Ferrari detail. Ferrari Owners' Club
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Ferrari Happenings
Ferrari Collection the Star at Gstaad
story & pics by Marcel Massini
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Bonhams’ much-anticipated annual Sale of Fine Ferraris at Gstaad’s charismatic Palace Hotel on December 19th will star the extraordinary Lepeltier Collection of 14 Ferraris – ranging from a 1961 250 GT Short-Wheelbase Berlinetta, through the 1972 Geneva Salon 365GTB/4 Daytona to a pair of low mileage modern Ferrari classics, the 1984 288 GTO and the 1989 F40 – the latter having covered barely 3,000 kms in its life.

Michel Lepeltier was a hard-working Swiss garagiste, whose small family-run garage and local shop was situated in Thonex, just outside Geneva. A lifelong Ferrari enthusiast, he saved money assiduously until, in 1964, he was able to realise an ambition by buying a year-old Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, a beautiful Berlinetta finished in dusky Rosso Rubino paintwork.

This exquisite Lusso has been preserved ever since – complete with its original and rare paintwork and leather - within the collection, and as Michel Lepeltier and his wife Denise thoroughly enjoyed using it, so they buckled down and worked even harder, built their always small garage business into an even more successful enterprise and became able to indulge their passion with further Ferraris.

In March 1972, Michel Lepeltier saw the fly yellow 365 GTB/4 Daytona displayed on Ferrari’s Geneva Salon stand and bought it immediately. This magnificent acquisition was followed in 1973 by the steel-bodied Ferrari 250GT SWB Berlinetta, which Lepeltier bought second-hand and which is one of only two such cars known featuring faired-in covered headlight nose treatment.

As offered for sale by Bonhams at Gstaad, the Lepeltier Collection also features two Ferrari Dino models plus their successor, the early dry-sump engined 308 GTB with bodywork in glassfibre (Vetroresina) – this striking car also wearing one of the rarest of all factory paint options, Verde Germoglio…lime green. After some 27 years in the Lepeltier Collection, this most attractive ‘affordable Ferrari’ has seen as little as 7,900 kms use.

Michel Lepeltier also acquired two front-engined 3.3-litre V12 Ferrari GTBs, a startling gold-liveried 2-cam car – which is to be offered at Gstaad with only 25,500 kms recorded since new – and a 1967 275 GTB/4 4-cam example. The only open car in the collection is a sister Ferrari 275 GTS model, which is equally certain to arouse tremendous interest from would-be buyers.

In 1980, the Lepeltiers added a brand-new bright red Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer supercar – which at Gstaad is to be offered with only 9,067 kms ‘on the clock’.

The full inventory of Lepeltier Collection Ferraris to be offered for sale includes:

1971 Ferrari 246 GT Dino #02422 red
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta #2649 GT red
1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso #4509 GT darkredmetallic
1973 Ferrari 246 GT Dino #06024 yellow
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB shortnose #06827 goldmetallic
1966 Ferrari 275 GTS #07841 red
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 #10011 silvergreymetallic
1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona #12705 red
1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4A Daytona #15069 fly yellow
1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB #18299 red
1976 Ferrari 308 GTB Vetroresina #19275 lime green
1980 Ferrari 512 BB #30865 red
1985 Ferrari 288 GTO #53769 red
1989 Ferrari F40 #82795 red

Every one of these Lepeltier Collection Ferraris is to be offered in highly original condition, every one of them having been acquired either brand-new or, in most cases, when second-hand from the first owner.

The Lepeltier Collection presents examples of every prominent production road-going Ferrari manufactured between 1961 and 1989. The Collection has not been seen in public for well over a decade and Gstaad is to be the first occasion on which any of these cars has been offered for public sale.

Aged 57, Michel Roger Lepeltier fell victim to a would-be car thief in France in 1990 – being fatally shot during an apparent attempt to prevent the theft of his recently-acquired F40 #82795. Partly in consequence this car is to be offered at Gstaad as one of the lowest-mileage examples of its type still surviving – with only 3,078 kms recorded.

Simon Kidston, President of Bonhams (Europe) SA, said: “Having been working for over five years to secure this remarkable collection for sale we are delighted to be able to offer it at Gstaad on December 19th – the timing is perfect given the ever greater interest amongst collectors for unrestored cars of impeccable provenance.”

For further information please go to

© Marcel Massini 11/19/03

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