250 Europa GT "Alloy Competizione"
Unveiled at the 1954 at the Paris Motor show, the Ferrari 250 GT Europa was designed to be a more useful every day, comfortable sports and Grand Touring Ferrari exuding luxury and comfort for exclusive, wealthy clientele of Ferrari. Pinin Farina we’re responsible for the elegant but purposeful styling which successfully defined Ferrari’s most successful designs into the 1960s. In total 43 examples left the factory but just two were delivered with aluminum bodies, making this car one of the rarest Ferrari variants ever built.
OUR 250 Europa GT
Chassis 0387 GT, the 16th of 43 examples produced, is remarkable even with this extremely limited production run. Not only is it one of the two specially ordered alloy bodied examples built, but it was also fitted with a competition type engine for one of Ferrari’s most important VVIP clients of the period, His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.
The full mechanical specification of the car was highly bespoke with a brief to create a road going competition car with a multitude of performance upgrades. It is claimed to have been nicknamed perhaps rather unflattering “Casino” by workers at the factory, presumably because of the challenges and complexity of its fully bespoke build.
The chassis, a Competition Prototipo designated 513/508, was the same as those used to build the 250 Mille Miglia Competition, confirmed on the original Ferrari production build sheet, as an early type 508/MM55. Only two Europa’s received such a chassis (the other chassis 0385), with the remaining 41 standard cars numbered and designated ‘508’. Interestingly, the Prince requested that the chassis be renumbered to 0139 E, which happened to be the chassis number that belonged to Prince Bernhard’s 1951 212 Inter Coupe Vignale and his 1953 212 Inter Coupe Pininfarina! It is understood that the Ferrari Factory obliged with his particular special request but, and importantly, left the original 0387 GT stamp still visible just above the new number and with the engine number unchanged. This factory re-stamping was confirmed by correspondence with the Ferrari factory in 2001, a copy of which still accompanies the car.
In 1960 the car left the royal stable of Prince Bernhard and traveled to a well-known British collector in Cheltenham, UK, Mr. John H. Baker. Mr. Baker kept the car for 12 years before selling to another Englishman, Mr. Arthur Gibson, a member of the Ferrari Owners club of England. That same year Mr. Gibson showed the car at the members only event in Prescott where it was photographed and later featured in the Ferrari Club of America magazine, ‘Prancing Horse’. The Europa then passed to its next and last British owner, Mr. Ron Francis in the late 70’s before being put up for sale with David Cottingham’s DK Engineering. It promptly found a new home, this time In Switzerland, with a Dutch collector, Mr. Tiebo P. Vos who kept the car for some time before selling to a fellow Dutchman, who owned the car from 1994 until around 2001 when it passed to Mr Jean Guikas in Marseille, France.
Whilst in the care of Jean Guikas of GTC, France, 0387 GT received what is believed to be its first full mechanical overhaul undertaken by AG Racing. During the process it was discovered that many of the special features of this car remained. The steering box was a competition type with casting numbers present, the engine tipo 112, with matching numero interno, was running a 9:5 compression thanks to special competition conrods, lightweight crankshaft and Mondial specification pistons (diameter 73.66). The gearbox, a fully synchronized competition type 342. The large drum brakes were magnesium and ventilated and suspected to have been utilized from the 375MM parts bin. The rear axel with autobloccante, complete with internal and casting numbers, was also still fitted to the car. Finally, the car was found to have been fitted with modern coil-over sprung front suspension, similar to that of the subsequent 250 Tour de France, vastly improving handling dynamics.
In 2010 the engine received a top end rebuild with new valves and seats by Goinin Moteurs, France and at the same time the paintwork was sympathetically refreshed. In 2015, chassis 0387 GT left Europe for the first time in its life, finding a home within a prestigious collection where it joined a number of very noteworthy Ferrari’s and Porsches. Despite being driven sparingly the new owner wanted this unique Europa to be in the best possible mechanical condition and as such had it shipped to the West Coast in 2021 to be completely overhauled by Patrick Ottis, and then Chuck Wray of Grand Touring Entreprises. With no stone left unturned, including a full engine rebuild, receipts amounted to around $300,000!
Built to a unique ‘alloy competition’ specification for one of Ferrari’s most famous period clients, His Royal Highness Prince Berhard of the Netherlands, chassis 0387 GT has an extensive history file and fabulous provenance, including notations from Ferrari historian Antoine Prunet and Marcel Massini, together with correspondence from the factory and period photographs, this highly original Ferrari 250 Europa GT ‘Alloy Competizione’ represents a perhaps unrepeatable opportunity for its next owner.