1959-’62 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta: 100 Vehicles That Matter


Enzo Ferrari had no want to promote street automobiles along with his firm’s title on a badge all through the corporate’s beginnings within the Forties. Nonetheless, he rapidly discovered it was the very best enterprise case to fund his dream of a full-blown racing group: Scuderia Ferrari.

With momentum constructing on the racetrack, the Ferrari 250 GT got here to life in 1959 and constructed a popularity because the epitome of grand tourer and observe automotive. It was meant to be the sports activities automotive for each exercise and it marked an necessary step within the historical past of Ferrari street automobiles that took the very best bits from race automobiles and wrapped them in a stunning, luxurious package deal.

On the time, Ferrari was solely constructing car chassis with a number of coachbuilders designing the our bodies. By this level, Pinin Farina was Mr. Ferrari’s most popular coachbuilder. Of the six chassis Ferrari engineered for the 250 GT, 4 had been from Pinin Farina and two got here from Bertone. Irrespective of the coachbuilder, every of the 166 automobiles constructed had been gorgeous creations and infrequently tailor-made completely to a purchaser’s needs.

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta that failed to sell during 2017 Amelia Island Concours auction

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta that did not promote throughout 2017 Amelia Island Concours public sale

1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB

1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB

1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB

1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB

The Pinin Farina our bodies had been significantly stunning. Their fastback (Berlinetta) physique model reduce simply the precise line and match completely with the quick 94.5-inch wheelbase and two-seat structure. The our bodies used aluminum for the doorways, hood, and trunk lid, however a number of automobiles had all-aluminum our bodies. Bertone additionally made factory-backed our bodies, although these automobiles sported a really completely different look, particularly up entrance.

The our bodies rested on a improvement of Ferrari’s chassis. It used twin A-arms and coil springs up entrance and a dwell rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and trailing arms. It additionally featured disc brakes in any respect 4 corners, which was fairly superior for the period. In line with the automotive’s street and observe persona, patrons might select axle ratios starting from 3.44:1 to 4.57:1 and interiors that had been stripped or clad in leather-based.

A Columbo overhead-cam 3.0-liter V-12 sat within the entrance of the automotive below the hood, and it was hooked to a 4-speed guide transmission. In Testa Rossa and GTO guises, the light-weight (for the time) engine made 296 hp, however it made 260-280 hp within the 250 GTs. The engine might launch the automotive from 0-60 mph in as little as 6.5 seconds and push it to a prime pace round 150 mph. The V-12 took the 250 GT to the grandest races, and most significantly, to victory.


1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB

1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB

The 250 GT Ferrari cemented the corporate’s rightful place as a power to be reckoned with on race day. Subsequent automobiles would should be developed particularly for the street or observe as racing would turn out to be too aggressive for the two-way automotive. The 250 GT additionally created a lineage that also exists right now of front-engined V-12-powered Ferrari street automobiles.

The 250 GT did greater than assist outline Ferrari within the a long time to come back. Famously, the automotive was Feruccio Lamborghini’s punching bag. When Lamborghini complained of reliability points, the tractor maker determined to construct his personal automotive and he took a few of Ferrari’s personal engineers to assist construct them.

So, sure, we’ve got a lot to provide thanks for the 250 GT. With out it, the Ferrari grand tourer as we all know it could not exist, and neither would the modern-day Lamborghini.

—Sean Szymkowski additionally contributed to this report


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