1959 Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe
This 1959 Ferrari 250 GT is the 82nd of 353 Pinin Farina-bodied coupes built during three years of production and was completed in February 1959 before being distributed new to Luigi Chinetti Motors in New York. After spending time in California, chassis 1153 was purchased in 1975 by Vietnam veteran and airline pilot Captain Bill “Biff Windsock” Charney, whose stewardship of the car spanned 47 years and included a multiyear refurbishment between the 1990s and 2000s. Following the completion of the project, the car remained in storage between 2015 and Charney’s passing in 2022, after which it was purchased by the selling dealer. Finished in red over red leather, the car is powered by an inside-plug 3.0-liter Colombo V12 that features triple Weber carburetors and twin distributors. Additional features include a four-speed manual transmission, finned drum brakes, Houdaille shock absorbers, 16” Borrani wire wheels, and a Becker Europa radio. This 250 GT is now offered in Houston, Texas, with a Marcel Massini report, invoices and registration documents dating back to the 1970s, an owner’s handbook, and a clean Nevada title listing it as a 1960 model.
Introduced at the 1958 Paris Motor Show, the redesigned 250 GT coupe featured notchback bodywork by Pinin Farina, whose newly opened Grugliasco factory in Turin allowed the model to become the first series-produced Ferrari. Bodywork was fitted over a steel-tube chassis that shared its 2,600mm wheelbase with previous 250 GT coupe variants as well as early California Spyder and Pinin Farina Cabriolet models.
This example left the factory finished in Grigio Conchiglia and was repainted in its current shade of red in 1996 during refurbishment work by International Motorcars in Jackson, Mississippi. Closeups of imperfections in the finish are provided in the photo gallery below along with Pinin Farina job number 22082 stamped on the trunk floor.
Borrani wire wheels are secured by three-eared knock-offs and are wrapped in 185SR16 Pirelli Cinturato tires. Stopping is handled by finned aluminum drum brakes with duplex actuation, while suspension comprises a coil-sprung independent front setup, a leaf-sprung solid rear axle, and Houdaille shock absorbers at each corner. The braking and suspension systems were overhauled during refurbishment work performed by Greg Jones in Stuart, Florida, between the late 1990s and early 2000s. The brake drums are said to have been resurfaced during service in 2022.
The cabin is trimmed in Rosso Connolly leather over 2+2 seating with color-matched upholstery over the door panels and transmission tunnel along with contrasting black carpeting and dash trim. Features include an offset shifter, red lap belts for the front occupants, a lockable glovebox, and a Becker Europa TR push-button radio. Replacement carpeting is said to have been fitted in 2022, along with various areas of leather trim.
The wood-rimmed steering wheel sits ahead of Veglia instrumentation including a 190-mph speedometer, an 8k-rpm tachometer, a clock, and gauges monitoring oil pressure, oil temperature, coolant temperature, and fuel level. The five-digit odometer shows 63k miles, approximately 100 of which have been added under current ownership. The instrumentation was rebuilt during the mid-1990s, and the fuel gauge was further repaired in 2015.
The 3.0-liter Tipo 128D V12 features spark plugs positioned at the inside of each cylinder bank, siamese-type intake ports, triple Weber 36 DCZ3 carburetors, and twin distributors. It produced 240 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque when new. An engine overhaul was performed by Intrepid Motorcar Company of Sparks, Nevada, between 1990 and 1991, at which time the carburetors and various other ancillaries were rebuilt. The fuel tank was repaired and repainted in 2015. Service in 2022 is said to have included an assessment of the engine’s upper end and a tune-up. Results of compression and leak-down tests performed in preparation for the sale are pictured in the gallery below.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission. The frame was refinished in satin black during the 2000s refurbishment work by Greg Jones, which also included welding repairs to one of the spring perches and the replacement of the exhaust system.
The composite photo above shows engine number 1153GT stamped on the cylinder head and block, the latter of which is also stamped with internal engine number 0180D, matching the number listed on the Marcel Massini report. Also matching the report are gearbox number 52DR and rear axle number 231D.
The Marcel Massini report lists the original colors and component numbers and documents the long-term ownership by Bill Charney. Invoices from refurbishment work throughout the 1990s and 2000s can be viewed in the gallery below, as can registration documents dating back to the 1970s.