1959 Ferrari 250 GT Tour De France

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting with Bruce and Andrew Male of the Classic Marque at their facility in Danvers, Massachusetts.  We were discussing various equipment that can be used for rally timing.  The Classic Marque has a very varied and impressive collection of classic cars.  One of the cars that they have is a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France shown below.

Ferrari 250GT 1959 (1)

1959 Ferrari 250 GT Tour De France

In the automotive world, the Tour de France was a multiday series of competitions held at several race tracks.  In 1956, Alfonso de Portago won the Tour de France in a Ferrari 250 GT berlinetta and henceforth this model of Ferrari became known as the Tour de France, although this was not a designation used officially by Ferrari.

Ferrari 250GT TourdeFrance 1959 (6)

The Car’s Owner, Bruce Male Wearing A Blue Cap, Is Standing The Car

The Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France was Ferrari’s customer racing car.  Alfonso de Portago was a wealthy Spanish sportsman – a very accomplished sportsman.  Before he began car racing he was a champion boxer, swimmer, and polo player.  He was considered to be one of the best horsemen in the world.  Even when he took up car racing he also became one of the top bobsledders in the world.  Unfortunately de Portago’s life ended tragically in 1957, when he crashed at the Mille Miglia as he was approaching Brescia in third place overall in a 4.1 liter Ferrari.  His accident was perhaps the prime reason that the Mille Miglia was shut down as an open road race after the 1957 race.  He was very popular and his death was widely mourned.

Ferrari 250GT 1959 (7)

The Profile Of The Ferrari Tour de France Later Became Know as A “Fastback” In North America

The Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France was powered by a 2,953cc V-12 single overhead camshaft V-12 engine that produced about 240 horsepower at 7,000 rpm.  These engines were fitted with three Weber two-barrel carburetors.  The approximately weight of the Tour de France car was about 2,600 pounds, therefore it is a very fast car.

Ferrari 250GT 1959 (5)

The Wood-Grained Steering Wheel Sets Off The Interior Aesthetics

The Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France only came with a four-speed manual transmission.  The rear axle gearing could be changed, which would have an effect on the top speed capability of the car, which depending upon the gearing could vary between 126 and 157 miles per hour.  The 0 to 60 miles per hour time was in the range of 7 to 8 seconds.

Ferrari 250GT 1959 (4)

The Floor And The Firewall Appear To Be Lined With Padding To Reduce The Noise Inside the Car

The bucket seats have good lateral support to allow very aggressive driving which would be expected for a customer or gentleman’s racing car.

Ferrari 250GT 1959 (3)

The Wire Wheels On Cars Of This Era Really Look Great!

The Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France sold for about $12,500 in 1959.  For comparison, a Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster sold for about $10,300, a Maserati 3500GT coupe cost about $11,400 with the roadster version costing about $12,300.  A Jaguar XK-150S (the higher horsepower version) would seem like a real deal at $5,120 and gave performance very close to that of the Ferrari.  But a Jaguar is not a Ferrari.

Ferrari 250GT 1959 (6)

Over The Years Ferrari Made About 77 Of The 250 GT Tour de France Cars

The Ferrari 250  GT Tour de France cars were made between 1956 and 1959.  Over that time, a total of about 77 Tour de France cars were built.  Many of the these cars were raced in the GT Sports Car class in those years.  Some of drivers who drove these cars were Fangio, Frere, Collins, Moss, and the driver who earned this car its name, Alfonso de Portago.

If you are interested in this car, or other great collector cars you can go to The Classic Marque website:  www.TheClassicMarque.com

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