Saturday 29 August 2020 9:30 am

World's most valuable Ferraris to star at Hampton Court

The grand gardens of Hampton Court Palace will soon reverberate to the roar of V12 engines as Concours of Elegance gets underway. The opulent classic car show, which takes place from 4-6 September, includes a line-up of the most iconic Ferraris ever made. 

Top billing goes to a 250 GTO (above) – one of 36 built and Ferrari’s original test prototype. The car finished second at the 12 Hours of Sebring, driven by Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien, and later raced at Le Mans and Daytona. More recently, it was restored to factory specification by Ferrari Classiche specialist Joe Macari in Wandsworth.

The 250 GTO is widely considered the most desirable classic car in the world, with one example selling for a record $70 million (£53.1 million) in 2018. But it won’t be the only special Ferrari at Concours of Elegance 2020…

Ferrari 250 LM

Ferrari 250LM
(Concours of Elegance)

On the face of it, the 250 LM was a failure. Launched in 1963 to replace the 250 GTO, it wasn’t initially accepted by (motorsport’s governing body) the FIA, and was forced to race as a prototype. Thankfully, a few plucky privateers helped the LM achieve the on-track success it deserved.

This is the penultimate 250 LM built, sold new to the Ecurie Francorchamps racing team in 1965. Its best result was second place at the Le Mans 24 Hours, driven by Pierre Dumay and Gustave Gosselin. Blisteringly quick and exquisitely beautiful, it’s everything a classic Ferrari should be.

Ferrari 275 P2 / 365 P2

Ferrari 275 P2
(Concours of Elegance)

Speaking of beauty, take a moment to drink in this 1965 Ferrari 275 P2 (later upgraded to 365 P2 specification – seen here). Today’s competition cars are peppered with air scoops, splitters and spoilers, but Ferraris of the 1960s epitomised function and form. 

The P series models lost to Ford at Le Mans (a story retold in the recent Le Mans ’66 movie), but this very car won the Targa Florio and Nurburgring 1,000km endurance races in 1965. It was later repainted from original Rosso Corsa to the yellow of the Belgian Ecurie Francorchamps team, and has since been restored.

Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti

Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti
(Concours of Elegance)

You probably think of the 275 GTB as a luxurious grand tourer. And for the most part, it was. However, Maranello also produced a handful of Competizione Clienti (customer racing) versions, enhanced with lightweight aluminium body panels, an external fuel filler and a larger 140-litre petrol tank. 

This car, chassis number 07407, is one of 10 such racers built in 1965. Its 3.3-litre Colombo V12 boasts six twin-choke Weber carburettors and spikier cams for nearly 300hp. 

Ferrari 250 GT Ellena

Ferrari 250 GT Ellena
(Concours of Elegance)

Finally, a Ferrari that’s very definitely a road car. This elegant 250 GT Ellena is number 17 of 50 made by coachbuilder Carrozzeria Ellena in Brescia. Company owner Ezio Ellena was the son-in-law of Mario Boano, who legendary Italian styling house Pininfarina turned to for help producing cars. But Ellena soon put his own spin on classic Ferrari style.

Concours of Elegance is just about more than just Ferraris, of course. The event will also include a Le Mans-winning McLaren F1 GTR, displays from numerous car clubs (Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar) and plenty of crowd-pleasing modern hypercars. Many of the UK’s top classic car dealers will have their own stands, too.

The event will be run according to social distancing guidelines and tickets must be booked in advance. Look out for my photos from the show next weekend (@timpitt100 on Twitter and Instagram).

Tim Pitt writes for Retro Motor