1958→1959 Ferrari 250 GT ‘Tour de France’ 1-Louvre
By 1958, Ferrari had essentially perfected their endurance racing car and produced an additional 38 to the 1-louvre specification. These used the same V12 layout as the car which won the 1957 Tour de France outright.
New to 1958 was slightly shorter bodywork that resulting in a chrome strip running along the bottom of the door. For 1958 all cars had covered headlights, but regulations in 1959 mean open headlights for the remaining models. As many cars had front-end altercations, they were upgraded to the open-headlight layout.
Options on these cars meant owners could chose from 1 of 20 original laquer hues. The interior could also be trimmed in leather or plastic.
All the 1-louvre cars used the Tipo 128D motor which had minor revisions to the block, timing chain casing, stronger connecting rods and twin Marelli distributors. New cylinder heads offered larger valves and intake passages.1 The result was an engine that could produce 235 to 260 bhp depending on tune.
1033GT is probably the most famous 1-louvre, after it won the 1958 Tour de France using a special engine with lightweight connecting rods that allowed a redline of 8000 rpm. Drivers Olivier Gendebien and Lucien Bianchi won ahead of a Ferrari 1-2-3-4-5 finish.
Another notable car was 1321GT which the mysterious drivers of Beurlys and Elde used to win their class at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. This car has been completely restored back to its race-winning configuration and regularly used by Charles Wegner.
Sources & Further Reading
1. Pourret, Jess. Ferrari 250 GT Competition Cars. Foulis 1977.“”
Auction Sales History
1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB 'Tour de France' Berlinetta 1039GT - sold for €2,598,400
One of the most desirable competition-bred Ferraris extant. Alloy coachwork and V-12 power. Desirable covered headlamps; one of 36 “single-louver” examples. Ferrari Classiche-certified and matching numbers. Restoration by marque specialists in Italy.
Auction Source: 2011 London Auction by RM
1959 Ferrari 250 GT ‘Tour de France’ 1321GT - did not sell for $3,500,000
1st in class, 3rd overall at the 1959 24 Heures du Mans. 1st place at the 1959 Nurburgring 1000 KM race. 1321GT is distinguished by its single-vent sail panels, open headlights mandated by Italian regulations, and is powered by an “inside-plug” V-12 fitted with triple carburetors (Of special note is the unique oil filler door located on the engine cover to facilitate quicker pit stops - the only one to appear on a Tour de France).
Still re... read more
Auction Source: 2010 Mecum at Monterey
1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta Tour de France 0903GT - did not sell for $2,640,000
0903 GT is a car that was originally delivered to one of Ferrari’s most loyal and successful Swedish clients, participated in a premier European event, retains every major factory-delivered component and has been recently restored to its original 1958 livery. When so many of these cars have become compromised over the past 50 years, it is rewarding to come across an example with such tremendous integrity, splendid appearance and a remarkable t... read more
Auction Source: 2010 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction
1957 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Tour de France 0925GT - sold for €2,352,000
he 250 GT Tour de France we have the pleasure of offering here, chassis 0925 GT, is one of those cars and was completed on 20th December 1957 as a left-hand drive example in red with a tan interior and a factory roll bar. The car was sent new in ’58 to official Los Angeles Ferrari dealer Otto Zipper, from where it was sold to William “Bill” Harrah, the famous casino mogul of Nevada. Born in 1911, Harrah had casino ventures which amounted to a ... read more
Auction Source: 2010 RM Auctions Sporting Classics of Monaco
1959 Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France 1039GT - sold for €2,897,675
1385 GT may not have a lengthy string of victories, but it represents the foundation of Ferrari’s competition effort. By building truly exceptional competition cars and making them available to those with the skill (and money) to buy them, he was able to find drivers for his best cars. At the same time, the lessons learned at the track by all the cars helped improve the breed, and so it is that every competition Ferrari carries the DNA of the ... read more
Auction Source: 2008 RM Automobiles of London