My Car Quest

January 31, 2023

Unexpected Memories – Ferrari 250 GTO

by Mike –

It is such a terrific moment when someone unexpectedly gives you a gift of a memory forgotten.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Today I am talking about photos of Stephen Mitchell’s Ferrari 250 GTO.

The photos were taken and saved all of these years by Larry Crane who recently gave them to Stephen. You can read about that here.

Ferrari 250 GTO

These pictures were taken at Riverside Raceway, I am guessing in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Notice the GTO is in the parking lot and not on the track.

It is parked between a Shelby Cobra and a Ferrari 275 GTB.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Above people walk by like it is a routine event to see a Ferrari 250 GTO in the parking lot.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Then the car catches the eye of a young car lover.

This Ferrari 250 GTO is now owned by Ralph Lauren and spent its 2011 summer at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. This is Stephen below at the museum reunited with his former Ferrari.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Stephen is on the right, in the middle is Jeanetta Dumouchel, a producer, with Stephen, on the Carrera Panamericana documentary film and Marc Sonnery on the left, author of Rebel Rebel: Breadvan: The Most Recognizable Ferrari in the World.

What a contrast between the car in the museum and the car in the parking lot of a race track about 40 years earlier. Amazing changes have occurred over the years.

The dirty, driven and well used Ferrari 250 GTO of Stephen Mitchell is now a museum piece owned by Ralph Lauren.

You can read Stephen Mitchell’s blog here. All photos provided to me by Stephen Mitchell.

Also read:

Ferrari 250 GTO – Five Things – Part One

Ferrari 250 GTO – Five Things – Part Two

Ferrari 250 GTO – It’s Always Something

Ferrari 250 GTO Pictures

Ferrari 250 GTO

In the close up pictures below it can be seen that someone made some design changes to this car. Notice the lower air intakes have gone from two to one per side, the fog lights have appeared where an air intake once was, the three openings on the front of the hood have been covered and the air intakes near the windshield are either gone on the Lauren version or they are different, maybe plexiglass.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO


  1. Stephen Mitchell says

    Good write-up, Mike! It was very gracious of Larry Crane to send these extraordinary photos to me. They, more than seeing 3987 at the Paris exhibition, made me want the car back.

    You write of contrast and I agree. I view the car I saw in Paris as a replica of a GTO (using original parts) rather than a restoration of 3987.

    The two vent scoops on the hood near the windshield are still there and are made of clear plexiglass as originally provided on a GTO.

  2. A message below from Larrry Crane sent to me by Stephen Mitchell:

    The aluminum hood scoops were likely done for a specific reason by the original owner/racer. Also note that the three interior vents that came up from the dash are now gone. They were originally transparent plastic. During Stephen's ownership they seem to be white. Under Ralph Lauren's fastidious stewardship they are gone. Curious that Ralph wants the car to be exactly like many GTOs he's seen in photographs. One suspects the fog lights were replaced by vent holes prior to Stephen's ownership. Probably to cool an oil cooler or some other specific direction. The brake ducts remained on the outside. Sad that this individual car's history had to be lost to "build-sheet originality." Many of these changes from standard might actually be on the build sheet as ordered by the buyer. Fun to find out.

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