This lovely dark blue berlinetta is sitting in front of Carrozzeria Sports Cars in Modena Italy in October 1965. That famous body shop was run by Piero Drogo and created new bodies for many older racing cars which had finished their competitive careers. This example of Drogo’s work started its life as a Ferrari 250GTO. The first owner was Count Giovanni Volpi who probably purchased the GTO through an Italian “straw man” as Volpi was not then a favorite of Enzo Ferrari, partially as a result of the departure of of Ferrari’s senior management in late 1961, some of whom were hired by Volpi’s Scuderia Serenissima.
After a season of racing, Volpi sold his GTO to a Swedish privateer, Ulf Norinder, who repainted the GTO in the Swedish racing colors, blue with a yellow longitudinal stripe which opened up to surround the nose of his car. Norinder raced his new acquisition at the famous Targa Florio in 1963 and again in 1964, as well as at other events.
With the end of three years on the track, the GTO was pretty well used up and Norinder decided to restore it as a road car and took it to Drogo to carry out his wishes. The result was the somewhat longer-tailed and fully trimmed effort see here.
Norinder retained his prize possession for several years until selling it in the early 1970s to a British enthusiast. But this was not the end of this GTO’s adventures!
In the mid-1970s the British owner, himself an adventurous ex-racing driver, was demonstrating his car to an America friend when a huge accident took place which severely damaged the GTO’s Drogo bodywork. The wreck was then put aside as not the being repairable at reasonable cost. It was not until the early 1980s that GTO prices began to rise which led its owner to have a new 250GTO series 1 type body constructed in Modena for his damaged car. This new body was not particularly correct and had to be further modified in the late 1980s.
The damaged Drogo body was now retained by Drogo and remained in Modena. Eventually it was sold to another British enthusiast who had a standard 250GT chassis shortened to take the repaired Drogo body with various performance modifications to the engine and suspension. That bastarda still exists today.
Some years later the rebodied ex-Norinder 250GTO was acquired by a new American owner who has restored it to its blue with yellow stripe color scheme as successfully raced by Ulf Norinder in 1963-64.
Photos by Peter Coltrin ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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