1963 Ferrari 250GTE: 1st Time Sale


When we received this tip of a 1963 Ferrari 250GTE here on craigslist (thanks to both Robert R. and Charles H. for sending it in!), I knew I had to write it up. A silver 250GTE is the subject of a story my uncle loves to tell, from when he was a young man faced with the decision to buy a house or to purchase an identical car to this one. Basically, he was at the crossroads of being responsible and committing to live a normal life or continuing his bachelor ways with more cars and motorcycles than common sense. Personally, I wish he bought the Ferrari – he could’ve slept in it! This car is an unusual find on craigslist but appears to be a genuine survivor with a price tag to match – $299,000. According to the seller, this is the first time it’s been offered since it was sold new, so it’s not the one my uncle thought long and hard about. I wonder which car today will be the one we wish we bought instead of being careful with our money.


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  1. Toast54

    So not liking the photos. Not sure if they refer to these as sepia-toned or something else but it doesn’t do any real justice to the car. How can it be a ” barn find” unless the seller lost track of it? Either a really ,really large barn or a really, really empty cranium.

  2. Gord

    Although not mentioned specifically in the description – it probably is Chevy V8 powered. Is it worth that kind of money with the V12 long gone.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Saw that immediately. A V-12 would be expected.
      Perhaps a listing error?
      If a transplant, that should certainly be mentioned in the listing.
      Seems like the seller is clueless or is a scammer.
      Either way, even the well-heeled should proceed with total caution.

  3. Dolphin Member

    One of the most unexpected barn find (garage find, more likely) cars you’ll ever see.

    The way the Ferrari market is going, especially for ’60s Ferraris, makes it possible this is actually a $300K car by now. I’m not up on the latest prices for these, but they were $50K cars not too many years ago, and $5K cars some decades ago with the drivetrain intact, or maybe $1 or 2K without. That’s because drivetrains were removed from these to go into various ’50s Ferrari sports-racer clones that needed a genuine Ferrari drivetrain. That meant that most of the value of these cars was in the drivetrain, and a lot of these bodies sat out in the weather behind shops or in fields once they were scavenged for the good bits.

    That worked mainly because people who couldn’t afford $1 or $2 million back then for a real 250 TR could afford $250K for a fake one…I mean, a “recreated” one….provided it had a genuine Ferrari drivetrain. And that worked because the engine in the 250 TR was essentially the same V12 that was in the 250 GTE, but with some hot rodding added like bigger carbs and more aggressive cams.

    All that makes this a $300K car I think, especially since it looks mostly original, although the drivetrain is a guess so far since there are no engine bay photos. I’m not sure about the hood scoop since most of these didn’t have one, although Ferrari would modify cars during the build to suit individual customers, so it could be factory.

    Otto Zipper was a well known CA dealer, and if the seller will divulge the VIN it can be checked against VINs from that era of Ferrari builds. The VIN will be on a plate and also stamped on the tube frame, so if those and the drive train check out I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t sell. The thing I’m surprised about now is that it’s on CL, but maybe it’s a fishing expedition.

  4. Scot Carr

    ~ When I posted this on my FB page a couple days ago there were several ‘doubting Thomases’ including comments that the car had been advertised before. Fishy fishing.

  5. Cory

    Scam. No phone number, claims it is in portage indiana, listed on new York craigslist, but found in california. No contact info, and way too vague of a description. And let’s not kid ourselves, ferraris are not sold on Craigslist. Sorry. This car would be on a brokerage site if it was legit

    • Brakeservo

      I once found the Bentley specially built for the 1953 Monte Carlo Rally on Craigslist. Seller had no idea of the car’s history but I confirmed it by chassis number, registration number and factory records so a Ferrari isn’t out of the realm of possibility on Craigslist either

  6. Randy

    Look at the air cleaner. Chebby V8

  7. Dolphin Member

    Agree this car and the listing raise red flags, but the way CL works is that you can hit the “REPLY” button on the listing page and email the seller. I have done that and will post the results I get to my questions, if I get any, which were all ones triggered by the red flags in this listing, including “Were is the car located?”

    As for what I think…..I’ve said probably too often how bad many of the CL listings that we get are, so this one doesn’t surprise me. I think that lots of people don’t want to do much to sell a car except collect the money, with no broker fee to pay, and that’s why they list cars on CL, maybe even old Ferraris that have needs.

    We’ll see.

    • Cory

      Unfortunately the seller gets your real email address from Craigslist. If you give your phone number, and name, the scammer now has your name, possibly address and a phone number all connected to your email account. Not sure what they do with it, but I would rather they didn’t have it.

      • Rspcharger Rspcharger

        That’s why, when dealing with craigslist, I use an incognito gmail account with no personal information tied to it.

  8. jtnc

    Photos of engine sorely needed on a V-12 Ferrari “barn find”! Hard to believe seller would post these photos without engine photos. Calls the whole thing into question.

  9. John

    I’m relatively sure (after consulting the big Ferrari book under the coffee table) that all 250 GTEs were 12 cylinder SOHC motors with six dual down-draught Webers.

    Perhaps that’s why this one is so expensive, it has a one-off motor.

    Still. It’s beautiful and I’d like to have it even it it has an electric motor.

  10. Al Member

    Going by that air cleaner it does look to be a single carb V8 which I don’t think is original but not positive.

    • John

      I couldn’t find an air cleaner picture. Where is it? I’d like a look at anything under the hood.

  11. DonS

    The previous owner posted on Bring A Trailer:

    It’s my old project car. 454BB, t400 with a narrowed Ford rear with four link and coil overs. It was built in the late seventies.”

    Look at the photos of the steering wheel and you can see the triangle shaped air cleaner. The butchered hood scoop is another clue.

    I’d love to see what the Gas Monkey guys could do with this….

  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    dam you guys are good….spotted the scoop….didn’t see thru the glass – or steering wheel the old hot rodder triaingler cleaner…..there was a like silver car in an open large carport near the TANG air base in Grand Prairie, TX….never saw anyone around to inquire…….hell I didn’t even have the money…but always drove by until it was gone….about 25 yrs or so…it looked like this one with the silver and wires…

  13. John

    I need to work on my skills of observation. I passed over the steering wheel photo quickly. You guys are amazing on what you can get out of a photo.

    The car doesn’t seem to be sitting right in the rear end, perhaps because of the changes that DonS has mentioned.

    I was looking at Hemmings this morning. Great examples of the 250 cars are bringing prices well north of $500K. And these used to be the “throwaway” Ferrari. I suspect that if this car were perfect it would be on a 747 headed to France. Still, it’s pretty. I’d like to have anything with aluminum alloy Borrani wires on it.

  14. dj

    The big red flag was a car like this on Craigslist for sale.

  15. Bill McCoskey

    Before there was Craig’s list, in Maryland we had a little book called “The Want Ad”, came out every week, advertise free, pay when sold on the honor system. I bought plenty of great cars at very low prices. One of the best deals I got was a 1935 Rolls-Royce 20/25 James Young limousine, 100% complete but not running. Guy wanted $500. I was happy to pay him his asking price! I parted the car out because the wooden body frame was too rotten, made well over $20k selling the parts!

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