It's quite likely you've never seen this car before. The early days of Ferrari production vehicles were filled with coachbuilt bodies, and this 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa is one of just two from Vignale in this style. That alone makes it extraordinary, but there's an extra special surprise waiting under the hood.
Of course it's a Ferrari V12 – that goes without saying. However, connoisseurs of Italian classics will immediately hear something very different in this recent YouTube video from Issimi Official. Instead of the telltale chatter from a Colombo V12, the 250 Europa brandished a Lampredi V12 derived from Ferrari's Formula 1 racing efforts of the day. Paired down slightly to 3.0 liters, it was crowned with three Weber carburetors and produced a raspy, aggressive exhaust note. And this video captures that sound beautifully.
It also shares the wild story of this particular 250 Europa, said to be number 0313EU. It was built in late 1953 and shown in public at the 1954 New York Auto Show. Whereas modern auto show vehicle debuts aren't usually available for purchase for at least several months, this Ferrari went to its first owner in Massachusetts shortly after the show. It stayed there until 1958, at which point it went to a new owner in New York and eventually ended up in California.
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That's where the story gets wild, because at some point the Lampredi V12 engine was removed in favor of an old Corvette V8 that was supercharged. It also received a purple (yes, purple) paint job, then eventually received a coat of red paint on top of that before getting parked for decades. That's quite a history for a bespoke Ferrari with an F1-derived V12 racing engine.
According to the video, a Ferrari collector from Switzerland learned of the 250 Europa in 2009 and bought it. A meticulous restoration process followed, returning the classic GT to its original state as seen at the 1954 New York Auto Show.
As the video demonstrates, the old Ferrari looks and sounds absolutely fantastic. The manual transmission is said to be a pure "mechanical" experience, the engine sounds on-point, and the exterior looks superb in its classic colors. With most old Ferraris having Pininfarina bodies and Colombo engines, a Vignale/Lampredi Ferrari certainly stands out in an already exquisite crowd.
Source: ISSIMI Official via YouTube