An American Ferrari in Monterey: 250 GT N.A.R.T.
When Enzo Ferrari first started importing his eponymous cars to the United States, they were a rarity to the American consumer. Not just because they were well built sports cars, but they were special because so few foreign cars were here on American shores. One man was able to change that, and turned that success into a well-known racing team.
Luigi Chinetti was the man that was able to bring Ferrari to the ‘States successfully. Chinetti fled to America during WWII, where he took his previous experience with Alfa Romeo to the 1940 Indy 500, but at the wheel of a Ferrari. After the War, he returned to Europe and piloted the first ever Ferrari to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, taking the 1949 edition of the race at the wheel of a Ferrari 166MM. During that race, the car was driven by Baron Selsdon of Scotland, but the rest was piloted by Chinetti.
Following his success in racing Ferrari’s, Chinetti was chosen by Enzo to be his distributor in the United States, turning it into a successful venture, but the race fuel never left his veins. He set about creating the North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.), which was started with the backing of several wealthy racers, with the aim of promoting Ferrari in North America– hopefully sending impressed (and well-heeled) race fans to his showrooms.
Chinetti also had this built; the Ferrari 250 GT N.A.R.T, and it is really something special. The car started life as a stock 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE, and was sent back to Modena. But it was not sent back to the Ferrari factory– rather it was sent to Carrozzeria Fantuzzi to be rebodied. Fantuzi almost never did road cars, and typically only built Ferrari’s race bodies, so what you have here is a performance spyder with body work done by Ferrari’s race car builders. That’s like saying you don’t like how your Corvette looks, so you decided to bring it to Pratt & Miller!
In addition to the body work, Chinetti had performance cams from the Testarossa installed, as well as 6 twin-choke Weber carbs for a new intake. The car was also fitted with a revised 5-speed manual, and was then sent back to the ‘States, where it was put on display at the San Francisco, New York and Miami Auto Shows– all taking place in 1965.
This car will hit the auction block at the RM Monterey Auctions on August 15th of 2014. We can’t wait to see what kind of money this truly rare Ferrari will pull