19-20 August 2016

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Lot 131

1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Coupe by Pinin Farina

  • Chassis no. 0263 EU
  • Engine no. 0263 EU

$1,300,000 - $1,600,000

Please note that this vehicle is titled as a 1952. Please note that Internet bidding is not available for this lot. Interested parties that are unable to attend the sale may register to bid by telephone or place a commission bid online at

170 bhp, 2,562 cc SOHC V-12 engine with three Weber 36 DCF carburetors, five-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and parallel trailing arms, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 102.4 in.

  • Formerly personally owned and restored by Ferrari restoration legend Wayne Obry
  • The factory show car at Turin in 1953
  • Reportedly the first Ferrari to score 100 points at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
  • Recipient of numerous FCA awards; multiple appearances at the Cavallino Classic
  • Featured in Prancing Horse, Cavallino, and Forza, as well as several books
  • Eligible for the Mille Miglia, California Mille, and Colorado Grand


In October 1952, Ferrari began a gradual transition away from the 212-based platform with the debut of an Inter Cabriolet by Pinin Farina, chassis number 0235 EU. This was the first appearance of the EU suffix, signifying “Europa” and indicating a new range of continental-positioned GT cars. The well-appointed 212 Inter had always featured a longer 2,600-millimeter chassis, in comparison to the racing 212 Export; these dimensions were exaggerated even further on the 2,800-millimeter chassis that would soon arrive on the forthcoming 250 Europa.

Just 78 examples of the 212 Inter were produced between 1951 and 1953; 26 of the final 29 cars received the EU chassis designation as Europas.

The stunning late-production 212 offered here was the third of 11 such coupes built by Pinin Farina; it was also the 15th from final car built on the 212 platform. Notably, it was constructed only one car prior to chassis number 0265, the prototype 250 Europa, which received a Lampredi-designed 3.0-litre V-12 and was sold to Roberto Rossellini. This Inter, therefore, is as close to the “full Europa” specification as possible, including sharing front-end design cues with the 250 Europa that followed!

The car was completed in late 1952 and subsequently used by the factory for exhibition, including on the factory stand at the Turin Motor Show in April 1953. Following its display, on behalf of Ferrari, the 212 was sold to its first private owner, Paris resident Pierre Guilherme.

By April 1958, the former show car had come into the possession of Joseph Cattaneo’s garage in Paris, and it was subsequently acquired by Frank Butler, an American expatriate living in the French capital. In a description of the car later penned by Mr. Butler, he recalled how the 212 displayed the equivalent of 15,000 miles at the time of his purchase. He drove it to the races at Le Mans, Monaco, Spa, Rheims, and the Nürburgring, and in 1959 undertook a few repairs, including installation of an air horn. A year later he submitted the Europa to the factory Assistenza Clienti in Maranello, which refinished the rare Pinin Farina body in Rosso.

In 1961, Mr. Butler sold the Ferrari to American citizen Ed Gaus, who imported it to the United States shortly thereafter. The car next passed in 1965 to Mitchell Cahn of Bellerose, New York, who retained possession for nearly a decade before selling the 212 in 1974 to Alvin Meyer of Port Washington. Meyer presented the car at the FCA’s 2nd Annual Long Island Meet, the first of many club exhibitions in which it would appear.

In 1981 the Europa was acquired by Motor Classic Corporation of White Plains, New York, and refinished in silver over red leather. It was then acquired by the renowned Ferrari collector Anthony Wang. After several years in Mr. Wang’s stable, the 212 was sold in 1986 to Thomas Davis of Manalapan, Florida, beginning several years of ownership in the Southern states. During this time the car was repainted black, its brightwork was re-chromed, and the engine thoroughly refreshed by Butch Stokes Automotive.


In 1990 the 212 was acquired by the highly regarded enthusiast Larry Simon, then of Pennsylvania, who commissioned the late Ferrari expert, Wayne Obry, to begin refurbishing the car. When Simon’s interest waned, Obry took advantage of the opportunity by buying the rare and historically significant show car for himself. Between 1991 and 1993, his Motion Products of Neenah, Wisconsin, conducted a comprehensive restoration effort, one of the finest ever undertaken, as would be expected by a master craftsman restoring an automobile for his personal consumption.

The completed car began a show career that remains virtually unparalleled in modern Ferrari concours circles. In its debut at the 1993 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the car reportedly became the first Ferrari to score a perfect 100 point score at that renowned event. This noteworthy accolade was followed by an extensive exhibition tour at various FCA meets, starting with the 3rd Annual Cavallino Classic in February 1994, where the 212 won the Cavallino Cup for Best in Show, as well as the Excellence Cup for best restoration. At the International Ferrari Concours d’Elegance at Monterey in August 1994, the Inter won its class; two months later, it was presented at the Central States Region’s Lake Forest Sportscars Concours d’Elegance in Illinois. Around this time, it was also featured in an article by Alan Boe in Prancing Horse magazine.

In 1995, Obry brought his Pinin Farina-bodied coupe back to the Cavallino Classic and in August displayed it at the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance in Michigan. Almost three years later, the rare car was again featured in an enthusiast magazine, when it was profiled by historian Marc Sonnery in the December 1997 issue of Cavallino.

In spring of 2000, the exceptional 212 Europa was offered in California and by that August had found a new home with Richard Fraser of Boca Grande, Florida. Mr. Fraser continued the car’s distinguished exhibition run, with appearances at the 2002 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and presentation by none other than Paul Russell at the Castle Hill Concours d’Elegance in Massachusetts that September. In January 2006 and 2011, the Ferrari again made returns to the Cavallino Classic, acquiring its third Platinum Award at the latter date.

Chassis number 0263 EU was acquired by the consignors several years ago, and they soon refreshed the award-winning restoration with a thorough bout of attention from Wayne Obry’s Motion Products, the men who, of course, know this car best. They then continued to present the outstanding Ferrari at various events, including again at the Cavallino Classic in 2015 and 2016, at the 2015 Classic Sports Sunday concours at Mar-a-Lago, and at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The car received its most recent Platinum Award at the 2015 Concorso Ferrari in Pasadena. Chassis number 0263 EU was also the subject of a third extensive color print feature in the December 2015 issue of Forza magazine.


Claiming an extremely unique position in Ferrari’s chassis sequence, bearing incredibly rare coachwork that foretells future models, carrying an incredible show history, and in fact boasting the enviable position of having been one of Ferrari’s official show cars, chassis number 0263 EU can easily be held as one of the most important 212s surviving today. It also benefits from being a relatively affordable significant Ferrari that can be entered into the California Mille, Colorado Grand, and Mille Miglia, among other significant events worldwide; it is offered with FIA papers, a tool set, and a boxed five-speed transmission for such events. Most importantly, it has benefitted from excellent care since its quality restoration by the late godfather of Ferrari restoration, multiple Pebble Beach award-winner, beloved enthusiast, and friend to many, Wayne Obry, a man whose memory RM Sotheby’s celebrates with this consignment. It is an automobile that remains true to his standard of excellence and to his legacy of remarkable craftsmanship.


Please note that contrary to the print catalogue this car was shown at just the Turin Motor Show in April 1953. The Geneva Motor Show car was chassis number 0265 EU.

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

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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

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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

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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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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

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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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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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