Please excuse my english, we do our best…..
Some men’s ego conflicts can have amazing consequences on the fate of some cars.
Here again, chassis 2819, will have a particular life for reasons that are far removed from mechanics or racing.
Initially there is Enzo Ferrari, the great founder of the eponymous brand and his Maranello factory where the fastest cars from the 1960s came from. On the other hand, two engineers, Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini, working in Modena under the orders of the ubiquitous Commandatore. The third element of this play, le comte Giovanni Volpi di Misurata, the rich owner of the Stables Scuderia Serenissima Republica di Venezia (SSS).
The history of the chassis # 2819 starts normally for a Ferrari of the golden years.
The car came out of production in 1961 as a 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizion, chassis # 2819, aluminum body, LHD, equipped with a type 168 engine, # 522, with a Testa Rossa cylinder head developing 289 hp.
It is delivered to the Belgian pilot Olivier Gendebien, a gray dress with in its center the Belgian national colors
In this configuration, the car participated and will finish 2nd at the 1961 Tour de France driven by Olivier Gendebien and Lucien Bianchi and carrying the number 145.
In October of the same year, the car is sold to le comte Giovanni Volpi, it is then repainted in red and participates in the 1000km of Paris on the circuit of Montlhery, led by Trintignant and Nino Vaccarella
She will also participate in the 12 pm Sebring, led by Colin Davis still on behalf of the Scuderia Serenissima Republica di Venezia (SSS)
During this same period, an important event took place within the Ferrari factory. Engineers Giotto Bizzarrini and Carlo Chiti, working on Maranello’s new weapon, the GTO, left Ferrari after multiple conflicts with Enzo Ferrari. They, along with other former Ferrari employees, will set up an independent structure called ATS (Automobili Turismo e Sport). Structure with the financial support of le comte Volpi.
At the same time, Volpi ordered two 250GTOs to Ferrari to run under the colors of his team. But Enzo Ferrari angered by the desertion of Bizzarini and the commitment of the latter by Volpi refused to honor the order.
Volpi, entering an open war with Maranello, set out to build a car to beat the official Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and asked Bizzarini, Chitti and Drogo to work on the bodywork of his SWB to make it more competitive. .
The engineers will develop a lower body than the GTOs with a line stretched to the rear of the car.
The engine position will also be changed. It will be lower and more centered than on the GTO, which will make the car more agile. The engine and the box of the 250SWB will be preserved, only the three Weber 46 DCN carburettors will be replaced by six Weber 38 DCN.
On the balance, # 2819 will be 65 kilograms lighter than the GTOs and their 1000 kilograms.
Volpi in a final gesture of anger made removing the Ferrari badges from the body of his modified SWB and replaced them with Serenissima badges before the presentation of the car.
#2819 will make its first appearance on test days for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1962, driven by Colin Davis and Carlo Mario Abate. She was very fast, surpassing all the registered GTOs, despite the heavy disadvantage of her 4-speed gearbox. (The 250 GTOs having a 5 speed box)
Unfortunately, on June 23, 1962 during the race, the car abandoned after 4 hours of racing on transmission failure.
Later in the season the car, still driven by Abate, raced at Brands Hatch where she finished 4th. Then again for the Scuderia Serenissima, she took the start of the 1000 km of Paris taking place on the circuit of Montlhéry where she finished 3rd driven by Scarfiotti and Colin Davis.
The car will still participate in a race in Puerto Rico, which will be its last race under the banner of the Scuderia Serenissima.
Le comte Volpi kept the car as a personal car and drove with it on the Italian roads and the French Riviera. Agnelli, friends of the Count would have try it after a diner at the Casino Monte Carlo. He found it hideous but extremely fast. The legend says that he named it « the hearse » and would have red painted in black to enrage his friend. This legend was never confirmed.
Following this the car was repainted in gray and will participate in its last race in 1965: the Coppa Gallenga bearing the number 482 and driven by Edgardo Mungo.
In 1965 Ed Niles, a US citizen, bought the car for $ 2800 with 45841 kms on the clock. Then, rebadged Ferrari, she passed into the hands of several American collectors.
In 1971 the car arrived in England where it also passed by several owners before in 1974, Martin Johnson, an English pilot, bought the car and participated in many national races.
It was during one of these races that the car was badly damaged in 1976. The front of the car was then rebuilt in polyesther with more or less success.
In the early 80’s, # 2819 fly back to USA where she will know again different owners. It was in 1986 that it was acquired by its current owner.
He sent him to Modena, where it was restored by the team of Gianni Diena Sport Auto, in the configuration of the 24h of Le Mans 1962, replacing the Ferrari badges by those of Scuderia SSS.
Note that the type of bodywork will also be studied by Pietro Drogo on other projects including the Maserati Tino 154 in 1965
The car today:
Toute reproduction interdite sans l’autorisation de l’auteur – Reproduction prohibited without permission of the author