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1955 Ferrari 250 GT Europa
- Ex- Olivier Gendebien
- Ex- Ecurie Francorchamps
2015 Goodwood Revival
2016 Mille Miglia
We were very proud to have been invited to this years Mille Miglia. The Ferrari was one of two cars entered; the other was a 1926 Bentley 3/4.5 Speed Model which we acquired for a client specially for the event. Both cars performed superbly and completed the event without issue. To see a short film of the event please click here.
One of just 34 250 GT Europas built, this particular car was entered for a number of period events by Ferrari's most famous concessionaire, Ecurie Francorchamps, driven on each occasion by Olivier Gendebien, who eventually went on to own the car.
Its first outing was in March 1955 in the Cote de la Roche, but it was in the following year that it really made its mark when it came third in the 1956 Liege Rome Liege Rally driven by Olivier Gendebien and Pierre Stasse. Not only was this a remarkable achievement for an unmodified road car - in what is still considered one of the most gruelling rallies of all time - but it was also the race in which Gendebien forged his reputation as one of the greatest GT drivers ever. This was also the beginning of a dazzling career as one of the most successful Ferrari team members, during which time Gendebien was to win the Giro di Sicilian once; Reims 12 Hours twice; Sebring 12 Hours twice; Tour de France three times; Targa Florio three times and Le Mans 24 Hours a record four times. But his proudest achievement as a Ferrari driver was when he set the record of 200 km/h on the final Cremon-Mantua-Brescia stretch of the 1957 Mille Miglia in a 250 GT Competizione.
Even set against this remarkable record, his experience of the 1956 Liege Rome Liege must have been pivotal, for Gendebien gave a personal account of driving his 250 GT Europa in the Rally in a television interview made in 1962. The full interview can be seen on the following link [here] and an excerpt of the car in action can be seen on our home page.
The car's first owner was racing driver Jacques Washer, Gendebien's cousin, who partnered him in competitive events like the Mille Miglia; Targa Florio and Coppa deli Dolomiti. Genebien purchased the car the following year and thereafter it passed through two more owners before it was shipped to its new owner in America, who prepared it for competition.
In more recent years this historic car has reappeared in European events like the Tour Auto; Mille Miglia; Liege Rome Liege
and La Carrera Panamericana, where it came first in the Original PanAm Class two years in succession. The car has also appeared in several books including Emotion Ferrari by Maurice Louche; Ferrari Ecurie Garage Francorchamps by Gianni Rogliatti; The Ferrari 250 GT Story by John Starkey and La Carrera Panamericana - the World's Great Road Race by Johnny Tipler.
'Of every car in the Ferrari catalogue the 250 GT Europa, in retrospect, is perhaps the most important, as the real foundation of the classic 250 family which made Ferrari's fortune through the 1950s and 1960s', says Brian Laban in his book Classic Ferraris. As the first road car to feature the legendary Columbo V12 engine the 250 GT Europa was the start of the 250 Dynasty which was to included the Tour De France; SWB, GTO and to end with the Ferrari Lusso a decade later.