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Tour Auto 1999

8/9/2017, 8:37:19 PM cet

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Paris April, 19 1999

The Centenary
Tremendous turnout of Ferrari automobiles
S/N 16363 back in action
250 GTs predominant
Tour Auto 2000

The Centenary
In 1999, the Tour de France Auto did celebrate its 100th birthday since the famous French road race had taken place for the very first time in 1899. Back in that days, the Tour had started in Cabourg (in Normandy). Its worthy successor, the event for historical cars known nowadays as "Tour Auto" did again start in Paris. But event organizer Patrick Peter had introduced one novelty: For the first time, the route lead the competitors to two famous circuits outside France: Spa-Francorchamps and the Nürburgring.

Tremendous turnout of Ferrari automobiles
The turnout of Ferrari to celebrate the Centenary was tremendous: 45 examples of the marque from Maranello showed up for the scrutineering at the Trocadéro fountain. Many of the cars were already known to regular Tour Auto participants and attendants, but as always there were also some examples which had not been seen in earlier issues of the most famous French classic car event.

S/N 16363 back in action
German collector Nicolaus Springer showed up for the very first time in his spectacular 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione s/n 16363; in 1973, the Thomson-liveried car had one the GT class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, driven by Ballot-Lena and Vic Elford for the Ecurie Pozzi. Earlier that year, Jean-Claude Andruet and Bob Wollek had already driven s/n 16363 to 3rd OA in the 4 Hours of Le Mans. Springer had acquired the car last year in very original condition, had it technically restored by DK Engineering and eventually became 2nd in class "H" of the Tour Auto.

Another 365 GTB/4 Daytona drew much attention, too, despite of the fact that it was a normal street version (which is normally not allowed to compete in the Tour Auto): s/n 12575, driven by its long-time owner Clay Regazzoni. The car of the former Ferrari works driver once used to be pale green (the dark olive interior still tells the story) and is equipped with handicapped steering.

250 GTs predominant
The 250 GT family was once again predominant among the Ferrari in this year’s Tour Auto. 250 GT LWB Berlinetta Scaglietti "Tour de France" s/n 0933GT of David Webb from the USA was seen for the first time in its "new old" livery of metallic gold; after the car had been painted in the usual "Rosso Corsa" for decades, its owner had apparently decided to have it repainted in its original color, metallic gold. I personally do highly appreciate owners who restore their cars in the very liveries which the machines did once sport when they left the factory, many, many years ago – especially if the cars’ original colors are not that popular nowadays.

However, two 250 LMs were present as well, one being s/n 6217 of noted German collector Hartmut Ibing, the other one s/n 5149 of Luigi Chinetti, Jr. The car owned by the son of America’s long-time former Ferrari-importer had been rebuilt from scrap. One or two replicas of this very first 250 LM ever made are in existence using the same serial number!

The team of Nick and Annette Mason underlined the predominance of the 250 GTs in the 1999 Tour Auto: The "Pink Floyd" drummer’s 250 GTO ’62 s/n 3757GT eventually became the best Ferrari in the overall classification (11th position).

Tour Auto 2000
It is not yet known which novelties the millennium edition of the Tour Auto will see, but it is for sure that this great French classic car event will again combine a beautiful route with exciting special stages and famous circuits.
by Andreas Birner

Tour Auto 1999
Tour Auto 1999
365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione Series III s/n 16363
250 GT LWB Berlinetta Scaglietti TdF s/n 0933GT
250 GTO '62 s/n 3757GT
Tour Auto 1999
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Tour de France Auto did celebrate its 100th birthday

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