Sold for $38,115,000 at 2014 Bonhams. It isn't often a sportscar manufacturer manages to build a car capable of contesting so many genres of motor-racing. It is practically impossible for a factory to build one that is successful in all of them as well. Sure, the car would be an incredible track car, but never legal for the street. However, the famed outfit from Maranello would achieve this incredibly elusive feat when it built the 250 GTO.
Originally designed to meet the requirements of the 3-liter FIA GT World Championship category, the 250 GTO would end up in a class unto itself. Powered by a 3-liter V12, and with a Scaglietti-designed body to die for, the GTO would not only look good dominating the GT World Championship two straight seasons, it would also look good as it powered its way to victories in hillclimbs, as well as, just going down the street. Pushing the best of the prototypes of the day, and yet, legal for the street, the 250 GTO was certainly the ultimate in its day.
Only a total of 39 would ever be produced that would be considered from the GTO family. Of those 39, only 31 would be from the 1962-1963 line of 250 GTO. Among those 31, only 28 are known to have been fitted with the original 3-liter V12 engine. The rest would become '330'GTOs fitted with 4-liter V12s.
The 17th, and perhaps the best, of those 31 with the true 3-liter V12 would be chassis 3851GT. Nearly all of the 250 GTOs that would be built have an impressive racing pedigree. However, few would match this car's longevity and success over such a period of time.
Completed at the end of the 1962 season, 3851GT would originally be finished in metallic pale grey with a red, white and blue stripes running down the centerline of the car. The car's first owner would be a privateer that certainly knew how to hustle a car around a circuit. The Frenchman, Jo Schlesser, would take and compete with the car. Co-driving with Henri Oreiller, Schlesser would enter 3851GT in the Tour de France Automobile. Schlesser was an up-and-coming talent. Oreiller had earned great fame as a resistance fighter during the war and a fearless downhill skier afterward. Henri would go on to win a couple of gold medals for France in the downhill with a nearly unheard of gap of some four seconds over the second place finisher. He seemed the ideal co-driver with Schlesser behind the wheel of the 250 GTO. Splitting up the workload between the hillclimbs and circuits, the pair would end up finishing 2nd place. It is highly likely they could have won had they, not unlike the other favored drivers at the wheel of the new 250 GTOs, not taken unnecessary risks at times.
Sadly, in the very next event, Oreiller would crash the GTO killing himself and mangling the car terribly. Schlesser would be devastated and would return the car to Maranello. Being one of the powerful 250 GTOs, 3851GT wasn't going to sit around long and it would be rebuilt over the winter of 1962 and 1963 and would then be delivered to Paolo Colombo. Colombo was not a professional driver but he was a regular on the hillclimbing scene. Racing under the Scuderia Trentina name, Colombo would contest the Italian national hillclimb championship. In his first event he would finish 7th overall and 3rd within his class. This would be one of his worse showings over the course of a year in which he would score no less than 12 class victories. At Mont Ventoux, Colombo could have made it 13 class victories had it not been for a small error that cost him some valuable seconds.
Not surprisingly, 3851GT would attract a number of admirers, one of those being Ernesto Prinoth, an automotive businessman who had a garage in Groden. Famous for Prinoth AG, a builder of snow vehicles, Prinoth was certainly a man who enjoyed sport and adventure. He would take part in some Formula One races driving for Scuderia Dolomiti in a Lotus-Climax 18 scoring mixed results. However, when he decided to make the switch to GT racing with the GTO, he would be virtually unbeatable scoring more than a half dozen victories over the course of the 1964 season.
Sadly, the car would suffer an incredible crash at Monza later on in the year. The body would be extensively damaged. Nonetheless, the car would be quickly repaired and Prinoth would complete the year with a 2nd overall finish at Innsbruck.
At the end of the year, Prinoth would be left with a successful, but used, 250 GTO. Fabrizio Violati would help make the decision for him. A racing fan for years, Violati would have a dream of owning a Ferrari. Ever since he had seen the scuderia for the first time in 1947 he had determined to some day own a famous example of the mark. Violati would be a successful racer in his own right winning his class often in hillclimbs and other events. There would be an agreement to sell the car for around $4,000. This was a lot of money at the time and it would force Violati to hide the fact from his family. In fact, the only time he would take to the streets in the awesome GTO would be at night when no one would be able to tell it was him behind the wheel.
The car would not leave Violati's side for nearly 50 years. Over that time, he would have the opportunity to collector more than a couple of Ferraris. However, 3851GT still held the highest place of importance within his heart. Then, by the mid-1970s, he would determine to test the car's pedigree within historic racing. By 1985, he and the car would be the European FIA Historic Champions. He would also go on to win the 1989 Targa Florio Autostoriche.
In 1984, this man who had fallen in love with the Ferrari mark after seeing them for the first time in 1947, would be invited to Maranello by Enzo Ferrari himself. The reason for the visit would be an incredible moment in the man's life as Enzo would task him with forming Ferrari Club Italia.
Right up to Violati's death in 2010, 3851GT still figured prominently within his extensive collection of Ferraris. The car had been in his possession for 45 years to that point. It certainly was a part of the family.
Still with its original engine, the 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3851GT, would be offered for sale for the first time in nearly 50 years. Offered as part of the 2014 Bonhams Quail Lodge auction, the car would set a record selling for $38,115,000!
Well documented, successful and the apple of an owner's eye for half a century, it is not difficult to understand why 3851GT is considered the ultimate Ferrari. Violati wouldn't just end up with what he had long desired. He would end up with perhaps the most priceless Ferrari of them all.By Jeremy McMullen
The 1962 Ferrari GTO with chassis number 3705GT was constructed on June 14th of 1962 and is a left hand drive vehicle. It was purchased by Jean Guichet who entered the vehicle into the 1962 24 Hours of LeMans race. It was driven by Guichet and Pier [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007
Ferrari 250 GTO with chassis number 3729GT was constructed on July 28th of 1962. It is a right-hand drive vehicle and has had a very extensive racing career. Its innagural event was at the Brands Hatch, Peco Trophy driven by Roy Salvadori and weari [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007
Featured on the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance poster for 2011, this is the first Ferrari GTO ever built. Chassis 3223GT was race-ready in December 1961 and tested by Willy Mairesse at Modena. Launched without its distinctive rear wing, this car was re [Read More...]
Ferrari 250 GTO with chassis number 3413GT was constructed in April of 1962. It is a left hand drive vehicle and used by Hill and Forghieri as a training car at the Targa Florio. Its first owner was Edoardo Lualdi Gabardi who entered the car in com [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
This Ferrari 250 GTO with chassis number 3757 has been in the care of Nick Mason since 1978 who purchased the car for approximately $86,000. Mason is the drummer for Pink Floyd. [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2007
This 250 GTO, chassis number 3387, is the second GTO produced. It is also referred to as the second production prototype. It was completed in March of 1962 and was nearly identical to chassis 3223. During early testing at Monza, the car received a sm [Read More...]
Not all Ferrari 250 GTOs are red. The unusual colors on this car reflect its early race history in Sweden. Before going to Sweden in the summer of 1963, it raced at LeMans, in the Tour de France, and in the Paris 1000 Kilometers at Monthlhery in 1962 [Read More...]
The 250 GTO body was developed by Bizzarrini and Scaglietti and perfected in a wind tunnel and on-track tests. This GTO (chassis 3505GT) was bought by the British Racing Partnership/UDT-Laystall team of Alfred and Stirling Moss. After running at Lema [Read More...]
This car was first sold to Ferdinando Pagliarini, but it was owned twice by Ferrari collector Pierre Bardinon. In addition to taking first in class at the Paris Grand Prix in 1965 under the ownership of the de Montaigus, this 250 GTO (chassis number [Read More...]
Chassis number 3647GT is a right-hand drive, aluminum-bodied 250 GTO that was delivered to Col. Ronnie Hoare on June 6th of 1962. It was driven initially by John Surtees for Maranello Concessionaires / Bowmaker Racing. In 1962, the car sold to Prince [Read More...]
Sold to Edgar Berney, this Ferrari 250 GTO (chassis number 3909GT) raced initially in France, taking first in class at the Coupe du Salon at Montlhery. Jo Siffert then drove it to a third place finish in the 500km Spa race. This GTO subsequently ran [Read More...]
There were 39 250 GTO's produced between 1962 and 1964, are considered to be on of Enzo Ferrari's greatest masterpieces. Bizzarrini had a major role in the development work. He spent many hours at wind tunnels perfecting the body of the GTO. The resu [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2012
This colorful, green and yellow Ferrari 250 GT0, is a re-bodied copy of an original GTO. It was a GTE and has chassis number 3731 GTE. It has been prepared for vintage racing and has a racing harness and restraints, along with a replica GTO 5-speed [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
Sold for $38,115,000 at 2014 Bonhams. Chassis number 3851GT was built in September of 1962 and was sold new to French privateer Jo Schlesser. It was the 19th example created, although two of the preceding examples had been 330 GTOs with 4-litre engines instead of the GT-homologated 3-lit [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2014
A stunning 250 GTO is restored by the Classiche department
Maranello, 28 November 2014 – One of the stars of the tracks of the 1960s was a Ferrari 250 GTO which has just emerged from a two-year-plus renovation at the Ferrari Classiche department, ready to return to its owner in America. During its stay in Maranello, the car was restored to the original engine and bodywork configuration in which it was delivered to Bologna-based publisher Luciano Conti in 1962. The latter also drove it in its maiden race, the Bologna-Passo della Raticosa.
The Volpi era. In June 1962, however, Chassis no. 3445 was sold to Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata, a passionate racing driver, who competed under the S.S.S. Repubblica di Venezia insignia. During this particular stage of its career, the car also won the Trophée d'Auvergne wîth Carlo Maria Abate at its wheel.
A change of livery. In April 1963, the 250 GTO was purchased by Swede Úlf Norinder who, to comply wîth the racing regulations of the day, changed its livery from the original red to blue and yellow colours of Sweden. Mr Norinder then drove it to victory in the Vastkustloppet in his home nation. The car also finished second twice in the Targa Florio (with Bordeu and Scarlatti in 1963, and 1964 wîth Norinder and Pico Troiberg, the latter time as no. 112 which it still bears today). It subsequently changed hands several times before being sent to the Classiche department in 2012 to be restored to its original splendour. That process now complete, the 250 GTO once again sports the Swedish colours and is back wîth its owner.Source - Ferrari
The Ferrari 250 GTO was produced from 1962 through 1964 with 36 examples created during that time. It is a car of beauty, performance and mystery. Much is known about the car, but much is still a in question. It is one of the most memorable and sought after vehicles with many still put through their paces in modern times in historic competition.
The design was created by either Bizzarrini or Scaglietti, or possibly from input from several sources. Gestione Sportiva's Giotto Bizzarrini was in charge of the Comp/62 program when the prototype was brought to the track for testing. Gestione Sportiva had been tasked with creating a new performance version of the 250 GT for the 1962 season in order to comply with new FIA regulations to run the World Championship for GT cars, rather than sportscars. The project began with a 250 GT chassis SWB chassis that measured 2600 mm and shortened down to 2400 mm. The 2600mm wheelbase had been available as either an aluminum bodied competition car or a 'Lusso' road going version with a steel body. The 'Lusso' was created to comply with FIA homologation regulations that required a minimum number of cars to be created. The 250 GT SWB was used in competition during the 1960 and 1961 season scoring many important victories and providing the prancing horse marque with many podium finishes. It achieved victories in the Tour de France, and class victories at LeMans, along with many other GT Class victories.
In 1961 the Comp/61 version was introduced. It was a development of the prior competition 250 GT versions but with a more powerful engine, slightly modified body, and a strong and lighter chassis. Its only Achilles heal was its poor aerodynamics at high speeds.
The Comp/62 program began in almost at the start of 1961. Ferrari raced a 'Sperimentale' in the 1961 LeMans race which featured a 250 TR engine stuffed into a 250 GT SWB chassis and wearing a body designed by Pininfarina in the SuperAmerica style. The car showed real potential but would end of the race prematurely.
The front design of the Comp/62 prototype test car would make it to production mostly unchanged. The rear of the car was similar to the early 1960s 250 GT. The overall shape of the car was continually developed until perfected. Upon competition, it was sent to Scaglietti who finished the design and prepared it for production. In February of 1962, the car was shown to the public even though further modifications would still be made to the design. During high speed testing the rear end aerodynamics were still unstable. To rectify the problem, a small fin shaped tail called a 'Kamm' was attached to the rear. This tail had first been seen on a V6 prototype car driven by Richie Ginther during the following season. The first 18 cars constructed had a separate bolt-on tail while the remaining cars had the design built directly into the body.
The Ferrari 250 GT series had done well for Ferrari, both in racing and in sales. Ferrari was able to use it in competition for several season as they had already been approved for racing and homologation requirements were satisfied. With the introduction of the Comp/62, may felt the car was not a derivation of the 250 GT, but had more similarities with a 'Testa Rossa' with the addition of a roof, thus making it a completely new car. Official paperwork referred to the cars as 250 GT Comp/62, but it is commonly referred to as a 250 GTO, with the 'O' representing 'Omologato' which is Italian for homologation. Ultimately, it was the 250 GTO name, which had first appeared in English publications, that would stick with the car. The US automobile company, Pontiac, would later use the 'GTO' name on their muscle car vehicles. Ferrari later used the 'GTO' name on future series of their vehicles.
The Ferrari 250 GTO enjoyed continual success in racing, even though the development had been hindered with the 1961 walk-out by many influential and important individuals at Bizzarrini. When the 250 GTO made its racing debut at Sebring, the second round of the championship, it easily won the GT-class. It had been driven by Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien, both very capable, experienced, and accomplished drivers. As the season progressed, the 250 GTO continued to rack-up class victories including a top three in class at LeMans. Ferrari easily won the season having earned 45 points.
The following season the GTO continued its successes even with an influx of competition from the AC Cobras with powerful Ford engines.
There were 33 factory built GTOs during 1962 and 1963 with 28 having the Comp/62 body. One wore a GTO LMB body. Three more were created in 1964 and four of the prior models were later re-bodied with a 1964 design. Luigi Chinetti's North American Racing Team (NART) created a special one-off design which they entered in the 1963 24 Hours of LeMans and commonly referred to as a 250 GTO LMB. Its design was similar to the 330 LMB GT/Prototype race cars.
The 1964 cars were a development of the 250 P which had won LeMans in 1963. The engine was placed mid-ship and most, if not all, of its mechanical components were completely new. This meant they were not homologated for racing under FIA regulations. To solve this problem, Ferrari quickly had three new GTOs created and fitted with bodies similar to the 250 LM. The cars would earn Ferrari another Championship for the third year in a row, though it was a tough battle between the competitive AC Cobra's and the Daytona variant.
As the competition continued to grow, Ferrari created a new racing version of the newly introduced 275 GTB. What had worked in the passed for Ferrari, was not to work again, as the FIA refused homologation for the racing version as they viewed it too different from the road version. So Ferrari withdrew from GT Competition and focused on Formula 1. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2008
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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