Holy Grail Garage Find: 1961 Ferrari 250GTE

It really is hard to believe what still resides in California garages and barns as it relates to forgotten exotics. This latest vintage sports car find courtesy of Beverly Hills Car Club is a 1961 Ferrari 250GTE, which claims it’s one of around 300 Series 1 examples made. The garage find retains old-school California blue plates, and a surprisingly nice interior that features something novel for a Ferrari: a usable backseat. Post-extraction photos reveal the Ferrari to be remarkably complete, and the 250GTE retains Celeste paint with a sharp red and black interior. Find it here on eBay with an asking price of $265,000.

The proportions right away tell you this is a slightly oversized Ferrari (by Ferrari standards, at least) but it’s also a true GT car, featuring a lusty V12 engine with triple Weber carburetors paired to a traditional manual transmission. Throw in the Borrani wire wheels and a trunk with room for a full set of luggage and you have a car that looks every part of a Ferrari with greatly enhanced utility. Despite its years off the road, the 250GTE has emerged in nicely preserved condition, with no obvious signs of major rust or poorly repaired prior accident damage. Of course, this always begs the question as to why it came off the road in the first place, but this being California, there’s seemingly a multitude of significant cars that simply get parked and forgotten.

The interior is the real bright spot, as it looks far better than it has any right to. Bucket seats with matching black leather in back and the wild red carpeting and center console give this vintage family cruiser some extra eye-candy to make up for the fact that it wasn’t considered the most sporting Ferrari in the lineup in 1961. This isn’t to say it’s not a true performance car, but in 1961 you could choose from a GT California or a GTO if you had the extra scratch, and the GTE was likely the most demure offering as was anything with a usable back seat (see the Elan, 260z, E-Type, etc.) Look at how clean the door jambs are, too – this Ferrari clearly went into the garage in very good condition.

Few things sound better than a V12 with triple Webers, and I’d love to be standing next to the fender when this 250GTE is fired up for the first time. The listing notes the Ferrari has been with the same owner since 1979 and that this is the first time it’s been offered since then. The history of these cars always makes me wonder who owned it and how it came to be that such a special vehicle was parked. Yes, mechanical faults can sideline any vehicle, but anyone who has kept a car since 1979 surely knows how special it is. Regardless, it’s great to see this impressively original example make its way out into the light of day once more, but the cost of entry restricts buyers to a very exclusive pool.

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    According to eBay, the “item” is no longer available.

    Did someone actually pay Beverly Hills Car Club $265K for it? I wouldn’t, but that’s just me….

    Like 20
  2. Will Fox

    Surprised to see this Ferrari listed here. I’ve been seeing that rear view photo of it for over 2 years now on the web. I can understand the asking rice, as these are well over $1M in #1 condition. But I seriously doubt they will get any buyers here; more likely in Ferrari circles; esp. overseas.

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      This site isn’t for buyers, it’s mainly to show interesting cars that turn up for sale.

      Steve R

      Like 14
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        @Will Fox and Steve R – What makes you think this site is not for buyers? We have collectors from all over the world following us and you’d be surprised how many of the cars featured here sell as a direct result of our efforts. We currently have over 300k Facebook followers and 65k email subscribers. We generate over 10 million page views per month! We have more reach than most classic car forums, auctions houses, etc. so why wouldn’t this be a good place to market your collector car? That said, this site is not strictly for buyers. Enthusiasts with any income level can enjoy the writeups and commentary. We feature all types of cars too so there’s always something for everyone!

        Like 42
      • Cman

        I’ve bought cars I found on Barn Finds.
        I was first directed to this site when BF featured a 66 Toronado that I listed on eBay.

        Like 5
      • DRV

        This is where I got my 544 in 2010!

        Like 4
      • Gerard Frederick

        I have nerver been told, why Ferarri or Maserati owners buy one and get rid of it after maybe a year to buy a Porsche or BMW. I have never heard of a guy who bought one of these and kept it, much less bought a second one. Makes one think—–

        Like 2
  3. Mr. Bond

    The description could be interpreted that this may have been a brokered deal. Sure hope so. Rather see the guy who had it since 1979 get most of it.

    Like 4
  4. pwtiger

    Suspicious, what is really going on at the Beverly Hills Car Club?

    Like 7
  5. erik in ri

    More than a few of these gave their soul (read: driveline) to be reincarnated as GTO copies over the years… especially the somewhat dowdier-looking Series II cars w/ their quad-headlight faces. You could buy them pretty reasonably & really not all too long ago either.

    Like 2
  6. DualJetfire

    265k, 100 percent more cylinder related headaches, 50 percent more carb headaches, and all you have is a car that is…..(you knew this was coming) not as rare as a 54 Nash Ambassador Country Club Lemans, with a real back seat, airliner reclining seats, and a huge trunk made even more convenient by the continental spare tire.

    Like 2
    • Fireman DK

      Don’t know a thing about Nash cars but I think I could have just as much fun ( maybe more ) with a 1951 Nash-Healey with the Nash Ambassador Grille. My neighbor had a Metropolitan, he also had a Chrysler with a square steering wheel and push button shift, I tried to get one or the other when I was a 16 year old kid, same with my neighbor down the street with a 65 Lark , none of them would sell them , preferring to allow them to deteriorate in their garages…..sad…

      Like 1
  7. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    Not a remarkable vintage…and therefore a prime restomod candidate…if you can get it for a low price.

  8. Juke of Earl

    In Prep school, the father of one of the students, from a very prominent beer family, drove one of these. I’d see it in the parking lot and I assumed, because the kid was kind of a screw-up, that a check was being written to make sure he stayed in the school. The son once drove a 356 Carrera and then later a 409.

  9. Tempo Matador Ray

    @Jesse, thanks for the confirmation…About this find, WOW! Timing is everything on these deals. Would have been something to be able to negotiate with the owners before a large broker became involved. The styling is simply fantastic. This needs a good go through and then drive it to your hearts content. I’m green with envy…Too cool.

    Like 1
  10. Joe Haska

    I am certainly, not an expert on Ferarri’s, but it seems like most of the comments are correct and very informative. I have a friend who, I think has almost this exact same car. He brought it to auction, in Phoenix this year and was hoping for that 300K range, he took it home. He hadn’t owned it 6 months, it was basically a flip, that hasn’t fipped yet. History of the car and what it sold for in the past, showed that 300K, to be a good number. I feel that Ferarri owners , buyers and sellers are in a totally diferent world than the rest of us. I think that is what, Fox and Steve were saying, cetainly not trashing Barn Finds, just that this group is a bit different. Trust me I live in Phoenix AZ. and there are a lot of them here.

    Like 4
  11. Jef

    From the photo of the passenger door card (arm rest missing, red leather showing) it seems likely the seats and door cards were dyed at some point.
    Custom job!

    Like 1
  12. Robert May

    I wonder what kind of chore it would be to put a fuel injected modern Ferrari engine in one of these? Along with better bits of brakes and suspension to keep you from killing yourself.

    Like 1
    • Cal

      LS would make more sense, nicer too. For sure, more reliable and easier to get parts for and to work on.

      Like 2
  13. chrlsful

    its not what one would buy it for Robert. They would buy it for what it is, the experience of it now as created in ’61. AND I gotta tell ya, it was made fine’n fast for then OR now…no issues.

    May B geta different Y/M/M to customise…or not.

    Like 1
  14. t-bone bob

    Would it have killed them to give this thing a bath before listing it?

    And I wish Jeff would give the location in his write ups. He never seems to do so. Later on when the eBay listing expires, there is no way to ascertain its location.

    Like 1
  15. Philip Lepel

    Saw one of these in England going for over 785,000 pounds.

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