The 1963 Le Mans Pace Car Was this Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2
The 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans was won in convincing fashion by a Ferrari 250 P. Ferraris also won two other classes and locked down the top six positions in the race, all with cars fitted with variants of the famous Colombo V-12. A far less famous Colombo V-12 Ferrari also paced the race, a 250 GTE 2+2 grand tourer that is now available for sale.
While the pace car may not be as fast, valuable, or historically significant as its racing brethren, it is an even more special thing. This is the only surviving Le Mans pace car from Ferrari from the era, and it did so in the original blue with all of the necessary modifications for safety car work still appearing as they did when installed by a coachbuilder before the car showed up on race day.
That survival comes thanks to a long history of French owners. After the car paced the 1963 race, it appeared in a 1963 comedy film called Pouic-Pouic. It was driven by various owners through 1970, where it was acquired at 57,000 kilometers by an owner who went on to keep it in its original state for the next fifty years. The car now shows just over 63,000 kilometers, meaning it has been a collector's item held in pristine condition and rarely driven far longer than it has been a regularly-driven car.
In addition to its headline appearance as a rare safety car, the car is still a Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2. That makes it an example of one of the brand's earliest four-door grand tourers, complete with a variant of the same Colombo engine that powered so many of the brand's most famous road and race cars in the era. It is set to be auctioned in two weeks at the hundredth anniversary 24 Hours of Le Mans, with RM Sotheby's listing an estimated value of between $600,000 and $700,000.
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