Undoubtedly the rarest, most elegant and coolest police car of all time is now on sale.
The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE Series II, one of two used by Italian Polizia in the 1960s, has been made available to wealthy collectors who can afford to splash around seven figures on an iconic police car.
In an intriguing history, the 250 have spent six years chasing criminals through the streets of Rome, making it the most stylish paddy wagon to patrol the roads.
Catching Criminals in Style: This classic Ferrari 250 GTE Series II, used by the Polizia for high-speed chases in the 1960s, is on sale. It is perhaps the rarest and most elegant police car of all time
The car was put up for sale for an undisclosed amount from vintage car dealer Girardo & Co based in Milan.
How much is it offered? Unless you have the funds readily available, the classic car collector will not disclose the fee.
We have put pressure on the company – which also has a showroom in London – for a figure, but we have come up short.
To put the value into perspective, auctions by famed houses RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams over the past three years have seen examples of the same year’s 250 GTE Series II exchanging hands for amounts of around half a million euros.
Since this particular car has iconic status and rarity, we can only imagine that the purchase figure will overshadow these previously paid prices.
What makes chassis # 3999 more valuable is that its sister car was written off within a few weeks of being put into service by the Polizia.
For the next six years, this 250 GTE stood alone as the heart and soul of the armed forces, earning iconic status among military personnel, the public and criminals alike.
And since that service, despite a 250 GTE Series II being a highly coveted car, the owners have kept the Ferrari in its original police car condition.
The car is sold by vintage car dealer Girardo & Co from Milan. The fee for the vehicle has not been disclosed and will only be revealed to those who can prove they were able to afford the iconic machine
Rome police were given two Ferraris to use for the rapid prosecution of criminals by the capital
Back then, the Polizia used Alfa Romeo sedans that were simply unable to keep up with flight machines with skilled drivers behind the wheel
While the current award will be one of the most prominent questions, another will be how in the Earth two Ferraris with so much acclaim and value were even used by the Polizia in the first place.
The story goes that it was the brainchild of one of Italy’s most respected and successful police officers, Armando Spatafora.
He suggested that the force gained a seriously fast fleet, as a large number of crimes were committed in Rome in the early 1960s with getaway cars, car chases being common.
Four members of the Polizia were sent to Maranello – Ferrari’s home – to undergo intensive training to drive the two Ferraris
The sister car of chassis # 3999 was destroyed within a few weeks of commissioning. The car for sale, on the other hand, hunted criminals for six years before retiring
The Ferraris were requested by Armando Spatafora, the Italian top agent. He had complained that the available police vehicles were ineffective in catching flight drivers in faster cars that improved their skills on the nearby Vallelunga circuit to evade authorities during criminal activity
The main problem faced by the police at the time was that most getaway cars were much faster than the traditional Alfa Romeo 1900s and 2600s used at the time – known as Pantera for their engine noise and black paintwork.
In addition to having faster machines, the criminals were also cleverly behind the wheel, with those who had to evade the Polizia to hone their skills on the nearby Vallelunga race track, some 26 miles north of the capital.
Spatafora’s request for a suitable vehicle for high-speed chases, especially a Ferrari, was accepted – somewhat unbelievably.
Armando Spatafora (pictured) was reunited with the Ferrari some 16 years later when the car was taken to the Coppa delle Dolomiti race in 1984 by its then owner. The retired policeman set the second fastest time in his trusty patrol car
Rather than being restored, private owners have since retained the Ferrari’s original features. It is the only private car in Italy with special permission to circulate with siren, blue light and ‘Squadra Volante’ police equipment
A carefully selected group of four officers from Roma were chosen to take a specialized driving course at Ferrari, Maranello, to ensure they had the skills to chase the expensive cars.
After being on track with the 250 GTE and achieving excellent lap times, Spatafora got one of two cars made available – this is chassis number 3999.
As with all 250 GTE road cars, it had a 3-liter V12 engine producing 240 hp. Top speed was a claimed 144 mph – more than enough to instill fear in Rome’s criminal underbelly.
Completed by Ferrari in November 1962, it was specially finished in police-spec black lacquer with a resilient brown leatherette interior.
The 250 GTE was built at the Maranello factory in November 1962, finished in police spec black lacquer and this beautiful brown leather interior
Under the hood is a 3.9-liter 240 hp V12 engine. That’s good enough for a top speed of 144 mph – more than enough to catch criminals
A copy of the original Ferrari building boards accompanies the sale of the car and states that it is a “hallmark. Polizia, or police car, in English.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTE Squadra Volante spec
Engine: 3.0-liter V12 petrol
Maximum force: 240 hp at 7000 rpm
Top speed: 144 mph
Gear box: 4-speed manual transmission
To drive: Rear wheel drive
The combination of the talented Armando Spatafora and his Ferrari during night patrols became so legendary that beating him in a car chase became a matter of pride in Rome’s criminal underworld.
Chassis # 3999 was withdrawn from active duty in late 1968 and then used for emergency blood deliveries to Naples, where it was rumored to have repeatedly completed the 125-mile highway in just 50 minutes.
Despite this incredible life, the car was in remarkable condition and remained so until 1972 when it was sold through a public army dump auction.
It was bought by the Italian collector Alberto Cappelli, who has kept its incredible originality for the next 40 years.
The 250 GTE was reunited with Armando Spatafora during the Coppa delle Dolomiti race in 1984 – about 16 years after last riding it.
Amazingly, the retired police officer managed to get the second fastest time overall in his trusty patrol car.
Even today, this Ferrari is the only private car in Italy with special permission to circulate with siren, blue light and police ‘Squadra Volante’ livery.
It was last sold in 2015 to another Ferrari enthusiast who has now made the car available again.
The car has retained all original features, including the special license plate that shows its use as a company car in the past
The original black paint has been retained, as has the ‘Squadra Mobile’ – meaning squadron – lettering along the doors
The Ferrari has been kept in incredible condition and has been owned by a number of enthusiasts who have used it only for displays or classic car events
Is it the coolest police car ever? It is certainly by far the most stylish and worth every penny the next owner pays for it – if you ask us
Certified by Ferrari Classiche in 2014, the car still retains its original chassis, engine, gearbox and rear axle – even after more than half a decade in active police.
While the Polizia and Dubai police officer in recent years have exhibited Lamborghinis and other four-wheeled exotics as patrol cars, most of the PR stunts were from the manufacturers, with the machines barely used by police officers, let alone high-speed chases.
That makes this Ferrari 250 GTE the most iconic police car of all in our eyes. Certainly more impressive than the BMW 3 Series and Volvo V70s most commonly used by British road police departments today.
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