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1960 Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone)

Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960
Images: RM Auctions
Rating:  26    -3    +29
Ferrari 3000 - Berlinetta Speciale Bertone - Prototype EW (Enrico Wax) - Chassis no. 1739 GT
At the beginning of the 1960's Nuccio Bertone began looking into the possibility of setting up new deals with the manufacturers and led his design team with the invaluable experience of years in the trade. This led to a series of great cars, including the Ferrari 3000, a model of great personality which also bore the unmistakable mark of a Bertone of the day. The car was a one-off, and very rare, a Ferrari created on the direct commission of a businessman from Genoa, on chassis number 1739 of the 250 GT. The roof, borne on wrap-around glass, is supported by slim pillars which give the car a very light, fast feel, without abandoning some of the stylistic elements which had become a Maranello tradition.


The only factory-sanctioned non-Pinin Farina SWBs were by Carrozzeria Bertone, Pinin Farina’s sole rival in terms of size and prestige as the 1960s began. The first (chassis 1739 GT) was presented at 1960’s Turin Show and had attractive but conventional styling. The second (3269 GT) appeared at 1962’s Geneva show and was one of the most beautiful Ferrari one-offs, its “split-nostril” front end derived from Ferrari’s fastest race cars of the period.


Chassis no. 1739 GT, Berlinetta Speciale Bertone

The unique car presented here, chassis no. 1739 GT, is the third 250 GT SWB Berlinetta built. It was commissioned by Dottore Enrico Wax of Genoa, Italy. Wax’s company, Wax and Vitale SpA were importers, mostly of alcohol, into Italy. Their products included Johnnie Walker, Enzo Ferrari’s favourite scotch, Moet et Chandon champagne. Wax was a personal friend of Enzo Ferrari and was considered one of the wealthiest men in Italy.

Dott. Wax ordered many cars from Ferrari for his personal use. All were “speciales” or had a host of special features. He liked extensive brightwork – stainless steel, polished nickel and chrome – which is evident throughout all his Ferraris and perhaps this one most of all.

The story behind the commissioning of 1739 GT came from former Ferrari Vice President Amerigo Manicardi who related that Dott. Wax expressed interest in 1959 in a speciale during a meeting with Enzo Ferrari, if he would allow him one of the first new short wheelbase chassis that were then under construction. Il Commendatore walked him across to the Competition Department where he pointed to the first chassis in a line of just three. Ferrari said that although it had been designated a works team car, it would instead be immediately assigned to the account of Dott. Wax. That chassis was 1739 GT.

As a Ferrari works car 1739 GT’s intake and exhaust ports of the cylinder heads had been ground out and polished and had other competition details like velocity stacks, aluminium firewall, drilled transmission mount for lightness, polished leaf springs, solid spring bushings and much more. The 280 hp engine had a 9.8:1 compression ratio, the same as later Le Mans-prepared SEFAC hot rods. This car also had red cam covers, similar to the Testa Rossa, and is the only known GT to be equipped with these. 1739 GT was also the first Ferrari to be fitted with SNAP exhausts.

Chassis no. 1739 GT was sent to Bertone on 7 January 1960, to be fitted with a one-off body designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who was just 21 years old at the time. Giugiaro would go on to start his own business, Italdesign. Bertone was founded in 1912 by Giovanni Bertone. His son, Giuseppe, known as “Nuccio”, took over the Turin company after the end of World War II. Nuccio was a gifted designer and constructor and continued the fine tradition of the carrozzeria, building the company from its humble beginnings into a major business. Bertone had made coachwork for only one Ferrari previously, a 166 Inter. 1739 GT was exhibited at the XLII Turin Motor Show in November 1960. The quality and artistry of this one-off coachwork was quite exceptional.

1739 GT was fitted with a brushed stainless steel roof, rockers and front and rear valances. It also had a one-off wire mesh grille, headlight covers and Ferrari’s first ever rear window defroster. Additionally, the hood and fenders could be flipped forward to expose the entire engine and front chassis – a configuration referred to as a “clam shell”. The interior featured rolled, pleated and fully adjustable folding seats, an unique “pistol grip” gear lever, electric windows and full fitted luggage. A particularly unique interior design feature is the central placement of the speedometer and tachometer, which predated the similar design found in the 250 GT Lusso by three years!

An oversize Ferrari emblem graced the hood and the side of the car was badged with Enrico Wax’s initials “Prototype E.W.” 1739 GT was also the first Ferrari to be fitted with Campagnolo cast magnesium wheels. This car significantly influenced later Ferraris, particularly the 250 GT Lusso. Battista ‘”Pinin” Farina was unrestrained in expressing his admiration for the design of this car and acknowledged borrowing liberally from it for future creations.

The build sheets show that the engine, gearbox and rear axle were completed during the summer of 1960 and the actual date of manufacture on the heritage certificate issued by the factory is 17 October 1960.

Enrico Wax sold the car in 1961 and it was subsequently owned by the Tacchini family before being exported to America in the seventies. The car remained in the US throughout the eighties and nineties and underwent a total restoration by Steven Tillack from 1982 to 1983. Lance Hill, a Hollywood screenwriter, acquired the car in 1998 and it was again subject to a total restoration over several years. More recently the car has been part of a famous collection and has been shown at some of the world’s best known concours and events.

Ferrari historian Stan Nowak said of this car, “Possibly the one Ferrari that possesses all the criteria to contend for Best in Show at any major international concours, including Pebble Beach. One-off coachwork, influential design, debut at International Salon, commissioned by prominent personality, built on special chassis, abundant bright work, impeccable history.”

Carrozzeria Bertone made just two coach built 250 GT SWB Ferraris. Both are unique. This car is in fabulous condition, with amazing detail throughout. It is a Pebble Beach entrant and award winner, voted “Most Elegant of Show” in 1983. It would continue to be a show stopper at all the best events and would make a centrepiece for any major collection.

An incredible amount has been written about this car, but Auto d’Epoca summed it up succinctly. “Arguably the most spectacular and important of coach built Ferraris – combines classic Ferrari elements of sensuous form with a racing soul.”
Source: www.bertone.it; auto.howstuffworks.com; www.rmauctions.com
Coachbuilder: Bertone
1942 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Coupe (Bertone), 1952 Abarth 1500 Coupe Biposto (Bertone), 1953 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 5 (Bertone), 1953 Arnolt Bristol (Bertone), 1953 Aston Martin DB 2/4 (Bertone), 1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe (Bertone), 1953 Dodge Zeder (Bertone), 1953 Fiat Siata 8V (Bertone), 1954 Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva (Bertone), 1954 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 7 (Bertone), 1954 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint (Bertone), 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Spider (Bertone), 1955 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 9 (Bertone), 1955 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider (Bertone), 1956 Abarth 750 (Bertone), 1956 Abarth Record (Bertone), 1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale (Bertone), 1957 Fiat Stanguellini 1200 Spider (Bertone), 1957 Jaguar XK150 (Bertone), 1958 Abarth Alfa Romeo 1000 (Bertone), 1958 NSU Sport Prinz (Bertone), 1959 Maserati 3500 GT Coupe (Bertone), 1959 OSCA 1500 (Bertone), 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Prototype EW (Bertone), 1960 Gordon-Keeble GT (Bertone), 1961 ASA 1000 GT (Bertone), 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Jet (Bertone), 1961 BMW 3200 CS (Bertone), 1961 Ferrari 250GT (Bertone), 1961 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe (Bertone), 1962 Iso Rivolta GT (Bertone), 1962 Simca 1000/1200S Coupe (Bertone), 1963 Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint HS (Bertone), 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Testudo (Bertone), 1963 Iso Grifo (Bertone), 1964 Alfa Romeo Canguro (Bertone), 1965 Fiat 850 Spider (Bertone), 1965 Ford Mustang (Bertone), 1966 Jaguar FT (Bertone), 1966 Lamborghini Miura (Bertone), 1966 Porsche 911 Roadster (Bertone), 1967 Alfa Romeo Montreal Expo Prototipo (Bertone), 1967 Fiat 125 Executive (Bertone), 1967 Jaguar Pirana (Bertone), 1967 Lamborghini Marzal (Bertone), 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo (Bertone), 1968 Bertone Panther, 1968 Lamborghini Espada (Bertone), 1968 Lamborghini Miura Roadster (Bertone), 1969 Autobianchi Runabout (Bertone), 1969 BMW 2800 Spicup (Bertone), 1969 Fiat 128 Coupe (Bertone), 1969 Iso Lele (Bertone), 1970 Bertone Shake, 1970 BMW 2200 TI Garmisch (Bertone), 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero (Bertone), 1971 Lamborghini Countach (Bertone), 1971 Lancia Stratos HF (Bertone), 1972 Citroen Camargue (Bertone), 1972 Fiat X1/9 (Bertone), 1972 Maserati Khamsin (Bertone), 1972 Suzuki Go (Bertone), 1973 NSU Trapeze (Bertone), 1974 Fiat 127 Village (Bertone), 1974 Lamborghini Bravo (Bertone), 1974 Maserati Quattroporte II (Bertone), 1975 Fiat 131 Abarth (Bertone), 1975 Fiat Visitors Bus (Bertone), 1975 Fiat X1/9 Dallara (Bertone), 1976 Alfa Romeo Navajo (Bertone), 1976 Ferrari Rainbow (Bertone), 1977 Jaguar Ascot (Bertone), 1978 Lancia Sibilo (Bertone), 1979 Volvo Tundra (Bertone), 1980 Lamborghini Athon (Bertone), 1981 Mazda MX-81 Aria (Bertone), 1982 Citroen BX (Bertone), 1983 Alfa Romeo Delfino (Bertone), 1984 Chevrolet Ramarro (Bertone), 1986 Citroen Zabrus (Bertone), 1988 Lamborghini Genesis (Bertone), 1990 Chevrolet Corvette Nivola (Bertone), 1991 Lotus Emotion (Bertone), 1992 Bertone Blitz, 1992 Fiat Cinquecento RUSH (Bertone), 1994 Bertone ZER (Zero Emission Record), 1994 Fiat Punto Racer (Bertone), 1994 Porsche Karisma (Bertone), 1995 Lancia Kayak (Bertone), 1995 Opel Maxx (Bertone), 1996 Citroen Berlingo Coupe de Plage (Bertone), 1996 Fiat Enduro (Bertone), 1996 Opel Slalom (Bertone), 1997 Alfa Romeo Sportut (Bertone), 1998 Bertone Pickster, 1999 Alfa Romeo Bella (Bertone), 2000 Bertone Slim, 2001 Oldsmobile O4 (Bertone), 2001 Opel Filo (Bertone), 2001 Saab 9X (Bertone), 2002 Bertone Novanta, 2003 Alfa Romeo GT Coupe (Bertone), 2003 Bertone Birusa, 2003 Opel Insignia (Bertone), 2004 Aston Martin Jet2 (Bertone), 2005 Cadillac Villa (Bertone), 2006 Bertone Suagna, 2007 Chery A6CC Coupe (B23) (Bertone), 2007 Fiat Barchetta (Bertone), 2008 Bertone B.A.T. 11, 2009 Bertone Mantide, 2010 Alfa Romeo Pandion (Bertone), 2011 Jaguar B99 (Bertone), 2011 Jaguar B99 GT (Bertone), 2012 Bertone Nuccio, 2013 Aston Martin Jet 2+2 (Bertone)
Other Ferrari
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Comments
Mark Athon
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I had the pleasure of examining this Ferrari 250 GT Prototype by Nuccio Bertone and its amazing. The slim pillars and glass make this a car to remember. Have been around a lot of Ferraris. This is the one the purists dream of at night!
Peter Arnt Halvorsen
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Beatiful car! About your list of Bertonecars, Im missing the one on my garage. Simca 1000 Bertone from 1962 - Giugiaro design

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Peter Arnt Halvorsen
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