In 1963, J. Dan Fiorito and his lovely wife Vera traveled to Rome with the express purpose of finding and buying a newer model Ferrari Spyder. On one of their first nights in the city, they were having a drink at a local pub. As they were both fluent in Italian, they struck up a conversation with a local who got around to asking why they were there. After explaining their quest, he serendipitously mentioned to them that his bank had just repossessed such a car, a one-year old Ferrari 250 GT PF SII Cabriolet. The payment book had been discovered by the wife of the purchaser, and as the car had been a gift not to her, but his mistress, she would not allow him to continue making the payments.
The next morning Dan and Vera Fiorito showed up at the bank to inspect the car, as it was being held in the bank basement. The banker suggested Mr. Fiorito put the car through its paces in downtown Rome, with him along for the ride. A few thrilling moments later, a deal was struck between Mr. Fiorito and the banker for the balance owed on the car, about $5,000 U.S.
In classic Italian style, however, it was not a clean deal. The mistress was not giving up lightly. She made a claim to the car, as it was a gift, and stated that it was not her responsibility to make good on the payments. After a few weeks trying to negotiate the red tape of the Italian justice system, the Fioritos returned to the States, for the time being, carless. As they had family in the area, a cousin took over the fight. A few months later, with lots of involvement from the cousin, the car was free to leave, and was loaded on a ship bound for Seattle.
Upon arrival in the U.S. another delay ensued as the car is a European version, and the gauges were metric, showing kilometers, not miles. After negotiating a deal with the Washington State Licensing Dept, the car finally had plates and tabs, and was legal for American road use.
Mr. Fiorito drove the car sporadically, but it was generally his wife Vera that sported it around the Seattle area during the mid to late sixties. As the car negotiated the many steep hills in the region with stop signs, the clutch gave up with only about 30,000 original km. As a result, it was parked, and stayed there for about 16 years.
In the Mid 80s, Fiorito pulled off the cover, and took the car to Al Murray Restorations in Ballard, WA. They replaced the clutch and painted the car its current brilliant silver. (The car was originally a flat silver that Dan never deeply enjoyed). Now painted and mechanically sound, the car was ready for its second life, but mileage was hard to come by, as Fiorito entered a ten-year battle with cancer that he finally lost in 1997.
By 2002, the car had spent another 15 years in Veras garage when her grandson showed up with a car trailer. He had become an auto enthusiast himself as a young man, and had just assumed the management of the familys historic NW racetrack, Pacific Raceways (a track built in 1959 by his late grandfathers heavy highway construction business).
The car was taken as a labor of love, with the idea of restoring the mechanical systems and parking it back in Veras garage in working order. It was taken to Gerber Motorsports in Seattle, WA and given a tune up and brake system rebuild using genuine Ferrari parts.
As he was returning the car to his grandmother a year and a half later, now in remarkably working order after relatively minimal work (a bit of re-chroming, a bit of leather work, an engine tune up, and some brake system refurbishing) Vera met him with the title, and drove him to the DMV with gift written on the purchase price line.
Veras grandson has thoroughly enjoyed putting approximately 20,000 more km on the car over the last decade, but is now ready to allow it to find a new steward.
Currently, this almost totally original, numbers matching car is in great mechanical running order and is a wonderful survivor example of this timeless Ferrari classic. The car has never been involved in any accidents in its 53 year life. The interior is nearly all original, with the exception of new seat leather only. The car was resprayed using Autocryl, a urethane enamel of the period, in its original silver color. The Borrani wire wheels are original and correct and the original spare and tool roll are included. The car comes complete with the original factory hardtop and with only two owners since new, it surely is registering the original and correct mileage. There are scrapes and scratches on the leather door panels, as you might expect, and the windscreen has a crack on the lower drivers side, but otherwise the car has survived in very good working order.
A discriminating collector would be hard pressed to find a more original 250 PF SII Cabriolet anywhere, at any price. With a known history from new, a desirable color combination and wonderful history, this timeless sports car will be a very welcome addition to any Ferrari collection.