Blenheim, Ontario, CANADA — RM Sotheby’s kicks off 2019 with its Jan. 17-18 Arizona sale featuring a selection of automobilia and 158 cars, headlined by 20 Ferraris.
Originally sold by the factory directly to Princess Lilian de Rethy of Belgium, the rare 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina (chassis no. 0751) is one of a handful of Ferraris delivered new to European royalty and one of just two in this configuration. The Speciale’s long nose featured covered headlamps like the 250 GT Tour de France racing berlinettas of the time, while the front fenders were notable for large chromed and louvered vents, reminiscent of those found on the California Spider.
The one-off coupe was delivered to the Princess in January 1958. Nearly ten years later, the Princess gifted the car to enthusiast Dr. Ernest De Bakey of Mobile, Alabama, who had been visiting a cardiovascular specialty hospital that the Princess sponsored. Shortly after, the car’s wheels were modified to 15-inch units and disc brakes were installed. By 1977 the engine was rebuilt by marque expert John Hajduk. In 1997, the Speciale was presented at the Ferrari 50th Anniversary meet at Rome and Maranello and then in 2001 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in the Pininfarina class. Now offered for the first time in 20 years, refinished in Grigio Metallizzato with beige leather interior and accompanied by a toolkit and extensive historical documentation, this unique Specialeoffers a premium level of coachbuilt elegance on the 250 GT platform.
And on the racing side of things is a 1992 Spice Ferrari SE 92C GTP, one of the last cars built by Spice Engineering and powered by a Ferrari 355 V-8 built by Amoroli.
Among other docket highlights is the 1949 Lesovsky-Offenhauser Indianapolis “Blue Crown Special,” built for Lou Moore’s Blue Crown Spark Plug team and driven by George Connor to third overall at the 1949 Indianapolis 500. It’s been restored by vintage Indy car expert Jim Mann and is accompanied by a collection of archival items.
Peruse the digital catalog that includes our picks: