When nationally revered Polizia Marshal Armando Spatafora was asked by his bosses what he needed to combat the spate of car chases plaguing Italy in the 1960s, he responded: "what could be better than a Ferrari?" Much to his surprise, one imagines, the bigwigs granted his request, shipping him and three other elite officers off to Maranello to receive special training, and ordering a pair of 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 Polizia interceptors—one of which became an Italian icon thanks to Spatafora.
Based on a widened variant of its 250 sports car chassis, powered by the 3.0-liter, 237-horsepower "Colombo" V12, Ferrari's first production four-seater had enough power to run down almost anything on the road at the time, and just enough space in its back seat to accommodate a pair of ne'er-do-wells. With Spatafora at the wheel, these proved the bane of countless criminals and earned the Italian lawman a reputation as a fearsome driver both with the public—which enshrined Spatafora in the 1977 action film Highway Racer—and with Rome's criminal underworld, which went as far as praising anyone who outran the infamous black Ferrari.
Italian authorities committed Spatafora's Ferrari to retirement in 1968 after six years of service, and in 1972, sold the car off at a surplus auction. Aware of the black Ferrari's provenance, however, the buyer faithfully maintained the car in the exact specification in which it served the Polizia, displaying it at countless public events and using it to tour Europe with its family. It even reunited Spatafora with his former squad car at the 1984 Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti, a vintage race through the Dolomite Mountains, allowing the then 57-year-old lawman to race his car in the event—in which he placed second overall.
Spatafora departed this world in 1987, but his 250 GTE lives on today, the sole survivor of the two original cars ordered by the Polizia—its sister car was wrecked just weeks after entering service. Despite this car's age and anything-but-easy life, its drivetrain is all-original, as ratified by Ferrari itself. Even more significant than this car's matching serials is its special legal dispensation that allows it to wear its historic Squadra Volante police livery and have functioning sirens and flashing lights—a privilege no other privately owned vehicle in Italy has.
That makes it arguably the best piece of cop memorabilia on the planet, better even than the 3,000-mile Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor that just came up for sale in South Dakota. And like that Crown Vic, this car is being sold right now by Girardo & Co, which offers this 250 GTE's price "on request." And if you have to ask, as they say, you can't afford it.
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