1961 Ferrari 250GT SWB s/n 2491/GT

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by billnoon, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. billnoon

    billnoon Formula 3

    Aug 22, 2003
    La Jolla, California
    Full Name:
    Bill Noon
    I have been getting emails and calls non-stop about this car. Below is the full known history.

    There are a few remaining mystery Ferraris out there but this is no longer one of them.

    There is one remaining fact that has not yet been able to be determined. There is strong evidence that the car may have also been the 1961 Turin Motor Show Car as well as the 1971 Turin Motor Show Car. If anyone can source a color photo of the car on the Ferrari stand in 1961 or one with the original Genoa "targa" license plate visible, they get a free ride in the car. (Come up with a photo showing both and you get to drive!!!)

    Email or ring me if I can assist anyone specifically with the car. ( (619) 840-7811)

    Warm regards always,

    Bill Noon

    Year 1961
    Model 250 GT SWB
    Type "Spider California"
    Coachbuilder Scaglietti
    Chassis No. 2491/GT
    Engine No. 2491/GT
    Engine Numero Int. 702F
    Chassis Type Tipo 539
    Engine Type 168
    Exterior Color Grigio Argento (Gray Silver)
    Interior Color / Type Red (Conolly Leather ref VM3171)
    Gearbox Type Tipo 539
    Gearbox Numero Int. 105/509 "8 x 32"
    Rear Axle Type 539/671
    Rear Axle Numero Int. 358/F
    Rear Axle Ratio "8 x 32" or 4.0:1
    Wheel base. 2400mm
    Carburetors 3 x 40 DCL6
    Carburetor Nos. 2079, 2095 and 211

    17th of 56 "short-wheelbase" California Spyders completed. Issued a "Certificato d'Origine" on "13.7.61" (July 13th, 1961.) Ordered new, sold and invoiced to Sig. Attilio Cupido of Portofino, Italy. Order processed through official Genoa, Italy Ferrari Concessionaire, PARAUTO and processed by Sig. C. Barbarossa.. Road registered to Sig. Cupido in his home province of Genoa, Italy on July 21st, 1961.

    This car was completed and delivered with the following features:
    -Covered Head Lights (Fari anteriori Coperti)
    -Tipo 130 (10mm Camshafts) (Alberi distribuzione 130/17229/230 Alzaia 10)
    -9.5:1 Compression Ratio (Rapp. 9.5)
    -40mm “40 DCL6” carburetors (Carburatore Tipo WEBER 40 DCL6)
    -Velocity Stacks (Press d’aria Trombette)
    -Ribbed Alloy Gearbox (Cambio Tipo 539/55485)
    -8 x 32 (4.0:1) final drive ratio (Coppia conica 8 x 32)
    -Abarth Exhaust System (Marmitta di scarico ABARTH)
    -100-liter Fuel Tank (Serbatoio carburante tipo 539/820286 capacita lt. 100)
    -Metric gauge faces in black. (Stumenti di bordo Borletti competizione in km.)

    1969, sold by Cupido to Luigi Chinetti via PARAUTO di L. Ravina and then delivered to Carrozzeria Zagato, Turin, Italy. Chinetti commissioned a new open "Spyder" body for the car in time for the Turin Motor Show for October of 1970. Delays and revisions to the car’s appearance forced the car to instead make its new debut in the October 1971 Turin Motor Show. The car was given the name "3Z" by Zagato. While at Zagato undergoing work and completion the car was fitted with Zagato test plate "PROVA MI 725." The car was photographed repeatedly in and around Zagato's workshops as well as in front of various well known public buildings in an around Milan.

    Carrozzeria Zagato's identifies the car as follows:
    "1971 saw a strange new collaboration between Ferrari and Zagato. More than 20 yeas had passed since the completion of the first Zagato Bodied Ferrari, the 1951 "Panoramica." This car the "3Z" was completed for Luigi Chinetti and based on Ferrari 2491 GT. This car was designed by Giuseppe Mittino who from 1970 on was responsible for the designs executed by Carrozzeria Zagato. The design of the "3Z" with it's very powerful and aggressive 12 cylinder engine was itself powerful and bold. The car had many original new features such as the "eyelid" treatment of the front that hid the lights partially from view. The car was current when completed with the philosophy of Zagato at the time. The car had clean, unmarked geometric lines that were also seen on the Alfa Romeo Junior Z which was the first "wedge" car of the period."

    From 1971 on the true identity and original configuration of this car was lost. All subsequent publications and journals identify the car as originally being a "short wheelbase berlinetta, or “short wheelbase competition berlinetta.” The original Ferrari records, delivery to the original Italian owner and purchase by Chinetti, delivery to Zagato etc… clearly and without question confirm this car was originally an SWB California Spyder!

    Immediately after the Turnin Motor Show, Chinetti imported the car to the Unites States. The car was sold upon arrival to a local Doctor from Long Island, New York.

    On April 1st to the 8th, 1979 the New York Times ran an advertisement for Concours International Motors at 671 Glen Cove Avenue, Glen Head, New York. The advertisement listed the following: “RARE 1966 ZAGATO CONVERTIBLE All Aluminum-one of a kind” The following Sunday on the 15th of April, they ran another add identifying the car as follows: “1966 FERRARI ZUGATO CONVERTIBLE-1 of kind” The same add repeated again on Sunday, April 29th. Ferrari historian-enthusiast and part-time dealer, Stan Nowak saw the add and immediately informed authorized Oklahoma, Ferrari Dealer, Toly Arutunoff that it was available for purchase. Arutunoff contacted Concours International Motors owners, Chuck Nesbitt and Al Meyer and immediately agreed to the car’s purchase. He flew out to JFK in the first week of May, 1979, purchased the car on the spot and has owned it ever since. This was not however Arutunoff’s first experience with the car, at the Turin Motor Show eight years earlier, he inspected and photographed the car in detail. He had also spoken at great lengths with Zagato’s representatives regarding the possibility of purchasing the car directly off the show stand. His offers were flatly refused and when the car became available for only the third time ever, he did not hesitate to proceed with its purchase.

    In 1987 the well known automobile historian and author, John de Boer corresponded with Ferrari and was informed of the following facts by letter:

    "2491 25SWB Spider Scaglietti "California" 2400mm telio 539, motore Tipo 168 N. 2491GT (N. Int.___) cambio 539 N. 539/105 , ponte tipo 539.671 N. 358F (8/32) con autobloccante, Borrani 6.00 x 16 13.7.61 Certificato d'Origine Attilio Cupido – GE 1972 transformata in Spider "3Z" dalla Zagato (blu metallizzato) Luigi Chinetti Salone Torino 1971"

    In 1994 he published the above information on page 139 of the Italian Car Registry. He further added the following information:

    "Purchased by present owner the day after it was put on display in the window of Chinetti's North American showroom" Anatoly Arutunoff - OK, US OK Lic. "ExSWB3Z"

    In 1997, Arutunoff was invited to participate with this car in the official Ferrari Factory "50th Anniversary" celebration. While there he was approached by Jean Sage, the head of the Ferrari Factory Historic Archive Department. Sage corresponded with Arutunoff informing him by formal letter on March 24th, 1997 the following:

    Dear Mr. Arutunoff,
    Following my fax dated 22-3-97, I would like to inform you that your car 2491 is not a berlinetta short wheelbase but a spyder California delivered by the GENOA (Italy) dealer to Mr. Attilio CUPIDO of Portofino on July 21, 1961. This information to contradict Mr. H. RABB chassis number list which claims it is was a berlinetta!

    Best regards,
    (Signed Jean Sage)

    A physical inspection of this car, records and documents was performed on September 28th, 2007 confirming all of the above recorded facts. Additionally it was noted that the engine and gearbox all bore multiple matching "match" marks of "NN". The steering box was date coded "5/61" or May 1961. The Koni adjustable shock absorbers are all dated coded "10/61" or October 1961. The car retains all of its original Ferrari 55mm x 92mm frame and support members to the alloy body work.

    The original 250GT SWB California Spyder fuel tank, steering box, radiator, brake master cylinder, booster, original inner Scaglietti Coachwork, inner alloy body / transmission tunnel, front and rear bulk head and riveted FIAM fuel tank are all present, correct and un-altered.

    With the exception of the visible Alloy outer Zagato coachwork, trim, glass, wheels and interior, this car retains 100% of its original as delivered “California Spyder” components appropriate and approximate to its construction in July of 1961.
  2. billnoon

    billnoon Formula 3

    Aug 22, 2003
    La Jolla, California
    Full Name:
    Bill Noon
    #2 billnoon, Feb 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  3. jjmcd

    jjmcd Formula Junior

    Dec 3, 2004
  4. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Owner

    Aug 1, 2002
    San Marino, CA
    Full Name:
    L. Wayne Ausbrooks
    #4 El Wayne, Jul 1, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  5. jjmcd

    jjmcd Formula Junior

    Dec 3, 2004
    I wonder how long it will be before the Zagato body ends up mounted on another chassis...
  6. mechaniker

    mechaniker Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 30, 2004
    Great it has back a proper Body.

    I think, it was a great job to reproduce all the stuff to make it a California again.

    There just small things that need some attention: Bumpers (i think, they need to be added), headlight rims (they miss the L-shaped lip to the inside), to massive aluminium surround for auxiliary gauges and a big lip arround the front grille.

    I don´t want to bash the work, it´s just something that pops to my eye!
  7. bitzman

    bitzman Formula 3

    Feb 15, 2008
    What shop rebodied the car as an alloy Calif. Spyder?
    Approximately what would the rebodying have cost back in 2008? (I don't know if back in 2008 they had the modern way of measuring electronically as was used in the restoration of the Dick Teague burned out Ferrari body)
    I am hazarding a guess at $200K-250K.
    Was that when Toly still owned it?
    Did they have the paint codes and interior color codes to do those in its original Pininfarina livery?

    In one way, it's sad to lose a little odd piece of Ferrari history in the 3Z body when that was taken off but, hey, the California spyder body style is so much more pleasing to most people. And I'm sure that the 3Z body will reappear again on another , as a body shape, it's not lost...
  8. Smiles

    Smiles Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Nov 20, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Full Name:
    Matt F

    What happened to the Zagato body?

    Who did the restoration work?

    Who owns the car now?

  9. Marcel Massini

    Marcel Massini F1 World Champ

    Mar 2, 2005
    New California Spider body was made in Italy, the former Zagato body was restored and mounted on a frame and it is stored with the new owner's car collection.
    Current owner prefers to remain anonymus, is in the UK and client of Joe Macari.

    Marcel Massini
    Timmmmmmmmmmy and 375+ like this.
  10. Smiles

    Smiles Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Nov 20, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Full Name:
    Matt F
    Thank you!


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