Neil Twyman recounts the quest to reunite prototype bodywork with a suitable chassis in order to preserve a piece of Ferrari history
This was a project that I had to make happen. I acquired a set of bodywork originally raced on a Ferrari 315S that we think is a prototype Scaglietti body for the ‘pontoon fender’ 250 Testa Rossa. That makes it incredibly significant.
The 315S, raced by Mike Hawthorn, Peter Collins and Maurice Trintignant among others in 1957, was partially re-bodied at the factory with the pontoon fenders of the 250TR, but not the scalloped sides of the production cars. This repair was instigated by Luigi Chinetti who then sold the car to a casino owner in America called Ed Martin. Wolfgang von Trips raced the car first time out in Cuba and then Martin won domestic races in the US with it in this specification in 1958 and ‘59
The car ended up being rebuilt in the early-1980s into its original 315S configuration after Ferrari collector Albert Obrist bought it, but the TR bodywork was retained by its previous owner, Darryl Greenamyer. He held quite a few records at the Reno Championship Air Races, as well as racing historic Ferraris, and a friend of mine came across it while hunting for old aircraft parts.
There was no chance of getting hold of the original chassis, #0656, because it’s worth millions. So I set out to find a suitable donor vehicle to support the bodywork and came up with a 250 GT Pininfarina Coupe. The PF Coupe was bought as a project requiring complete restoration and has been converted into a 250TR.
It was all about the bodywork for us. That explains why we went about the restoration back to front. We had to arrange the mountings on the chassis to coincide with the original build of the body rather than creating a rolling chassis and fitting the panels. It was a big challenge, but we managed to make it work.
The car was running in the summer in time for my son Joe’s wedding, but the real end-point for the project was in run-up to the Goodwood Revival in September where the car raced in the Sussex Trophy with its pontoon fenders in place for the first time in over half a century.
The plan now is keep the car and race it myself. But I would be open to reuniting the body with the original chassis. My job has been to present the bodywork in an attractive way to show it is useable and to preserve a piece of Ferrari history.
Ferrari 290MM Spyder
This car, chassis #0606, was first restored by us in 1992. It has been raced and changed hands, and the new owner wants it back in its original spec involving a new body and a change from left- to right-hand drive. Status: Due for completion next year.
Gachnang-Ferrari 3000S ‘Cegga’
The Swiss Gachnang brothers took a 250TR in the early 1960s and grafted on a new rear end with independent suspension to try to keep up with the more modern cars. We are building a recreation out of a 250TR replica. Status: Another project that should be finished next year.