The first series of the new 250 GT berlinetta in 1956 is primarily devoted to competition. Seven cars are bodied by Scaglietti on a design by Pinin Farina. After a few more units, this model will also receive significant improvements including the signature vents called louvers on the sides of the bodywork.
The fifth of these first seven 250 GT LWB (a designation made after the development of the SWB chassis in 1959) is one of the most glorious cars in all the history of Ferrari. It is for sale by RM Sotheby's in Monterey on August 15, lot 332.
It was sold by Ferrari on 23 April 1956 to the Marquis de Portago who led it to victory in all competitions in which it participated. Its most spectacular achievement is the Tour de France in 1956 where, driven by Portago and Nelson, it won five of the six circuits of the event. In the following year, the victory of Gendebien with another 250 GT LWB consolidated the moniker Tour de France (TdF) now attributed to these berlinettas.
This undefeated car survived without any damage to Portago, the most extreme driver in the history of motor racing, killed with Nelson in the Mille Miglia in 1957 by the explosion of a tire of their Ferrari 335 S. When they recruited Portago in early 1956 among the official pilots of the brand, Ferrari had taken the challenge to demonstrate the exceptional strength of their new cars.
I invite you to watch the video shared by the auction house.