In 1962, Ferrari was oozing automotive success from all its pores – scoring a third consecutive win at Le Mans and making big money from its road cars. The 250 GT platform was full swing on all fields – race champion and sales topper. Particularly after introducing the four-seat variant, the 250 GT.E, or 250 GT Pininfarina 2+2, as Ferrari referred to it.
The roomy Gran Tourer was a Prancing Horse premiere – the first Modena Automobile to have a proper row of seats behind the driver. Although custom-made family-oriented examples had been built in the past, the GT 2+2 was the company’s first series production car with room for more than two occupants.
Granted, not much room was offered, particularly in the back (but it was better than no seats), and it spurred buyers’ interest. It did so to such an extent that Ferrari was rolling the successful automobile out at a rate of one per day.
From the fall of 1960 to the end of 1963, 957 2+2s rolled out the assembly plant – amassing for a third of the total production run of all the 250 GT variants of that same period. Not too bad for Enzo, who liked the design of the more spacious four-occupant GT enough to use it as a daily driver.
Legend has it that he wanted a personal car that was “Ferrari-thrilling” enough to drive but also large enough to accommodate him, his wife, their dog, and the chauffeur (all at the same time). Pininfarina designed the vehicle on the Coupe chassis but devised a clever technical solution to the interior space problem.
Move the powertrain and steering toward the front axle a couple of inches… or eight (200 mm), push the fuel tank further back, and magic happens. In all fairness, the rearrangement didn’t provide enough space for four adults – hence the moniker “plus two.”
With the front seats moved forward, two grown-ups could fit in the back – for drives long enough to lean on the center armrest, smoke a cigarette, and put it out in the rear ashtrays. Two children could sit comfortably at all times – they could be provided with less incendiary pastimes.
The car received fabulous styling from Pininfarina, with sleek, wind tunnel-studied lines – coherent to Ferrari of the time – and, critically, sufficient headroom for everyone inside. The artist’s genius sits in the vehicle’s overall dimensions, particularly height. The larger Ferrari was two inches shorter (50 millimeters) than the coupe it was based on.
Considering the extra 12 inches in length (300 mm) and 2.4 inches in width (60 mm), the addition of only 80 kilograms (176 lbs) of overall weight is impressive. The engine had sufficient power reserves to cope with the mass surplus – the car tipped the scale at 1,280 kg (2,816 lbs). The short-block V12 produced a claimed 236 hp (240 PS), and with the correct transmission setup, the 250 GTE could hit 230 kph (143 mph).
The single-cam-per-cylinder-bank powerplant came with six twin-choke Weber 36 DCL6 carburetors. It was mated to a four-speed, fully synchronized manual gearbox. Two rear differential ratios were available – a 4.57:1 or a 4.25 to one. The former could be optionally accompanied by a five-speed overdrive gearbox, thus achieving the 143-mph score.
Enzo Ferrari had every reason to pat himself on the back for his GTE. Not all his customers were happy about the gorgeous Gran Tourer. In 1982, a man from Lafayette, Louisiana, bought a used 1962 GT.E for his wife. The car was in Christmas-present-worthy condition (it was meant to be a winter holiday gift), and the man thought he had made the perfect choice.
There was a problem – and not a small one. The intended recipient was only five feet tall and could not reach the pedals. Even special adapters couldn’t remedy the size incompatibility, and the lady gave up on her 2+2 V12 surprise.
In an almost surreal turn of events, the car was abandoned in a shed and never saw road action again – until early 2023. The famous classic car rescuer Dennis Collins got word of its existence and bought it.
The video shows the beautiful Ferrari in a bard-find-like state, with damaged paint, a cracked wooden rim on the steering wheel, and minor whatnot. The interior is well preserved, but the engine is not the original Ferrari technicians installed at Modena.
The car’s history before 1982 is imprecise, so we don’t know if the V12 was replaced due to a mechanical failure or if something happened to the stunning GT during its 94k-kilometer road life (58K miles). The brief visual inspection raises no suspicion about this hypothesis, and the body looks original and straight.
Also, the engine has not run in four decades, and there is no telling about its current condition – even if the bay looks clean and tidy. And, perhaps even more surprising, rust hasn’t sunken its greedy metal-decomposing teeth into the body or chassis of this magnificent Ferrari.
For whatever mysterious reason, this elegant four-seater from the House of the Prancing Horse never saw road action since 1982 – the registration sticker on the windshield indicates its sorrow. Nonetheless, it was spared the rough destiny of open-air oblivion, and it can be brought back to life.
With current high-grade examples in running order going for well over a quarter of a million dollars, this 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina 2+2 could be a Holy Grail find. Considering the scarcity of these automobiles – around 500 are estimated to exist today – this bruised and battered Gran Turismo has an excellent chance of shining its dark blue coat again.