While building 250 GT Pinin Farina coupes in quantity, using industrial principals of standardized design, quantity procurement, organized procedures and limited variations, Ferrari and Pinin Farina couldn’t resist the temptation to build recognizably individualized variations for special clients.
One of the first to get a one-off 250 GT, based on the production Pinin Farina coupes, was Dottore Wax of Genoa. Another was built for Prince Bertil of Sweden with a step in the top of the fender and horizontal tail lights. Old practices proved difficult to overcome, and special requests from longtime, important clients were difficult to ignore.
The Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale 1187GT is one of the first and most significant of the special-bodied 250 GTs built during the initial run of the 250 GT Pinin Farina coupe and cabriolet. It is powered by the large oil sump, dual-distributor Tipo 128D engine.
Ferrari historian Marcel Massini records that it was displayed at the 29th Geneva Motor Show March 12-22,1959, along with a pair of standard 250 GTs, a Pinin Farina coupe, a Series I cabriolet and a 410 Superamerica coupe. Its appearance with the 410 SA is significant, since the style of the two was somewhat similar.
To create the 250 GT Coupe Speciale Pinin Farina blended elements of both cars, retaining the basic design and concept of the Pinin Farina coupe nose, grille, headlights and bumpers, and also the 250 GTs trunk lid recessed between the fenders with vertical taillights over a wraparound rear bumper.
Despite this retention of standard Pinin Farina coupe elements, it was the greenhouse that differed so distinctively from the Pinin Farina coupe and which so gracefully complemented the 410 Superamerica that shared the Geneva Show space. Slim pillars, a thin almost two dimensional roof, large wraparound rear window and large quarter windows created an entirely different aspect from the more formal and reserved blind-quarter Pinin Farina coupe style.
The body flanks also contrasted with the Pinin Farina coupe. A gentle indentation tapered back in a moderate curve, from a sharp point at the top of the front wheel arch to a broader intersection with the rear-wheel opening.
Bright metal defined a front-fender engine-compartment air vent that further distinguished the Coupe Speciale from the standard Pinin Farina coupe’s unadorned fender. There was nothing deliberately extravagant, no flamboyant features, fins or bright metal adornments.
Following its appearance on the Geneva Show stand, the 250 GT Coupe Speciale 1187GT (It was sold to engineer Emanuele Nasi of Turin in May 1959. Nasi had earned a special Ferrari the old-fashioned way: his father had married Aniceta Agnelli of Fiat. Exported to the United States only a few years later, it had two known owners in California before being acquired by Greg Garrison in 1986 and undergoing a complete restoration. When displayed in Geneva the 250 GT Coupe Speciale was presented in (Grigio Metallizzato Speciale with black leather and plastic interior.