Image credits: © Ferrari.
1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso news, pictures, specifications, and information
Sold for $979,000 at 2012 RM Auctions
The 250 line of sports cars would be the most successful of Ferrari's early line of sports cars. The 250 GT Lusso would then be considered the most elegant of the 250s, and therefore, the perfect finale to the popular sports car family. Considered one of the top sports cars of the 1960s, the GT Lusso would be sought after by movie stars, rock stars and other wealthy individuals looking for an exhilarating ride of both elegance and performance.
Introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 1963, there would only be 355 examples of the 250GT Lusso built and chassis number 4459GT would be one of them. GM stylist Charles Jordan would describe the car as 'an excellent example of timeless design' and 4459GT would certainly be able to show why.
This particular chassis would be built on July 4th in 1963. It would then be purchased by Baldassare Taormina of Vetrano, Sicily in August. The purchase price of the car would be 5,750,000 lire.
While certainly not a cheap sum of money, Taormina would not be against entering the elegant and luxurious car in the famous Targa Florio. The race took place in Sicily and Taormina certainly had the right car for the miles upon endless miles of twisting, winding, rising and falling roads traversing all of Sicily.
Being Sicilian, Taormina had the advantage of local knowledge, but he would be going up against professionals. Therefore, while Baldassare had the knowledge, the car would certainly need to make up the rest of the equation. Sporting a 3.0-liter 240hp V-12 engine, the car would certainly do just that.
At 10 laps of a course measuring 42 miles in length, the Targa Florio was anything but an easy race. The rough roads would beat the cars terribly. However, the coil-sprung front suspension and the coil/leaf sprung live rear with Watt linkage would help Taormina overcome the arduous conditions. Great acceleration, countered by strong braking provided by four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, would help Baldassare to handle the twisty course and avoid trouble when many of the others would fall to the wayside.
And along with the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio was easy one of the most famous of the road races. Taormina, however, would prove that his local knowledge and the performance of the 250GT Lusso would be more than enough to compete as he would finish the race an incredible 14th place out of 64 starters. By the time the winners had crossed the finish line for the final time, Taormina had completed nine laps, but was certainly pleased with his performance. What was perhaps most surprising was the simple fact that Taormina's result came without assistance from the Ferrari factory. Taormina would even end up beating the American greats Phil Hill and Bob Bondurant.
After the success in the Targa Florio, the car would retire to a much more sedated and relaxed lifestyle although it would certainly still be used to fly around the twisty Sicilian roads by Taormina until he would sell the car in 1965 to Antonio Peri in Palermo. Peri would own the car for a number of years, and then, would have it exported to the United States in the 1970s.
Once in the United States, the car would become the property of Bill Senyak of Seal Beach in California. The car would remain in his possession all the way up to 1986 when it would become the property of Roger and Rhonda Groves of Dana Point, California. They would enlist a ground-up restoration for the car. Withholding no expense, the couple would send the car to Classic European Restorations in Oceanside, California. Upon completion, the Groves would immediately take the car to Carmel Valley in August of 1998 to be part of the Concorso Italiano. At that event, the car would win the highly coveted Platinum Award.
In 2002, Ken and Dale Roath would enter the car in the 38th annual Ferrari Club of America National Field and Driving Concours event at Century City, California where it would win yet another platinum award. The car would later be seen at Concorso Italiano in Seaside, California in 2003.
This work would be ordered by the car's new owners Ken and Dale Roath of Newport Beach. Ken and Dale would finally come to own the car in 2004. The restoration work they had done to the car would go on to earn it Ferrari Classiche Certification in 2007.
Prior to earning its Ferrari Classiche Certification in 2007, the car would be entered in the Newport Beach Strawberry Farms Concours in 2006 and would win yet another platinum award. The car would even earn a class award at Pebble Beach.
Complete with multiple FCA Platinum Awards, Ferrari Classiche Certification and even Targa Florio racing history, chassis 4459GT is certainly one of the more peculiar of the already exceptional 250GT Lusso. If every car tells a story, then this particular chassis would certainly be one of the must-read novels from the 250GT collection. And its racing achievements and multiple awards would not be overlooked as the car was expected to command between $900,000 and $1,100,000 at the 2012 RM Auction in Arizona.Sources:
'Featured Lots: Lot No. 263: 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Berlinetta', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ12&CarID=r253&fc=0). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ12&CarID=r253&fc=0. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Ferrari 250', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 December 2011, 02:35 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ferrari_250&oldid=464499461 accessed 4 January 2012By Jeremy McMullen
Sold for $2,310,000 at 2007 Christies
The full title of the 250 GT Lusso is 250 GT Pininfarina Berlinetta, but the name 'Lusso,' which means 'luxury' stuck. Only 350 of these luxurious automobiles were built.
This Lusso was ordered new in 1963 by movie actor Steve McQueen. He ordered it in this rare marron (Chestnum Brown) metallic paint with light beige interior.
Intended as a road car, the Lusso came with a Colombo V12 engine that was officially rated at 250 hp but realistically produced 225-240 hp. it was built on a shorter wheelbase than its predecessors, and was given a steel body, with aluminum hood, doors, and trunk lid. The unique instrument panel had the speedometer and tachometer placed directly in the center of the panel flanked by the smaller gauges in the front of the driver.
The car was restored in 2005 and featured in Motor Trend Classic Magazine with Chad McQueen in November 2005.
Ferrari 250 GT Lusso with chassis number 4385GT was finished on April 30th of 1963. It is a left hand drive with a 330 LMB factory red nose. It has had many new owners since new - many have resided in Johannesburg, SA. Under the ownership of Bruno Ristow it was shown at the 1994 Pebble Beach Concours. Just rolling on the field is a major accomplishment, and this vehicle was invited to attend this historic and prestigious accomplishment. In the world of the Concours, there is non greater than the Pebble Beach event.
This vehicle has also made appearances at the Cavallino Classic. It is a beautiful and unique automobile.By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
Sold for $313,500 at 2005 RM Auctions
High bid of $400,000 at 2007 RM Auctions. (did not sell)
The Lusso was the last of Ferrari's 250 GT Series and it served as a fitting end to such a brilliant line of vehicles. During its two year production, around 350 examples were produced. It was a very successful line of luxury gran turismo's built without competition pretensions.
The Ferrari 250 GT/L, with 'L' representing Lusso or Luxury, is often considered one of the most beautiful cars ever created. It was designed by Pininfarina and featured a nose similar to the 250 GT SWB and a GTO-like truncated tail finished with a spoiler. It has thin pillars and a panoramic rear window that continues the cars sweeping curves. There are few external adornments and even the bumper blends nicely into the Lusso's shape. The chrome grille was the typical Ferrari egg crate radiator grille and one of the few places chrome was used on the vehicle.
The 250 GT/L was first shown at the 1962 Paris Auto Show where it was enthusiastically welcomed by the public. The chassis was the conventional 250 GT Ferrari setup except for a few new rear suspension features borrowed from the GTO. The Colombo designed V12 engine provided the car's power and it breathed through triple Weber carburetors.
This example has serial number 4857GT and is a one-off example that was converted to covered headlight configuration by Tom Meade when it was nearly new. The result was the appearance of a LWB Berlinetta or Spyder California. This car has been owned by the same family for over twenty years and has been well maintained and never required a complete restoration. It's odometer reads 144,061 since new and all mechanical components are reported to be in good, working condition.
This vehicle was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $400,000 - $500,000. As the gavel fell signaling the close of the sale, the lot had been left unsold.By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
The 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/Lusso or 250GT/L was designed by Pinin Farina with coachwork by Scaglietti. Under the hood of this 250 GT is the 3-liter V12 engine with three Weber 36DCS carburetors, developing 247 horsepower.
Sports Car International magazine listed the 250 GT Lusso as one of the top 10 Sports Cars of the 1960s. Famous owners include Steve McQueen, whose 250GT/L was sold at auction for $2.3 million in August of 2007.
The current owner acquired the car in November of 2004 and restoration was completed by Paul Russell and Company of Essex, MA in 2008.By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2011
Sold for $627,000 at 2008 Gooding & Company
Sold for $2,090,000 at 2016 RM Auctions
At the 1962 Paris Salon, Ferrari introduced the Berlinetta Lusso. It used the short wheelbase of the earlier 250 GTs, but a revised chassis configuration for the Lusso had the engine moved slightly further forward providing additional interior rood for the occupants. The interior was luxurious, fitted with thick carpets, soft leather bucket seats, and unique instrument treatment with a tachometer and speedometer placed in the center of the dashboard.
During the 18 month production lifespan of the Lusso, only 350 examples were produced. This example is chassis number 4415 GT and has engine number 4415 GT. It was completed in May of 1963 and was the thirtieth Lusso produced. Upon completion, it was sent to the US and to the US Importer Chinetti Motors in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was originally finished in Grigio Argento with a black leather interior.
The original owner is unknown. The second owner was William Moore, who acquired the car in 1964 and would keep it for the next three decades. By 1990, the car had been driven a mere 24,000 miles. A full restoration began; when completed, it was sold by Moore in Connecticut where it would remain for the next few years.
In 2003, the car was sent to Lindley restorations in Pennsylvania where it was given a complete, bare-metal repaint from red to black paint.
In 2005, the car was on display at the inaugural New York Concours at Wolman Rink in Central Park.
In 2008, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, California. It was estimated to sell for $650,000 - $800,000. A high bid of $627,000, including buyer's premium, was enough to secure new ownership. The lot was sold.By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2009
Sold for $704,000 at 2009 Gooding & Company
Sold for $2,447,500 at 2014 RM Auctions
The 250 GT Lusso had full-length wins sweeping back into a short rear deck and had minimal decoration. The spoiler placed above the Kamm tail was an aerodynamic refinement that was sourced from Ferrari's racing history, experience and heritage. The Lusso's were given a short wheelbase and a revised chassis configuration with the engine placed slightly further forward allowing for more interior room. This was a luxurious model, fitted with thick carpets and soft leather bucket seats.
The production run of the 250 GT Lusso amassed just 350 examples during its 18 month lifespan. This example, chassis number 5215GT was sent to the United States from the Ferrari factory in 1963. It was sent to Charles Rezzaghi Motors in San Francisco and later sold to a private owner, Thomas Pelandini, who lived nearby in Moraga. In 1980, the car was sold to another Bay Area enthusiast, Paul Uenaka of San Jose, California. It was sold a few years later to Joseph Galdi of Tucson, Arizona. While in Galdi's care, the car was given a restoration with the work featured in Road & Track's On Ferrari which featured text by Ken Gross and photos from John Lamm. It was owned by Mr. Galdi until 2004, when it was sold to a collector in Woodside, California. This new owner kept the car for three years before selling it to its next owner, Vic Branstetter in Los Angeles. While in his care, the car received a class award at the Ferrari Club of America's Pacific Region Vintage Ferrari Concours at Concorso Italiano.
The car is finished in dark red over tan. The 2953cc SOHC V-12 engine has three Weber carburetors and produces 240 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel disc brakes.
In 2009, this rare 250 GT Lusso was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was expected to sell for $700,000 - $850,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $704,000 including buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
This 250 GT Lusso is chassis number 5003, it is one of only 350 built, and each example was individually tailored to its customer. The model was an attempt by Ferrari to bridge the gap between its competition cars and its upscale luxury 2+2s. It combined the majority of the formidable 250 GTO racer's chassis characteristics and a 'street tuned' version of that car's engine with a luxurious interior. The unique dashboard placed both the speedometer and tachometer in the center, hooded and angled toward the driver.
This 250GTL was sold new in Italy to an American named Brad Bunch, who drove the car throughout Europe, and then shipped it to the United States, selling it to Richard Cole. The present owner purchased the car in 1992 as the fourth owner. A restoration was completed in 2006.By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
Sold for $720,500 at 2011 Gooding & Company
There were just 350 examples of the 250 GT Lusso produced over a two-year period. This example, chassis number 4411 GT, left the factory in May of 1963 and was the 27th example produced. It was finished in the color combination of Rosso Rubino over a beige Connolly leather interior. In 2003, the car was given a comprehensive and sympathetic restoration. The work was completed in spring of 2003 and was put on display at the AMOC Spring Concours at Waddesdon Manor, where it won the Associates Class. It went on to earn a First in Class and Second Overall at the Ferrari Owner's Club UK National Concours. Later that summer, at the XVI Louis Vuitton Classic Concours at Saint-Cloud, the Lusso was bestowed with the Prix d'Elegance.
In 2011, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, Az. It was estimated to sell for $600,000 - $750,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $720,500 including buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2011
The original owner of this 250 GTL (Lusso) was the singer Sam Cooke; the next owner was Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. Lussos have been, of course, favorites for many in the music and movie business with perhaps the most celebrated being Steve McQueen. The car he customized and sold in 1967 was resold in 2007 for a world record sum. 'Lusso' for luxury, Ferrari introduced it at the 1962 Paris Auto Show, having a commissioned Pininfarina design for Scaglietti to build.
Chassis number 4213 GT is the first production Lusso and one of only three known examples that were used in competition. The car was sold new through Garage Francorchamps SA in Brussels, Belgium and the first owner was Leon Dernier. The Lusso was entered in various races including an event in 1963 at Spa-Francorchamps, at the Cote de Fleron hillclimb, where he placed third in the GT class. At the Cote de la Roche hillclimb of the same year, he finished first in his class.
The car was next raced by David Cottingham in the 2011 Shell Historic Ferrari Maserati Challenge at Brands Hatch and Monza. The next owner was Jurgen Pyritz of Pyritz Yellow Racing in Germany who raced it at the Ferrari Days event at Spa-Francorchamps in April 2002.
Michael Williams raced chassis 4213 at the Uwe Meissner Moden Motorsport Festival in 2003 at the Nurburgring. Williams also competed at the Trofeo Baleares, with co-driver Erwin Bach, followed by the Kinnerton test day at Donington, England.
Heinrich Kampfer purchased the car in November of 2004 who restored it to latest regulations of the FIA and the Ferrari Shell Historic Challenge, and also obtaining a Ferrari Classiche Certificate.
After the work was completed, the car was entered in the 2005 Ferrari Challenge series with class second and third finishes.
The current owner of the vehicle raced the car in the Ferrari Historic Challenge at Laguna Seca in August of 2008 and finished 6th in class. It has continued to be entered in various vintage events.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2012
Sold for $880,000 at 2012 Gooding & Company
Sold for $1,815,000 at 2015 RM Auctions
This Ferrari 250 GT Lusso is chassis number 4393 GT and is number 21 of the 350 Lussos built. It was completed at the Maranello Ferrari works in April of 1963. It was finished in a dark metallic red, Amaranto Italver
, over a beige Connolly interior. It left the Ferrari factory for Belgian Ferrari importer Jacques Swater's garage Francorchamps and soon sold to its first customer through North American Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti Motors.
In 1967, the car made its way to the West Coast when Jochen Di Giorgio of Sausalito, California, purchased the Italian GT before selling it to Chicago, Illinois, resident Robert White. By that point in history, the car had been refinished in a silver exterior over a black interior. IN the late 1970s, the car made its way back to California where it remained through the early 1980s before being purchased by Ferrari dealer Ed Waterman of Florida.
In the early 1990s, before being sold to a collector in Germany, the car received a more through restoration. The car remained in Germany until 1997 when it was imported to the Netherlands. Dutch Collector Anthony J. Mark van Way became the next custodian, followed by Uwe Meissner. Years later, it was sold to Belgian collector Dominique Balders before 4393 GT made its way back to the United states in 2006, where Maryland resident Donald Hekler became the next owner. The car was shown at the 2006 Ferrari club of America Nationals, held at Chantilly, Virginia. In 2007, it was acquired by the restoration shop owner and TV-show host Wayne Carini. In 2009, Mr. Carini's F40 Motorsports shop began a complete restoration of 4393 GT.
Upon completion, the car was painted in metallic-gray exterior. The car rides on classic Borrani wire wheels, fitted with correct Michelin XVS tires.
In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, AZ. It was estimated to sell for $750,000 - $900,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had sold for the sum of $880,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2012
Sold for $1,897,500 at 2014 Silverstone Auctions
Painted 'Azzurro Metallic' blue and featuring chrome Borrani wheels and a black leather interior, this 1963 Ferrari 250GT Lusso is nearing completion of a full, ground-up, every nut-and-bolt restoration. It is one of 350 examples built between January 1963 and August of 1964. The car is powered by a 245 horsepower 3.0-liter V-12 engine and mated to a 4-speed transmission. It can do 0-to-60 mph in 8.0 seconds, a rather impressive accomplishment in its day.
The car was designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti.
The body/frame of this car has been alkaline dipped to remove all rust and corrosion. Extensive bodywork followed to repair any damage and new aluminum door skins were fabricated to replace the original ones that had deteriorated. The engine, drivetrain and suspension have been completely rebuilt. The gauges have been rebuilt and a new carpet and interior installed. The final major component to be installed will be the distinctive eggcrate grille and then the car will undergo final testing and tuning before final delivery.
High bid of $2,201,100 at 2014 Rick Cole Auctions. (did not sell)
This Ferrari 250 GT/L was first sold in July of 1963 in Italy thru Crepaldi, authorized dealer in Milan to S.I.L.V.A. Sas for a Mr. Giansaverio Bianchi and delivered new in Blu Notte Metallizzato 18943 Italver, the same dark blue color it wears today. It was sold in 1969 to Riley Kuehn of Seattle, Washington and stayed with Mr. Keuhn for 41 years, until 2010. Beginning in 2006, the car was stripped and painted; the chrome was redone; and many of the mechanical components were repaired and/or rebuilt as needed.
The current owner acquired the car in 2010. The car has its original tool roll and tools, along with the operating handbooks.By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2015
Sold for $2,117,500 at 2014 RM Auctions
When chassis number 5179 was new, it was delivered to Los Angeles dealership Otto Zipper Motors in 1964. Peter Jennings, its original owner, drove it for two years before trading it back to Zipper for a new 275 GTB. After about six months at Zipper Motors, it was purchased by Mr. Bloomer who spent the next 46 years behind the wheel. The car was driven extensively, being taken on tours all over the western United States, hill climbing in Virginia City, carrying the family on ski trips to Mammoth Mountain, and completing the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance in 2011.
Around 2010, the car was stripped to bare metal and refinished in its present metallic maroon. The Borrani wire wheels were refinished and new Michelin tires were installed.
The interior was maintained as necessary over the years. The carpets and center console were replaced many years ago, while the door panels, dashboard leather, seats, and rear package shelf all remain original. The engine underwent a major rebuild about 3,000 miles ago.
This Lusso has had only three owners from new.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014
Sold for $1,925,000 at 2015 Gooding & Company
Only a total of 350 examples of the 250 GT Lusso would be built between 1962 and 1964. Yet, though its production run would be brief there would be no arguing its beauty and influence.
Chassis 5225 GT is one of those 350 Lussos built. Completed in 1963, the car benefited from years of experience in development and advancement. Four-wheel Dunlop disc brakes would blend beautifully with the suspension and 3.0-liter V12 pumping out around 240hp at 7,000rpms.
The 173rd Lusso, 5225GT would be completed by Ferrari in December of 1963. A short time later it would make its way to its first owner, a businessman who lived in Genova. It would remain with its first owner until 1968 when it would then be sold to Viviano Corradini. Corradini would be an interesting figure. An automobile specialist, Viviano's reach would be vast. Not only would he have a home in Milan but he would also have a place in New Jersey.
In June 1968, the Lusso would make its way to the United States and would make its home there for nearly two decades. A couple of years after having arrived in the States the car would be sold to a fellow New Jersey resident where it would remain until 1987 when it was acquired by none other than Thomas W. Barrett III. At the time, the Ferrari boasted of black leather upholstery and a burgundy finish.
One year later, the car would be sold at auction and would make its way back to Europe before it continued on to Japan where it would become the property of Yoshio Sogabe of Kobe. For over a decade the car would remain in Japan. Then, in 2002, the car would venture back to the United States where it would join its latest owner, a Southern Californian collector.
The combination of the Lusso and its owner would be a very special collection as it would prove to be the twelve-cylinder Ferrari he had always wanted. The connection would lead to the car remaining with the owner from 2002 onwards. Over the last twelve years the car has taken part in a number of outings, including the Ferrari Club of America event held at Ortega Run.
In 2008, Ferrari specialist Jens Paulson rebuilt the engine. General and detail service continue to be done, much of it conducted by an experienced FCA judge. Though refurbished over 30 years ago, the Lusso remains a fine example of the elegant grand tourer.
Still retaining its tool roll, owner handbooks, history report and with Ferrari Classiche certification pending, 5225GT has the potential to be a future star in the concours category, let alone a fine mount for those long enticing journeys.
Presented as part of Gooding & Company's 2015 Arizona auction, the 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, chassis 5225 GT would be one of the highlights drawing pre-auction estimates of between $1,600,000 and $1,800,000.
Bidding for the Lusso would keep trending upwards. It would soon become apparent the pre-auction estimates would soon prove to be weak as the Ferrari would fight its way beyond the $1.9 million dollar mark and would eventually end up selling for $1,925,000.By Jeremy McMullen
Sold for $2,310,000 at 2007 Christies
This 250 GT Lusso was ordered new in early 1963 by actor Steve Mc Queen. He ordered in the rare color Marrone (chestnut brown) metallic, with a light beige interior. It was acquired from an ad in Competition Press (now Autoweek) in 1972 for 8000 dollars, and went to northern California, where it remained until 1997 when acquired by Mike Regalia. The owner thoroughly restored the car, finishing in late 2005. It was on display at the Petersen Museum for a special Steve McQueen exhibition and has won awards at numerous concours events including Amelia Island and the Cavallino Classic as the Meguiar's Award for best paint. It still carries the original license plates when owned by McQueen.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2012
Sold for $1,875,000 at 2016 Gooding & Company
This Ferrari 250 GT Lusso has been in the care of a single over for the past fifty years. It has been well cared for and stored in a climate-controlled garage. A cosmetic restoration was performed between 1991 and 1993, and its three-liter Colombo V12 engine was rebuilt. It has been shown only once, at the 1996 New Hope Automobile Show. It has also been driven in on-track exhibition laps at Bridgehampton, Watkins Glen, and Lime Rock.By Daniel Vaughan | May 2016
Production of the 250 Series began in 1954 and continued on through the early part of the 1960's. There were numerous variations of the 250 and would ultimately become Ferrari's most successful line of vehicles to date. The 250 is also recognized as the first Ferrari to ever receive disc brakes. This did not take place until the end of the 1950's. Also, the 250 was the first four-seater.
Ferrari's were custom built cars. They were not mass-produced. Ferrari provided the engine and chassis while Italian coach builders provided the body. This meant the specifications varied. Engines also varied in horsepower rating, torque, and displacement. This was no different for the 250 GT which saw many different variations in body style and body types.
Ferrari built the road-going Ferrari's to fuel his passion for racing. Many of the vehicles he built for the road had a competition model. That is, a modified version of the road-going model. An example of this was the 1959 short-wheel base (SWB) Berlinetta (Berlinetta which means coupe) and given an aluminum body. It was debuted in October 1959 at the Paris Salon. GT cars were road-legal vehicles that could also be taken to the track and compete without the need for modifications. Although this was their purpose, Ferrari realized that many customers would not race their vehicle, but rather wanted the power and performance that sports cars offered. To comply, Ferrari built these cars to be powerful and luxurious. The vehicles could still be run on the track, mostly on requiring the adoption of stickers and complying with any safety requirements.
The 250 road-going vehicles mostly shared two wheelbase sizes, a 2400 mm and 2600 mm. The 2400 wheelbase were referred to as the SWB (Short wheel base) while the other was the LWB (long wheel base).
The base engine was a Colombo 60-degree, single-over-head cam, 'vee' type 12-cylinder, with aluminum alloy block and heads, and cast-iron cylinder liners. The displacement was 180 cubic inch (2953 cc). Horsepower production was around 220-260. The front suspension was independent with double wishbones and coil springs. The rear suspension was a live axle.
The first 250 introduced was the 250S and available in either berlinetta or spider configuration. Introduced in 1952, they were powered by a 3-liter Colombo engine producing about 230 horsepower.
At the 1953 Paris Motor Show, Ferrari introduced the 250 Europa and Export. These were the only models in the series that were powered by a Lampredi v-12 engine also seen in Formula 1. The 250 Export had a 2400 MM wheelbase, similar tot he 250 MM. The 250 Europa had a larger, 2800 mm wheelbase which allowed more interior room. During their short production lifespan, only 18 examples were produced. Pininfarina and Vignale were tasked with creating the coachwork.
In 1954 four specialty built 250 Monza were built for racing. They shared many similarities with the 750 Monza's, but were equipped with the 3-liter Colombo engine.
At the 1957 Geneva auto show, Ferrari displayed their 250 GT Cabriolet. Coachwork was courtesy of Pininfarina; the wheelbase was 2600 mm in size. In 1959 the second in the 250 GT Cabriolet series production began after only 36 examples being produced.
From 1957 through 1959 Ferrari produced the 250 GT Berlinetta 'Tour de France' (TdF). The name had been given for the 10-day automobile race. Originally the engine produced 240 horsepower but was later modified to 260 horsepower. Carrozzeria Scaglietti was responsible for creating the bodies based on Pinin Farina's design.
Scaglietti was responsible for constructing the 1957 250 GT California Spyder. These sat atop a long, 2600 mm chassis and aluminum was used throughout the body in efforts to reduce the overall weight. In total, around 45 examples were created before they were replaced by the SWB version in 1960.
There were 250 examples of the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB produced. Production began in 1959 and used the shortened, sportier wheelbase. Giotto Bizzarrini, Carlo Chiti, and Mauro Forghieri were responsible for the development. Some were built for racing while others were meant for daily transportation. Horsepower ranged from 240 to 280. Steel or aluminum bodies were used. The steel bodies were suited for the road-going vehicles, also known as Lusso. The racing trim vehicles were powerful and had low weight. They were vary competitive and are regarded as the most important GT racers of its time. In 1961 the SWB Berlinetta captured the GT class of the Constructor's Championship.
In 1960 a Scaglietti 250 GT Spyder California SWB was shown at the Geneva Motor Show. Built as a replacement for the LWB and based on the 250 GT SWB, around 55 examples were produced.
The Ferrari 250TR was produced from 1957 through 1958 during which only 19 examples were created. The 'pontoon' fender body was designed by Scaglietti and the power was supplied through a Colombo 12-cylinder engine mounted at a sixty-degree angle and outfitted with six Weber 38 DCN carburetors. Power was sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual gearbox. With 300 horsepower, the 800 kg vehicle was able to achieve a 168 mph top speed. From 1958 through 1961, the 250 TR was entered in 19 championship races where they emerged victorious ten times.
The 250 in 250 TR represented the unitary displacement while the TR was an acronym meaning Testa Rossa. Testa Rossa translates to 'red head' which referred to the color of the engine's cylinder head.
The 250 TR series was built to capture the world championship which was experience questionable times. During the 1955 24 Hours of Lemans a fatal accident occurred and the Commissione Sportiva Internazionale (CSI) began investigating ways to make the sport safer for the drivers and the spectators. Their efforts were escalated in 1967 when another fatal accident occurred at the 1957 Mille Miglia. The committee decided upon a displacement limit but they were in disagreement on the size; the proposed figures ranged from 3 to around 3.5 liters.
1958 was the introductory year for the new regulations, which had been announced during the later part of 1957. Ferrari had been building, testing, and racing the 250 GT which had performed well during the 1957 Mille Miglia. The Colombo V12 260 horsepower engine received a larger bore, camshaft, and other improvements resulting in a 3.1 liter displacement and 320 horsepower. Testing continued throughout the 1957 season in both body configuration and mechanical components.
Ferrari had anticipated the new engine size regulations and thus had been sufficiently prepared to capture the world championship. Due to the potential of negative publicity caused by the fatal accidents, other manufacturers, such as Aston Martin, Lotus, Cooper and Jaguar, were hesitant to continue racing. Ferrari believed their closest competitor would be the powerful and technologically advanced Maserati 450 S which featured a quad-cam eight-cylinder engine.
Ferrari quickly began capturing victories during the 1958 season. The 250 TR was a solid vehicle thanks to the preparation and testing. The steel tubular ladder frame was of traditional Ferrari construction; a DeDion rear axle was used on the works racers. Customer cars were outfitted with a live axle. Drum brakes were placed on all four corners of the car. The engine had been modified to comply with regulations and to fit in the engine bay. In reality, the vehicle was an outdated car having only the benefit of proper planning and proven technology. Most cars featured disc brakes which provided superior stopping power. The Colombo engine dated back to the beginning of Ferrari and was antiquated in comparison to the modern power-plants.
Nearing the close of the 1958 season, the competition began to rise. Aston Martin had a lethal combination, a 3 liter DBR1 racer and Stirling Moss as the driver. Even though the Aston Martins did score a victory at Nurburgring 1000 KM, Ferrari was able to capture the World Championship. The legendary Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien easily capture a third victory for Ferrari at the grueling 24 Hours of Lemans. The 250 TR works cars were referred to as TR58, to distinguish them from the customer TRs.
For the 1959 season, the vehicles received slight modifications which made the vehicle lighter and more powerful. The big news was the use of Dunlop disc brakes. The engine received coil valve springs and the horsepower increased slightly to 306. A Colotti designed five speed gearbox replaced the four-speed unit. Pininfarina was tasked with designing a new body and the construction was handled by Fantuzzi. As a result of the improvements, the name was changed to TR59. At their inaugural race, the TR59 finished first and second. This streak did not last and at the end of the season, it was Aston Martin who emerged as the world champion. The TR59 was plagued with reliability issues mostly due to the gearbox. The vehicles were forced to retire early from races, including Le Mans.
For the 1960 season, the TR was modified slightly to comply with new regulations and to rectify the transmission issues. These vehicles are commonly referred to as the TR59/60. Aston Martin had withdrawn from the championship which left no factory opposition for Ferrari. Porsche and Maserati provided competition, especially at Targa Florio and the Nurburgring 1000 km where they scored victories. At Le Mans, Ferrari finished first and second and captured the word championship, beating Porsche by only four points.
For the 1961 season, Ferrari introduced the mid-engined 246 SP. The TRI61 was given a new spaceframe chassis and was able to capture victories at Sebring 12 Hours and Le Mans. With victories between the 246 SP and the TRI61, Ferrari once again captured the world championship.
The CSI implemented stricter rules for the 1962 season which meant the TR was unable to score points for the factory. It was still allowed to race for the overall victory.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
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