In 1954 Ferrari introduced their most outstanding road car to date- the 250 Europa, with the car making its debut at Paris Auto Salon of 1953.
Brought in to replace the 212 Inter, the 250 Europa was the first authentic Gran Turismo produced by Ferrari.
What was also clearly signalled, not so much at the outset, was the strengthening of a stable relationship with coachbuilders Pinin Farina.
Pinin Farina's working cooperation with Ferrari began in the early Nineteen Fifties with their talented design team succeeding to gradually evolve a design style that became very closely associated with Ferrari.
This sweeping design, first displayed with the Europa, continued through to the Sixties with a number of successful collaborations.
Among the design trademarks that characterised the Ferrari/Pinin Farina partnership was the car's high-waisted, crisp lines, long and flat hood and obliquely oval radiator opening.
Pinin Farina succeeded in creating precisely the design image that Ferrari had been searching for since the early Fifties – one of luxury and class.
The Ferrari 250 Europa was the first and the last of the 250 series to be powered by an Aurelio Lampredi-designed V-12 engine.
This was the engine that had initially been set aside for use by the Ferrari racing team as it was capable of generating more than 200 bhp, reaching a top speed of 217 kph (135mph) and 0 to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds.
That kind of performance level was far too much for a road car, meaning that the Ferrari engineering team had to re-bore the 250 Europa Lampredi V12 engine to keep it below 3 litres.
The combination of powerful V-12 engine twinned with an all-synchromesh manual transmission added to the car's superb handling characteristics and Pinin Farina's good looks made the 250 Europa one of the icons of Fifties motoring history,
Despite the car's exceptional looks and performance, only seventeen Europas were produced, of which sixteen were coupes. Most of these early examples of
Ferrari's finest found their way to the United States.
The 250 Europa model marked a significant landmark in the Ferrari production car storyline, in which Pininfarina almost without exception, the sole design studio for Ferrari series production cars.
The launch of the 250 Europa signalled the arrival of Ferrari as one the world's leading producers of luxury sports cars.
The sporty yet elegant 2+2 coupe regarded as being among the impressive grand tourers produced during the early Fifties, as well as providing a winning the blueprint for all of the future 250s for the next decade.