The Prince Bernhard Speciale Coupe Portfolio Slide Show

rPortfolio/ferrari/57_0725

1957 Ferrari 250 GT Speciale PF Coupe

Chassis No. 0725GT
Internal No. 15779
Engine No. 0725GT

The Ferrari 250 GT (Gran Turismo) chassis was built with the lessons learned from a highly successful racing resume. Hoping to produce more cars for the refined touring enthusiast, Ferrari created a second generation of 250 GT coupes, built from 1956 to 1958. Pinin Farina designs graced just ten of these chassis. Of the ten, only two were 'special' coupes, basically a slightly smaller and less flamboyant version of the popular and trend-setting Super America.

One in a long line of Pinin Farina bodied Ferraris that have a royal connection, this particular Speciale Coupe was built for HRH Prince Bernhard of Holland. During our background research for this complete restoration, Prince Bernard was kind enough to share with us his memories. He enjoyed a warm personal relationship with Enzo Ferrari, visiting Maranello frequently to share a meal and discuss varied automotive topics. Occasionally they were joined by Sergio Pinin Farina. Prince Bernard also traveled directly to Turin to check on the progress of his car, and to make his final color selections.

In 1961 Prince Bernhard sold the car to A.J.M. Van der Lof of Holland, who in turn sold it to Kirk White of Pennsylvania in 1969. Originally black with green leather, it was maroon with a brown leather interior when shown at the 1984 International Ferrari Concours d'Elegance, where it won Best of Show. We completed the total restoration for the present owner in August of 2001.

When planning for any authentic restoration, the question of 'Restore it to what point in the car's life?' must arise. While digging into the life of this car, we came upon photos taken at the Pinin Farina factory. What could be more authentic? And yet, further research revealed that these were taken before final delivery. The car as then pictured had no exhaust system, and it was too high off of the ground due to the lack of an engine. This attention to historical details also lead to the realization that the steering wheel that was on the car was correct for the period, but not authentic to this car.

It is always difficult to estimate how much time, and therefore money, it will take to restore the bodywork on any car. This body, which had been repainted maroon in 1972, appeared straight. We knew before starting the work that there was a generous amount of 'bondo' on the car. However, there was no really effective way to ascertain the condition of the metal before totally stripping and removing the filler, and looking under the outer metal skin to see the condition of the supporting panels. We then found that the prior body damage had been merely 'filled in' rather than repaired, which lead to increased deterioration of the supporting metalwork.

Awards

Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, 2002
First In Class

Cavallino Concorso d'Eleganza, 2002
Platinum Award
La Coppa per Dodici Cilindri

FCA Field & Driving Concours, 2002
Platinum Award
Luigi Chinetti Award

Meadow Brook Hall Concours d'Elegance, 2002
Best Ferrari

Castle Hill Concours d'Elegance, 2001
First In Class

Articles

Marcel Massini, “Ferrari Royale”, photography by Marcel Massini
Cavallino, Feb/Mar 2003

Marcel Massini, “Ferrari's Royal”
Scuderia, Fall 2002 [Japan]

The Prince Bernhard Speciale Coupe Restoration

rPortfolio/ferrari/57_0725

Click image to start/stop slide show.

The year of 1957 was an intensely creative period at Carrozzerio Pinin Farina, seeing a degree of intermixing of styling ideas applied to both the special coupes and the special convertibles. Chassis s/n 0725 GT was an exclusive automobile, a project especially carried out for Prince Bernhard. The result was this highly elegant Ferrari, and it is both intoxicating and addicting - pure Pinin Farina! It has an extremely sober and personalized style to the coachwork, and although it is similar to the body on sister car s/n 0719 GT, this Prince Bernhard edition has many unique details, and is indeed rather individual.

Marcel Massini, “Ferrari Royale”, Cavallino