My Car Quest

May 27, 2024

A Drogo Ferrari Masterpiece Scheduled for Auction in Monaco

Not a race car originally but it captures the ambiance of a GTO…

by Wallace Wyss –

It seems not long ago a major auction company auctioned a car that looked like a GTO, sounded like a GTO, but was still in the end, yet another Ferrari customized by owners that wasn’t a GTO. Now comes another near look-alike for the world’s most valuable vintage Ferrari, this one though is billed for its coachbuilder, the man who started Carrozzeria Sports Cars. An immigrant Argentine, Piero Drogo, who followed his country’s ace driver, Fangio, to Italy in the hopes of being a race driver. He participated in one Formula One Grand Prix, the 1960 Italian Grand Prix.

One-off period Coachwork by Drogo 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Coupé

Ferrari 250 GT Coupé by Drogo

So this car started out as a regular road going Pininfarina clothed as a 250GT. But somewhere along the way the wheelbase was shortened and Drogo gave the car a body that, while not exactly like a Series I GTO, has much of the shape. Ironically the rear resembles more the 250GTO Series 2.

Drogo was no amateur. On Ferrari’s orders he bodied the fabled works Ferrari P3s and Dino 205SPs. On the Ferrarichat.com site, there’s correspondence that shows he bodied more than a dozen bodies for independent Ferrari customers, to make them more like race cars. Drogo also bodied the Ferrari Breadvan, Iso A3/C and ASA 1000 GTC.

Ironically as good as his work was, many owners of the chassis he worked on now have taken off the body he did and rebodied it to look like an original. One of the most valuable Ferraris almost lost in the switch is 3445 GT: a genuine 250 GTO rebodied by Drogo in 1965. It was wrecked in 1976 and subsequently returned to original GTO configuration so now it’s worth over $70 million dollars again. The leftover Drogo body fitted onto 2433 GT. Some of his ersatz Ferrari racers aren’t even on Ferrari chassis which makes them rebodies of rebodies. Confused yet?

Ferrari 250 GT Coupé by Drogo

Ferrari 250 GT Coupé by Drogo

At least two Drogo Ferraris raced in regular competitive racing “in period” (the Sixties), 2053 and 2735. Now this chassis 1717GT, raced but only after the real GTOs were already out-dated. It was bodied by Drogo in ’66, and got the six Weber carbs, that distinguish a 250GTO.

‘1717 GT’ first owner was Grigio Scuro of Switzerland. However he crashed in the Swiss Alps which led to a return to Modena for chassis repair and someone decided to have Drogo do a new body. The car emerged as a fastback like the 250GTO but even a more exotic shape. After being owned by European collectors like José Segimon and David Morrison, 1717 GT’ went to Monterrey, Mexico to a Rudolfo Junco de la Vega. It was owned in the ’70s by Pierre de Siebenhal in Switzerland, a celebrated scrapyard owner (with a scrapyard full of Ferraris) who also raced. He eventually fitted it with a new nose like a 250GTO Serie 2. It raced in 1985 at the Mount Ventoux Hillclimb before going to some Italian owners who took it to the 80th anniversary of Ferrari event in 1980 in Modena.

Ferrari 250 GT Coupé by Drogo

This same car raced in the Monterey (California) Historic Races in 2004. It was restored in a Los Angeles shop and went back to Europe, to Belgium. There it was refurbished by esteemed specialists–Piet Roelofs and Corrado Patella–and saw new racing against other Ferraris that had raced originally “in period”, I gather Goodwood permits that, not requiring a car to have been a race car since birth.

In 2018 it ran in the Imola Classic with a new Drogo style grille and a new motor. Now it is being celebrated as a race car, but one has to reckon with 1717GT not only not being a 250GTO; but not built as a race car when new, never raced as a factory car, and never raced in any major world class endurance races like LeMans, Daytona or Sebring “in period” (if the period you’re talking about was the Sixties). But on the positive side, it has appeared in smaller amateur driver events or major vintage events. It is a car that will still give amateur racing owners the pleasure of racing a car bodied by the same shop that was assigned by Enzo Ferrari to body works racers (P3, Dino 206GT, etc,).

This Ferrari will be auctioned by Bonhams at ‘Les Grandes Marques à Monaco’ at the Villa La Vigie on May 10th, 2024.

Bonhams estimates it will fetch between €2,500,000 – €3,000,000 (US$2,700,000 – US$3,300,000). True, not 250GTO money, but still a healthy tribute to Signor Drogo and what he wrought in re-shaping 250GT bodywork, repurposing the cars for more exciting lives.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR/ARTIST This portrait of a Drogo bodied 250GT is available as a 20″ x 30″ canvas print. For information write malibucarart@gmail.com

 
 
 
 
 
 

Art by Wallace Wyss - Ferrari 250 GT Coupé by Drogo

Art by Wallace Wyss

Photos compliments of Bonhams and painting by Wallace Wyss.

Summary
A Drogo Ferrari Masterpiece Scheduled for Auction in Monaco
Article Name
A Drogo Ferrari Masterpiece Scheduled for Auction in Monaco
Description
This Drogo bodied Ferrari will be auctioned by Bonhams at 'Les Grandes Marques à Monaco' at the Villa La Vigie on May 10th, 2024.
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Comments

  1. Peter Wolfers says

    stunningly beautiful!

  2. Robert Feldman says

    Not a GTO, not a race car, no important in period race history, changed around more than a few times, but absolutely stunning to look at. And it’s a Drogo car. And you won’t see another one no matter where you go. Can’t wait to see what the market decides!

  3. Rob Krantz says

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  4. WALLACE ALFRED WYSS says

    On Ferraricha.com someone who said they were here when the hammer came down said it sold for 2 million Swiss francs

  5. It’s fascinating to hear about its unique history and transformation. Drogo’s talent really shines through in the way he reshaped these cars. This one might not be a 250GTO, but it’s still an incredible piece of automotive history. Seeing it up for auction is a real tribute to Drogo’s legacy.

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