H&H Classics is selling one man’s no-expense-spared vision of creating the ultimate Ferrari Barchetta at their sale at IWM Duxford on June 22nd for an estimate of £350,000 to £400,000.
This scarlet vision has had just five custodians from new, including ownership by Dorothy Perkins & Co. in the early 1970s.
A ‘matching numbers’ RHD Ferrari Speciale, utilising the chassis, drivetrain, suspension and all running gear of the donor vehicle and powered by the legendary 4400cc ‘two cam’ V12 engine (breathing through triple carburettors), it is said to produce 320BHP at 6600 RPM.
For many, the Ferrari 250 ‘Pontoon Fender’ Testa Rossa is simply one of the most beautiful and versatile road-going competition cars ever made. Boasting an enviable racing pedigree with a highly impressive three World Sportscar titles under its belt and victories at Le Mans, Sebring and the Targa Florio. Just thirty-three 250 TRs were produced by the factory between 1957 and 1962 (approximately 22 to Pontoon Fender specification) and the first example off the line (chassis 0666TR) sold for
$16,390,00 in August 2011 - ownership is necessarily a select affair! The vendor of this particular car, chassis 13473 has been fortunate enough to own dozens of Ferraris over the past four decades with highlights including a 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Competition Coupe and a unique 330 GT featuring coachwork by Vignale.
Stepping back in time to the early 1980s, which is where this fascinating story begins; the prolific Ferrari collector and wealthy Sheffield-based engineering entrepreneur Mel Farrar acquired Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 (chassis number 13473) as a complete running car, but with some corrosion issues to the steel bodywork. Commissioned in December 1969 for delivery the following March, this car is one of just 80 supplied new in RHD configuration and was purchased by a Mr Shelley, director of Shelleys Ford agents of Motherwell. Unusually ‘BRE 450J’ wasn’t however registered for road use until June of 1971, later passing through the hands of clothing giants Dorothy
Perkins & Co. Subsequently sold to its penultimate custodian, Mr Dyke-Price of Huntingdon - the four-seater Ferrari GT was showing its age by this time and new owner Mel Farrar saw it as the ideal basis for a high-performance 1950s 250 TR-style Barchetta, however utilising the more powerful engine and refinement of the reliable 365 underpinnings.
Based on that of the contemporary 330GTC, the chassis of the 365 was made up of Ferrari's familiar combination of oval and round steel tubing, and in addition to featuring independent suspension all round (for the first time on a Ferrari Grand Tourer), the car boasted Koni's hydro-pneumatic system at the rear and further refinements included mounting the engine and drive-train in rubber bushes to insulate the car's occupants from noise and vibration, and providing ZF power-assisted steering as standard equipment. Developing 320bhp in its 365GT incarnation, the well-proven 4.4-litre V12 engine was coupled to a substantial five-speed
gearbox. The car's blistering performance - top speed 151mph, 0-60mph in 7.0 seconds - was restrained by Girling ventilated discs all around. Endowed with that unusual combination of fine handling and a supple ride, the 365GT was rated by Car magazine as 'the most civilized Ferrari yet.'
Whilst visiting the workshops of his close friend Vincent Pumo in the early 1980s, Farrar spotted the complete hand-beaten aluminium bodywork for a 250TR, which had been purchased for a ‘rainy day’ a few years prior. Vincent was the late father of James Pumo - the well-known Ferrari parts guru and founder of Eurospares Ltd. A deal was struck and the project finally began to gain momentum. Correctly riveted and formed as per Scaglietti factory specification, the bodywork was created by Giovanni Giordanengo - the Cuneo-based 'artigiano' renowned for his exacting recreations of competition and road-going Ferraris and Alfa Romeos. It was he who was entrusted by Alfa Romeo with creating a Sanction II series of the TZ2 much like Aston Martin did with their DB4 GT Zagato. Determined that `13473’ should not only look but also act, the part of a 1950s sports racer, Farrar set about shortening the 365 chassis to suit the glorious open two-seater coachwork. His in-house team of technicians rebuilt the drivetrain, however, the engine wasn’t actually reinstalled until much later after the acquisition by our vendor in 2008. A decision was taken by the car’s current custodian that it should be finished to ultra-fast road specification, rather than ‘full race’ which would limit its usability. Entrusted to respected motor engineer Stuart McPherson (of Ian McPherson & Son) for completion to concourse standards, a substantial six-figure sum was invested in the project between 2008 – 2017, utilising parts supplied by Maranello, GTO Engineering and other top
international parts suppliers. Simon Isles and David Moroney refined the aluminium coachwork and produced a selection of bespoke components including the dashboard, fuel tank, air filter box, windscreen frame and body mounts. One of the leading UK Ferrari restoration outfits had a toolroom copy in their workshops during this period and provided McPherson with a library of photographs for reference - these proved crucial in the restoration of this eye-catching roadster. Riding on bespoke Turrino spoked wire wheels and lavishly trimmed in Blood Red leather by Futura (using hides purchased in Italy), the car is finished in gleaming Rosso Corsa - twenty-two coats of period cellulose paint to be precise!
Upon completion, having been reregistered ‘MOI 436’ (in the style of the factory Italian ’Prova’ test plates), the car was passed on to R&D Automotive of Manchester for a final check-over and set-up using Beissbarth ML4000 laser alignment equipment. Described as having “A1 geometry” and “chassis modifications carried out to perfection”, the car has remained on static display ever since, save for 200-or-so test miles. It is therefore described as being in “excellent condition” and is said to be “ready for use on the road or track”. Safety is enhanced by modern specification bespoke ventilated front disc brakes and a Girling set up to the rear (with full bias adjustment). Considerably more powerful than an original 250TR, with far superior independent suspension, disc brakes and five-speed transmission, the car also benefits from a wider, more spacious cockpit, making long-distance Continental touring an excellent proposition. Worthy of close inspection, this totally unique road-going racer could not be replicated at anything like the guide figure and provides champagne Ferrari ownership, for a fraction of the cost of a factory
racer. Offered for sale with current UK V5C Registration Document, a large number of receipts for work carried out, correspondence with Tony Willis of Maranello Concessionaires, photographs of the restoration and a bespoke spare wheel that neatly tucks behind the fuel tank.
Please note - Ferrari's UK Solicitors (Cooley LLP) have made the previous contact with our vendor (which is normal practice when a non-standard Ferrari is brought to the open market). It was agreed that following the removal of the side decals and steering wheel badge in April 2020, a line was drawn under the matter and permission was granted to advertise the vehicle like a Ferrari 365 ‘Speciale’.