driven by its long-term owners Eric and Christian Traber.

Olivier Gendebien was one of Ferrari’s most successful team drivers, winning Le Mans four times. As such the car has excellent and well documented provenance.

In the late 1990s it was modified by the then owner to compete in events like the Carrera Panamericana, in which it won its class two years in succession. It also competed in the Mille Miglia, Tour Auto and Liège-Rome-Liège Retrospective during this time. As a result of these modifications this a much better driving car than the standard Europa. It has a fully rebuilt engine, running on six carbs, a later gearbox (the correct engine and gearbox are still with the car) and it also retains its distinctive stone guards though they’re taken off for racing.

Additional early history which has recently come to light is that the first six Europas had larger ‘egg crate’ grills, and looked more aggressive than the later cars. A photo shows one of these competing in Verbois Hill Climb in Switzerland on 19th May 1957.

This is now known to be the Gendebien car 0373GT as it was the only car in Europe at this time:

  • 0361 was in Italy, then exported to USA.
  • 0363 already destroyed and re bodied as a late version.
  • 0365 went to USA as a new car.
  • 0367 already destroyed and identity transferred to a Boano.
  • 0371 went to USA as a new car.
  • 0373 was with Swaters, Garage Francorchamps, in Belgium.

An original typo 112 engine numbered “0373GT” was fitted to Ferrari 250 PF 0959 in the US. This car was purchased by the collection and has had the engine removed and fully rebuilt by Terry Hoyle Racing.

The car’s period history is fantastic for a GT car:

  • Ex-Garage Francorchamps Belgium. Sold to first owner Philippe Washer (Gendebien’s cousin )
  • Ex-Olivier Gendebien (2nd owner)
  • Ex-Cote de la Roche 1955 Gendebien 2nd in Class
  • Ex-Liège-Rome-Liège 1956 Prepared by Écurie Francorchamps 3rd place driven by Gendebien/Stasse
  • Ex-Verbois Hill Climb 1957 Gendebien

Modern History:

  • 1999 Mille Miglia
  • 1999 Tour Auto
  • 1999 Liège-Rome-Liège Retrospective
  • 2000/1 Carrera PanAmericana (1st in class in 2 successive years)
  • 2016 Mille Miglia

Gallery

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