The 1957 Ferrari GT250 Tour De France Arrives at D&D
"It’s not the same from one side to the other.”
Here at D&D Classic, Covington, Ohio we hear that line almost daily when folks refer to a coachbuilt car. And what they say is usually true to a fault. Typically, a coachbuilt body was delivered from the maker with subtle, non-symmetrical body skins that were hammered out often with rather crude tools and without the benefit of closely monitored measuring systems. Such cars demand special attention during restoration and that is what D&D Classic is here for.
During restoration of a hand-built Ferrari or any other coachbuilt car, it’s one thing to mimic those original body contours… yet another thing to mimic skins that are deformed as a result of a crash as suffered by the ’57 Ferrari GT now in our shop for restoration. This particular Ferrari 0733 GT was delivered to Shell of France just three days before the 1957 Tour de France was slated to begin. Within hours driver Francois Picard wheeled the berlinetta off to a nearby hill to test the car under night conditions. Although brand new, the car had drum brakes that were not “bedded in” and a subsequent crash left the front sheet metal mashed in and the chassis bent. Over the next couple of days, the frame was straightened as well as possible and remedial repairs made to the aluminum sheet metal. Down to the wire with little time to spare, reportedly as little as two hours before the start of the race, the car was still being dialed-in despite its less-than-perfect condition. Yet true to its breeding it performed well to the end and placed second over all in the Tour de France.
Over the passing years 0733GT has been raced in Europe and South America and came to the States in 1968. It has seen a number of owners since. Recently it appeared on D&D’s door step with orders to massage and repair the aluminum body skins while attending to the corrosion to the super structure (steel-based) which appears to have been ignored in previous restoration attempts.
Our first order of business was to document damage discernable to the eye and photograph it. Next came an extensive session on our ultra-sensitive coordinate measurement system where exact contours can be measured within 0.008in. based on X, Y & Z coordinates taken from body skins.