Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Ferrari 250 GTO Mystery Is Solved

by Mike -

Recently I wrote about a mystery, at least it was a mystery to me, about pictures of a Ferrari 250 GTO that I found in the August and December 1963 issues of Road & Track.

Bev Spencer in GTO 4219 at the Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance in May 1963

The August issue had a color picture of a red GTO being driven by Pedro Rodriguez who won the 3-hour Daytona Continental race in this Ferrari GTO. The December issue had a black and white advertisement for GTO 4219 for sale that was raced by this same driver and won this same race. This car was a light color with new racing stripes down the middle.

In addition the seller was Spencer Buick (Bev Spencer) in San Francisco also an Authorized Ferrari Dealer.

The mystery was what happened to this GTO between August and December 1963 that caused a color change? And was a Buick dealer really also an Authorized Ferrari Dealer in 1963?

The answers were supplied by an article in written by Roy Spencer who is the editor of and also the son of Bev Spencer the owner, and seller, of GTO 4219 in 1963.

A My Car Quest reader sent the link to this article which was published just 3 weeks before my GTO Mystery post. And no I had not seen this article before.

Bev Spencer with GTO 4219 at the Del Monte Lodge in Pebble Beach after racing at Laguna Seca in the fall of 1963

Roy Spencer writes a fascinating story that I suggest you all read and explains that the paint job between August and December 1963 was because his father was using the car to race for the North America Racing Team (NART) and the car was painted in the blue and white color scheme of NART. The stripes were blue and the car was white.

Bev Spencer also owned another GTO and the first Testa Rossa made. All three of these special Ferraris were in Monterey this past August. The two GTOs were at Pebble Beach and the Testa Rossa was sold at Gooding for an all time record price at auction for any car.

Ferrari 250 GTO 4219 at Pebble Beach August 2011; now owned by Brandon Wang

It was pure coincidence that I found those two pictures from 1963 and asked some questions about this GTO. The answers were more fascinating that I could have imagined.

Please share your comments with me and other readers.

Roy Spencer gave me permission to use the pictures above.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Below are the two pictures that triggered the mystery.

Pedro Rodriguez in the 3-hour Daytona Continental-winning Ferrari GTO. Kodachrome photo by Robert L. Downing; from August 1963 Road & Track

Advertisement for GTO 4219 from December 1963 Road & Track

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  1. Fascinating! By the way, a framed print of Pedro Rodriguez at Daytona in the GTO hung on my wall long before I acquired 3987.

  2. Stephen,

    Yes it is fascinating. I had a Twilight Zone moment when I read Roy Spencer's article discussing the very GTO that I had found in those old magazines.

    I suspect that the R&T fold out of Pedro Rodriguez in GTO 4219 was hung on a few walls in 1963.