15-16 August 2014

Previous Next

Lot 225

1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Pinin Farina

  • Chassis no. 0305 EU
  • Engine no. 0305 EU

Sold for $2,750,000

200 bhp, 2,963 cc 60-degree single overhead-camshaft V-12 engine, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with double wishbones and double leaf springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic springs and Houdaille shocks, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102 in.

  • The fourth of twenty-one 250 Europas constructed
  • Interesting early history, including period Italian concours events
  • Recently completed five-year, concours-level restoration by Ferrari specialists
  • Featured on the cover of Cavallino issue 198
  • First in Class at the 2014 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
  • Unquestionably one of the finest 250 Europas in existence

As the first Ferrari to carry the now legendary 250 series nomenclature, the 250 Europa marked the beginning of a wonderful time in Ferrari’s history. It was revealed to the public, alongside the 375 America, at the 1953 Paris Auto Salon, and it would be Ferrari’s first true grand touring automobile, showing that the company was willing to produce cars for well-heeled customers who were looking to drive their Ferraris on the road rather than on the track.

In addition to being the first car of the 250 series, the Europa is unique amongst other members of its family for being the only one to carry the Aurelio Lampredi-designed V-12. This engine, which was used in previous racing Ferraris, could produce over 200 horsepower and was capable of propelling its chassis and coachbuilt bodywork at speeds in excess of 135 mph.

Its coachwork was just as striking as the performance of the Europa itself, as it was designed and fabricated by Pinin Farina. The company was finally coming into its own in the early 1950s, and it was beginning to establish both a look and feel for the Ferrari bodies they were manufacturing. Pinin Farina’s design for the Europa proved to be a perfect blend of sportiness and elegance, which wonderfully represented the car’s personality.


Chassis 0305 EU was the fourth Europa of a total of twenty-one units constructed. It arrived at Pinin Farina’s premises on September 29, 1953, according to noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, and it was finished in Rosso Marrone, with a beige chiaro roof and beige sills. The interior was finished in Marrone leather and had a matching beige cloth. The exterior, which was shod with whitewall tires, featured one unusual feature, the gas tank lid was placed on the driver’s side rear three-quarter panel, whereas in other Europas it could only be accessed through the trunk. The day before Christmas Eve 1953, the bodywork was invoiced by Pinin Farina, and the chassis was sold new to its first owner, Magnolfi Latino of Florence, the son of Italian industrialist Giovanni Latino, on March 15, 1954.

Magnolfi was friends with Pinin Farina himself and must have seen ownership of this Europa as an excellent opportunity to showcase his friend’s craftsmanship, as evidenced by the unusual placement of the Pinin Farina logo, just above the Ferrari emblem, on the Europa’s nose. Magnolfi showed the car at two separate Italian concours events in his first year of ownership, at the Concorso Satorie Romana in Rome and at the Primo Raduno Mondiale della Carrozzeria at Villa Ormond in San Remo. Additionally, he drove the car on the 1954 Rallye du Cinéma in San Remo. It can be argued that the appearances of this car at period concours events helped to establish Pinin Farina’s “Ferrari look” not with Enzo but with the general public, as well as with those that would be lucky enough to become a Ferrari customer in the near future.

Sadly, once 0305 EU made its way across the Atlantic, its history becomes murky. Its original engine was replaced with a Chevrolet V-8, the fate of many early U.S.-bound Ferraris, as replacement parts for Italian motors were often difficult to find or too expensive to source. After leaving its chassis, the engine was reported to be with Basil Shadlun in Howell, New Jersey, while the Europa itself was making its way across the lower 48, residing with an owner in Kansas and then moving to sunny California.

By the 1990s, the Europa made its way back to its native Italy and passed through a pair of subsequent European owners before being purchased by an individual residing in the Netherlands, who completely dismantled the car in order to take inventory of the parts present for a future restoration. That specific restoration never began, and the car was passed to its current Belgian collector in 2006.

With all parts largely accounted for, with the exception of an engine, gearbox, and rear axle, its new owner decided it was time to bring 0305 EU back to its former glory after so many years out of the limelight. Obviously, the first order of business would be to source a correct and original Lampredi V-12 to serve as the car’s new powerplant.


The search for an acceptable engine began in 2007, and it was not successful until 2009, when an engine, numbered 0337 AL, was found in largely neglected condition. The engine was missing its carburetors and had clearly not been run for some time, but it was largely intact. After some deliberation, it was finally determined that this unit would be acceptable for chassis 0305 EU.

Upon further inspection, an incredible discovery was made! Underneath the engine stamping on the block, another engine number was visible, and it appeared to be 0305 EU! To confirm the true identity of this engine, it was sent to Ferrari Classiche for further inspection of the engine itself and its internal numbers. Ferrari noted the internal number as 076, which, against all odds, matched the number listed in Ferrari’s own archives as indeed belonging to the chassis from which it was sourced! Ferrari restamped the correct number into the block and sent the engine back to the Belgium, where it would be reunited with its original chassis after a long absence. Once the engine and chassis were reunited, the car was entrusted to the Schouwenburg brothers at Strada e Corsa, who coordinated the restoration of the body, electrical components, and the interior and worked on the suspension, engine, and transmission in Italy. All of the requisite receipts from its exquisite restoration will remain with the car.


Following its five-year restoration, which resulted in nearly 4,000 hours of work, its owner decided that 0305 EU would embark on its second tour of Europe’s most prestigious concours events. It premiered at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July 2013 as part of the Cartier Style et Luxe Concours, and then, in October of that year, it was shown once more in Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium, at the Zoute Concours d’Elegance, where it earned First in Class.

Perhaps the biggest piece of publicity for this fantastic Europa was when it was featured on the cover of Cavallino issue 198 in December 2013/January 2014 and was given a 10-page article written by Hugo Garritsen within. Earlier this summer, 0305 EU was invited to the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, where it definitely made a strong impression on the judges, as it took home First in Class honors.

Chassis 0305 EU is undoubtedly one of the finest 250 Europas in existence, and it will now finally be able to relive its youth, as it has been reunited with its original engine. It would be welcome at any concours event around the globe, and it has already proven that it is capable of earning trophies to its name. As the 250 Europa is Ferrari and Pinin Farina’s original expression of the grand touring automobile, any Ferrari collection would be incomplete without a one. It goes without saying that the example offered here would stand proud amongst the finest examples of automobiles wearing the Cavallino Rampante in any show or collection.


This title is in transit.

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

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
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

+1 203 912 7168
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

+1 415 302 2247
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

+1 617 513 0388
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

+1 954 566 2209
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

+1 519 352 4575
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

+1 310 559 4575
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

+1 717 623 1638
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

+1 805 231 6410
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

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

+1 519 352 4575
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

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

+1 519 784 9300
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

+1 310 559 4575
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

+31 653 84 19 60
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