April 14-18, 1998
Pictures will be added
during last week of April
new name for the "Tour de France Auto"
Ferrari in the 1998 "Tour Auto"
remarkable turnout of 250 GTs
Ferrari in the "Tour"
most spectacular Ferrari?
France's major event for historic
motor racing, the "Tour de France
Auto", has been renamed "Tour
Auto" this year, but although the name has
changed, its attractiveness remains unchanged for
automotive enthusiasts around the globe.
The "Tour de France Auto",
which took place as a major European event for
road racing for the last time in 1986, had been
revived in the 1990's by Patrick Peter of Paris.
Likewise as in the Mille Miglia Storica, a car is
eligible for the "Tour Auto" if the
very car or an identical model did once
participate in the Tour de France between 1951
and 1973. But sometimes the organizers make
exceptions for cars which did start in the TDF
after 1973 if the car in question really is the
very car that did particpate years ago. An
example for this way of proceeding is François
Entremont's Michelotto-prepared and "Tour de
France"-approved Ferrari 308 GTB, a regular
contestant in the Tour.
field of participants is divided into two
categories: There's one so-called
"racing" category for the fastest and
most ambitious pilots, and a
"regularity" category for all the
gentleman drivers who prefer to absolve the
several stages in a preset time and in a more
constant way rather than running their cars at
the limit. Most of the some 220 participants run
in the latter category. The route of the
"Tour" differs from year to year; in
1998, it lead the contestants from Paris via
Dijon, Annecy and Vichy to La Rochelle.
Ferrari is one of the most popular
marques in the Tour; no less than 38 examples
were entered in the 1998 edition of the event.
The oldest Ferrari among them was the little 166
MM Barchetta Touring s/n 0034M of Juan Quintano,
the Spanish Ferrari-importer by trade.
very old Ferrari had been brought to France from
Wisconsin: 166 Inter Berlinetta Vignale s/n
0071S, driven by Stephen Dudley. This small blue
Ferrari is extremely original and has a nice
The 250 GT-family always shows up
with many members in the Tour: Mark Finburgh from
London drove his 250 Europa GT s/n 0375GT, and
Jon Masterson from California competed in his
newly acquired 1956 250 GT LWB Berlinetta
Scaglietti "Tour de France" s/n 0585GT.
This car is registered on the more than just
adequate California license plate "MY 56
TDF". Mr. Masterson was co-piloted by
long-time Ferrarista P. Paul Pappalardo.
Bajol from Toulouse/France and David Webb from
the U.S. brought their "TdF"s as well.
seen is Bernard Consten's 250 GT LWB Berlinetta
Interim s/n 1509GT. This white Ferrari is one of
seven 250 GT LWB Berlinettas which were produced
shortly before the end of the production of the
long chassis 250 GTs and which already sported a
Scaglietti-made body very similar to the design
of the forthcoming short chassis 250 GTs. Six of
these rare Interim cars remain in our days.
examples of the above mentioned 250 GT
"Short Wheelbase" Berlinetta were
present at the start of the "Tour Auto"
in Paris: Jean Sage, Lord Cowdray (a.k.a. Michael
Pearson) and a Mr. Haquette from France brought
their alloy-bodied Competition Berlinettas (Lord
Cowdray's example being one of the so-called
"SEFAC Hot Rods", a 250 GT SWB
Competizione with a special high-output engine),
while the six other cars were steel-bodied
examples. There was even a ladies' team among the
SWB-equipes: Christine Laidlaw and Pat Woollett
shared s/n 2669GT, while Mr. Irvine Laidlaw drove
a Porsche 904 GTS.
SWB's successor, the 250 GTO, could be seen in
the Tour as well: Nicolas Springer, a German
living in Switzerland, brought is s/n 4153GT, and
Paul Vestey from England showed up in his s/n
4115GT. Springer's car used to be in a silvergrey
livery with a "French" band of blue,
white and red ranging from the front to the tail
of the car. Now, the French "Tricolore"
has been replaced by a broad yellow band on the
car's hood, a reminiscence to s/n 4153GT's former
glory as a car of Jacques Swaters' Belgian
"Ecurie Francorchamps". In fact, this
very car sported this very livery during the 1964
"Tour de France Auto", being driven by
Lucien Bianchi and Jojo Berger.
1998, there was only one 250 LM entered in the
Tour: s/n 6051, driven by Charles Arnott from
Maryland. His co-pilot was Bill Noon of Symbolic
Motor Cars in La Jolla, CA/USA.
make the turnout of the 250 GT-family nearly
complete, two 250 GT Lusso were present as well.
Car dealer Paul Osborne from England brought a
red one (s/n 5031GT), while Ralph Bruggmann from
Switzerland competed in his s/n 4965GT which is
held in the lovely color-combination of
silvergrey metallic with a red interior.
In 1965, Ferrari produced a small
"series" of twelve 275 GTB
Competizione, based on the 275 GTB/2 Shortnose.
Two of these rare Ferrari were among the
contesting cars: José M. Albuquerque from
Portugal brought his s/n 07271, and Mohammed Syed
showed his s/n 07517 in public for the first
time. The Tokyo-resident Pakistani bought this
car in Germany in late 1997. s/n 07517 had been
completely restored in Switzerland during the
ownership of a Swiss collector; this collector
decided to replace the car's original short nose
by a longer one because he preferred the latter's
1966, Ferrari produced a second series of (again)
twelve 275 GTB/C, based on the 275 GTB/2
Longnose. Two of these cars took part in the 1998
Tour Auto: William Ma from Hong Kong drove his
s/n 09067, and Anil Thadani, a UK-resident
Indian, participated with s/n 09085. Naturally,
several "normal" 275 GTB/2s and 275
GTB/4s were present as well. A 275 GTB/2
Longnose, s/n 08955, had even been brought to
France from Columbia, although registered in
The probably most spectacular
Ferrari in this year's Tour was the 512 S Spider
s/n 1016 of Brandon Wang from Hong Kong. The
well-known England-resident Ferrari-collector had
handed over the steering wheel of his latest
acquisition to professional driver Gary Pearson.
It was quite a thrill to watch him piloting this
beast across the often narrow and always crowded
streets of Paris. Pearson's run on the circuit of
Montlhéry in the outskirts of Paris was
sensational as well, especially when he steered
the 512 S through the track's famous banking.
Since this car had slumbered in a collection in
the southeastern USA for a number of years, it
was obviously quite happy to be moved in an
adequate way again after this long time of
absence from the track.
little less spectacular, but nearly as noisy as
the 512 S were the two 365 GTB/4 Daytona
Competizione which were entered in the Tour:
Sally and Dudley Mason-Styrron once again
competed in their ex-Maranello Concessionaires
s/n 15681, and François Degand drove his yellow
s/n 16717, a former Ecurie Francorchamps car.
The list of the 220 participants
always reads like a "who-is-who" of the
Ferrari world, although not all of the well-known
Ferraristi listed did actually participate in a
Ferrari. For example, Harry Leventis drove an
Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, Burkhard von Schenk
and Manfred Rimböck were seen in a Maserati A6
GCS, Peter Gläsel started in his Porsche 356 B
Carrera Abarth GTL and even the noted author
Antoine Prunet took part in a Lotus Elite.
Celebrity participants included the famous German
rallye-pilot Walter Röhrl (driving
Friedrich-Wilhelm Dauphin's Porsche 356 A
Speedster 1600 GS) and the comedian and actor
Rowan Atkinson, probably better known as
"Mr. Bean". The Englishman steered an
AC Ace Bristol.
information about the 1999 edition of the
"Tour Auto", please contact Sylviane
Peter or Agnès Kaiser at
- Peter Auto
- 103, rue Lamarck
- F-75018 Paris
- Tel.: +33 / (0)1 / 42 59 73
- Fax: +33 / (0)1 / 42 59 48