This 1961 Ferrari 250 PF Cabriolet s/n 2343 GT is an amazingly well-documented, user-friendly and event-friendly Enzo-Era, drop-top Ferrari. On 14 June, 1990 Ferrari 250 PF Cab s/n 2343 GT was sold as an in-process restoration by RM Classic Car Investments of Chatham, Ontario, Canada, to Lee Brown, owner of Precision Auto Body, a very high-end repair and restoration shop in Reseda, California, and was owned by Lee Brown for the next thirty-three years. As part of the purchase price RM included an all-new tan leather interior, a re-chrome of the soft top framework and a new canvas soft-top with liner. RM also did further post-sale restoration work in 1990-1991 including new floor pans and rocker panels, (common areas of rust in early 250s) which was billed over eleven separate monthly invoices. The eleven invoices total $89,997.37, a huge billing in 1991 when labor was billed at $43.00 per hour. Once with Mr. Brown the engine rebuild was sublet to Don Rudd™s Maranello Auto Parts in Tucker, GA; the chrome work was sublet to Van Nuys Plating in Van Nuys CA; the complete front and rear suspension was rebuilt, with most of the parts coming from Maranello Auto Parts in Tucker, GA and Partsource in Camden, Maine; the brake system was rebuilt with most of the parts ordered from GT Car Parts, Phoenix, AZ; the wire wheels were rebuilt by Valley Wire Wheel in Van Nuys, CA; a new grille, original Marchal headlamps with new buckets and many trim pieces were ordered from Re-Originals in Goodrich, TX; and the list goes on and on
We have about one-hundred and twenty pages of parts receipts and service listings, far too many to document, although they do offer a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those who have been in the business for many decades, listing both shops long gone and those still with us. The earliest invoice begin with Bill Rudd Motors, then in Scottsdale, AZ and then several dozen invoices from his son, Don Rudd at Maranello Auto Parts in Tucker, GA. Other parts invoices came from Bob Smith Enterprises in Gainesville, TX; Lyle Tanner Enterprises, Rockwall, TX; Newco Products in Reseda, CA; White Post Restorations, White Post VA; this author™s former parts and restoration business, European Auto Restoration in Costa Mesa, CA and most recently GTO Engineering in Los Angeles. As shown in our video, the engine starts instantly, with virtually no smoke whatsoever. The carburation and ignition systems are in beautiful harmony, and the engine pulls cleanly and crisply from idle to redline, producing excellent power and oil pressure throughout the rev band. The transmission shifts well with good synchronization, both warm and cold. The clutch is well adjusted with good uptake, and the factory installed overdrive unit works beautifully. The brake pedal is high, effective, and confidence inspiring. The steering is responsive and suspension tight and cohesive. The water and oil temperature gauges, oil pressure, speedometer, tachometer, and clock are all operational, as is the fuel gauge. As part of the pre-sale inspection we™ve done a compression test with all cylinders in the 175-190 lb range, photos available.
The 250 GT Series II Cabriolet was unveiled to the public at the Paris Auto Salon on 01-11 Oct. 1959 as a drop-top follow-up to the handsome 250 GT Coupe, which had been introduced a year earlier at the Milan Auto show. Because of the ever-increasing cost of racing, Ferrari needed to sell more road-going models to help subsidize his ever-expanding racing program. While road-going Ferrari™s had been offered in the early-mid 1950s, each was essentially built-to-suit for each individual customer, keeping volume low and costs high, rendering them minimally profitable. The Series II Cabriolet became Ferrari™s first commercially-successful, production-based convertible, serving as a showcase of Ferrari™s race tested technology, while increasing income to support racing. The PF Cab offered generous space for both passengers and luggage and, at a glance, seemed to be somewhat longer than the coupe, thanks to a stylish kick-up just behind the doors and the elegant rear fenders, although the cabriolet and coupe actually shared nearly identical overall dimensions.
Mechanically, the Series II 250 GT Cabriolet was a considerable improvement over the earlier cars, with the addition of the updated and more powerful 3.0-liter, Colombo-derived V-12 Tipo 128 F engine. This engine was fitted with outside-plug cylinder heads and twin distributors, good for 240 hp, while an overdrive transmission allowed effortless high-speed cruising. The Series II PF Coupe and Cab were the first production Ferraris fitted with race-bred four-wheel disc brakes, while telescopic shock absorbers and handsome 16-inch Borrani wire wheels helped handling. The result was an elegant, understated, luxurious and, for it™s time, a very quick Ferrari, with acceleration to 60 mph achieved in less than seven seconds, en route to a top speed close to 140 mph, making the 250 PF Cab the drop-top Super-Car of it™s time.
250 PF Cab s/n 2343 GT has a well documented history from new, going from Luigi Chinetti motors to the Carrier™ air conditioning family in Connecticut in 1961 before going to a Dr. Petracini in Bedford, New York in 1966. In 1969 s/n 2343 GT was owned by Gary Bonner, New York, a songwriter who wrote the song So Happy Together before going to John Tennant III of Castle Rock, Colorado. In 1984 s/n 2343 GT went on to the ownership of Robert Mabit of Vercheres, Quebec, Canada and then, in 1986, to Wally Stonehouse of Toronto, Ontario. In 1990 s/n 2343 GT went to RM Classic Car Investments and was then sold to Lee R. Brown of Reseda, California. While the engine and suspension were rebuilt and the body was prepared for paint, the restoration was never completed and s/n 2343 GT went into long-term storage in the owner™s hangar at the Van Nuys airport. Most recently 250 PF Cab s/n 2343 GT was taken to Fast Cars Ltd, in Redondo Beach to be inventoried, their invoice was $4,375.00, before coming to Ferraris-Online in March. 250 PF Cab s/n 2343 GT is matching chassis and engine numbers, of course, and it will be easy to get a Ferrari Classiche red book once painted and assembled.
The 109th of just 200 Series II Cabriolets constructed, s/n 2343 GT was finished from new in the desirable color combination of Nocciola, MM 16259, (gold/brown metallic) with a 3218 naturale (light tan) leather interior and was fitted from new with a very rare Factory hardtop. Today 250 PF Cab. s/n 2343 GT starts easily, runs great, drives well, goes through the gears smoothly and brakes straight thanks to the engine, trans, suspension and brake rebuilds. All body panels and the major chrome work have been fitted to the car and all of the gaps are as-new. The factory correct wood rimmed steering wheel is beautifully refinished, and the gauges show none of the hazing common to weathered Ferrari instruments of the era. The engine bay features the original and rebuilt Bendix brake booster, yellow fuel lines, the correct fuel filter bowl, air cleaner and ignition coils. We believe that 250 PF Cab. s/n 2343 GT is largely complete, has both the hard and soft tops, comes with its original leather tool bag with its tools, jack and lube gun and needs only paint and final assembly, we have an estimate of $18,500 to finish the paint work in the original Nocciola, MM 16259, (gold/brown metallic) or any color of the buyer™s choosing. Re-assembly can be billed on an hourly basis and we can help to coordinate any level of restoration the new owner might want.
With new paint, carpets, a new rubber kit and some small parts, plus assembly, 250 PF Cab s/n 2343 GT would be ready to grace the lawn at Cavallino or Concorso Italiano, as well as a long weekend run or a Cars & Coffee meet with her new owner. 250 PF Cab s/n 2343 GT offers an an exceptional opportunity to acquire a lovely example of one of Ferrari™s most elegant open-air cars and finish her in the owner™s choice of colors. Just 200 examples were built, making them significantly rarer than blue-chip collector Ferraris such as the 275 GTB/4 or the Lusso. The Series II PF Cabriolet remains an excellent value for open 250 series Ferraris. With its ample trunk space, luxurious interior, and a long-legged V12 mated to an overdrive transmission, there are few cars with more comfortable and stylish conveniences with which to roll away the miles.
S/n 2343. 250 PF Cab Series II. Destinazione Carrier, USA. PF job number: 29909. 109th of 200 built. From new in Nocciola, MM 16259, vinyl and leather, naturale, 3218. (H. Raab™s Ferrari Serial Numbers Part I, 2nd ed.).
1961, as per Pininfarina records: Entrata telaio 02 Dec 1960; Scocca 29909; Consegna 26 Apr 1961; Destinazione Chinetti; Verniciatura Nocciola MM 16259; Interno plastico e pelle naturale 3218. Note: Tetto.
1961-65, owned by Carrier (air conditioning family) CT.
1966-69, owned by Dr. Petracini, Bedford, NY.
1969, at Vintage Car Works, Nyack, NY.
1970-72, owned by Gary Bonner, NY. Wrote the song So Happy Together
1976, Feb, parts ordered from FAF by Auto Tourismo Sport, Bedford, NY.
1972-84, owned by John Tennant III, Castle Rock, CO.
1976, car in Denver, CO per parts order received at FAF Motorcars, Tucker, GA.
1984-86 owned by Robert Mabit, Vercheres, Quebec, Canada.
1986-90, one of several Ferraris owned by Wally Stonehouse, Toronto, ON, Canada.
1989, March, Jeff Rowe (who used to run the 250 PF Cab registry), had a conversation with Wally Stonehouse. He doesn™t have the build sheets, says the car was originally sold to Carrier family and then went to Nevada. Then purchased by Bob Mabit in Montreal. Car has hardtop, open headlights, no side vents, wire wheels, hood scoop, chrome is good, partially restored, (in Wisconsin).
1990, May, for sale by Dan Warrener, RM Classic Car Investments.
1990, June, offered in Hemmings by Dan Warrener, RM Classic Car Investments
1990, July, as per Jeff Rowe (who once ran the 250 PF Cab registry), he received a phone call from Lee R. Brown Reseda, CA. He purchased the car from RM Classic Car Investments (Dan Warrener) for $275,000. They will do a partial restoration of chrome; Lee is in the auto business and will restore the car. He needs a windshield and a chromed windshield frame.
1992, Nov., Jeff Rowe spoke with Mike Fairbain of RM Auto Restoration. Car was gold/brown metallic. They have done a ground up restoration™ for new owner Lee Brown, Beverly Hills, CA. The new owner spent about $70,000 on the restoration, to date.