16-17 August 2013

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Lot 144

1957 Ferrari 250 GT Ellena Coupe

  • Chassis no. 0807GT
  • Engine no. 0807GT

Sold for $687,500

220 bhp, 2,953 cc SOHC V-12 engine, triple Weber carburetors, four-speed synchromesh manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal length wishbones, coil springs, and tubular shock absorbers, live rear axle with leaf springs, Houdaille shocks, and twin trailing arms, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102 in.

  • Winner of virtually every Ferrari Club of America award, including three Platinum awards and nine Best in Class awards
  • Featured in Forza magazine
  • Ferrari Classiche certified

Bearing the distinctive long-nosed “Ferrari look” created by the factory’s principal design house, Pinin Farina of Turin, the first series of 250 GTs included 82 cars coachbuilt by Carrozzeria Boano. At the end of 1957, Mario Boano departed the company to set up the styling department at Fiat and his son-in-law, Ezio Ellena, took over with veteran partner Luciano Pollo. The renamed Carrozzeria Ellena produced a further run of fifty 250 GTs, known as the Ellena Coupes, with improved body proportions and headroom, courtesy of a slightly raised roofline, the adoption of a standard four-speed gearbox shift pattern, larger brakes, a ZF steering system, and the fitment of a single distributor to the engine. Passenger comfort and luggage accommodation were much improved from earlier Ferraris, and the panel and trim fit throughout was described by period road tests as being “superb.”

Equally superb was the performance of the famed Colombo-designed V-12, which, with 240 horsepower, could propel the Ellena Coupe to a top speed of 127 to 157 mph, depending upon the selected final drive gear ratio. Such performance is not surprising, as the mechanical specifications of the Ellena, including the engine, gearbox, rear axle, suspension, brakes, wheels, and tires, were the same as that of the 250 GT Tour de France, Ferrari’s then-current GT racing car. Even such interior aspects as the steering wheel, instrument panel, gauges, and door hardware were identical to the TdF, as well as the California Spider.

Minimal build numbers and the sad fate of many of the parts sources for Tour de France and California Spiders means a low survival rate for the 250 GT Boano/Ellena series. Ferrari historian Marcel Massini estimates that only about fifteen 250 GT Ellena Coupes remain in their original form.

The Ellena Coupe offered here, the 23rd of the 50 built, was delivered new through the Ferrari representative in Hollywood, California. In the care of Beverly Hills resident Cy Yedor in the early 1990s, it underwent a total restoration by Gary Thieltges, of GT Motors in Glendale, refinishing the car in dark red with a tan interior.

Yedor displayed the restored car at the 1996 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, as well as at the Beverly Hills Mercedes-Benz Concours, the Huntington Beach Concours, and the Stanford University Concours the following year, winning its class at all three events. For the 34th Annual Ferrari Club of America Concours, held in West Virginia, Yedor drove his Ferrari the 2,900 miles to the event, and literally drove away with a Platinum Award, a Coppa Bella Machina, a Coast to Coast Award, and the Luigi Chinetti Trophy—an absolutely unparalleled roster of awards, and a testament to the Ferrari’s outstanding mechanical and cosmetic condition. At the 1997 Concorso Italiano at Quail Lodge, the Ferrari was awarded the Luigi Chinetti Award for the Outstanding GT, Best of Show, as chosen by the Ferrari Club of America. Yedor also captured the Coppa Bella Machina, Luigi Chinetti. The car continued its winning streak with a First in Class and the Coppa Bella Machina Award at the VII Palm Beach Cavallino Classic and a Platinum Award at the Ferrari Club of America Concours, both in 1998.

The winning record was continued in the care of later owners, Mark Templeton (Gold Award, X Cavallino Classic) and Diego Ribadeneira (Platinum Award, XIII Cavallino Classic).

Today, the Ellena’s outstanding restoration still appears exceptionally fresh, with virtually no signs of aging or significant flaws. Chrome bumpers, mirror, emblems, door and trunk handles, taillight housings, and grille surround are all impeccable, and the car rides on mirror-polished, correct Borrani wire wheels. The interior appears as-new and in excellent, well-detailed condition, with the correct Nardi flat-wood steering wheel and IPRA heater.

This car is a recipient of the very important Ferrari Classiche certification and is accompanied by original books, a factory tool roll, copies of build sheets, select records from current and previous ownership, and a copy of the May 2002 issue of Forza magazine, where this very car is the subject of a feature article, “A Renewed Appreciation,” on page 46, recognizing it as one of the few Ellenas to have undergone a total, perfectionist-minded restoration.

This Ellena Coupe, surely one of the finest to survive, is a superb example of an important part of the Ferrari road car story.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more