1964 Ferrari 250 LM
Although largely overshadowed by the exploits of Audi and Porsche there just wouldn't be Le Mans without Ferrari. However, since 1965, Le Mans would have to go without a Ferrari at the top of the overall standings. The last to achieve this honor woul....[continue reading]
A fighter, no matter the form, will always be a fighter, or, as General Patton put it, 'Where I fought in many guises, many names, but always me.' A true racing car will always be. This particular chassis is a testament to this fact.....[continue reading]
Chassis Num: 5909
The Ferrari 250 LM made its debut at the 1963 Paris Auto Salon and first competed the following year. Designed for the GT class at Le Mans, 100 cars were needed to obey the homologation rules, but not surprisingly only 32 cars were finished; the LM w....[continue reading]
Chassis Num: 5843
The first rear-engined V12 Ferrari with the 3-liter 250 GT engine was the 250P 'Prototipo' that won at LeMans in 1963. Enzo Ferrari wanted to have a rear-engined car for both road and race, and he revealed the 3.3 liter 250 LM at the 1963 Paris Auto ....[continue reading]
Chassis Num: 6119
This 1964 Ferrari 250 LM is a proud member of the trio of 250 LMs that represent Ferrari's last success at the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1965. Entered by Scuderia Filipinetti, who had taken delivery of the car from the factory in September 1964, this car....[continue reading]
Chassis Num: 5893
The 250 LM was first seen at the Paris Automobile Show in October 1963 and was built as the replacement for the 250 GTO to compete in the GT category of sports-car racing, however, Ferrari produced only 32 250 LMs and the car was forced to compete as....[continue reading]
This Ferrari 250 LM is number 23rd of 32 examples constructed. It was ordered through Maranello Concessionaires by privateer Ronald Fry. Fry had traded in his 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO (chassis number 3869GT), which he had campaigned quite successfully ov....[continue reading]
HistoryFerrari's unstoppable 250 GTO racer, with its brutal performance and beautiful lines, was replaced by the 250 LM. Though the LM, too, was a great looker with formidable capabilities on the track, it was a wholly different vehicle from the GTO. While the GTO followed the storied Ferrari tradition of stuffing twelve cylinders between the front fenders, the LM had its V12 mounted amidships.
Placing the engine behind the driver was a predictable move. More and more successful racing cars were using mid-engined configurations by 1964, the year that the 250 LM first competed. Ferrari itself had already experienced notable success with mid-engined cars, and the company chose its 250 P as the foundation for the 250 LM. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1963, the first and third spots on the winners' podium were filled by 250 Ps. The 250 P's competition success would be continued by the 250 LM.
First shown at the Paris Salon of 1963, the 250 LM resembled a 250 P with an added roof. The LM had a tubular chassis built by Vaccari of Modena. The chassis was similar to the unit used for the 250 P, although the tubing surrounding the cabin was made sturdier to compensate for the LM's heavy doors and low sills. Suspension was carried over from the 250 P, and consisted of double wishbones and coil springs front and rear. The Paris show car's engine was also carried over from the 250 P (and the 250 GTO). It was a 60-degree V12 of 2,953cc, producing 300bhp at 7,500rpm and topped by a sextet of Webers. The show car's engine was replaced by a bored-out motor of similar design but displacing 3,286cc when the 250 LM went into production for 1964, providing an additional 20bhp.
With a superlatively sporty body shell penned by Pininfarina and constructed in aluminum by Scaglietti, the 250 LM looked like it was born for the racetrack. Indeed, the 250 LM was born for the racetrack, which led to serious problems when Ferrari attempted to homologate the car for racing.
FIA rules stated that 100 copies of a car must be produced in order to qualify that vehicle for GT racing. Ferrari had somehow managed to qualify its 250 GTO, of which only 37 were produced, for GT competition by claiming that it was simply a rebodied 250 SWB. The FIA was not going to fall for such shenanigans again, though. Ferrari was only able to produce 32 copies of its 250 LM, so the vehicle was refused status as a GT car and forced to compete in the prototype class. This was a problem. Ferrari had intended for the 250 LM to be a GT racer just like the 250 GTO before it, but now its mid-engined car would be pinned against ferocious competition in a class without boundaries.
This turn of fate ensured that the 250 LM would not have the same monumental career as the GTO. The LM did not exactly languish in the prototype class, though. Victories at Kyalami, Rheims, and Elkhart Lake were all accomplished in 1964. In 1965, the 250 LM won Ferrari its last overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
That the 250 LM was able to find success even in the prototype class was proof of Ferrari's engineering excellence. The LM, produced by a company under the direction of a fearless and often ruthless leader, was the product of an unstoppable desire to go faster and an indefatigable drive to win.
'Ferrari 250 LM.' QV500.com n. pag. Web. 27 Jan 2010.
Melissen, Wouter. '1963-1966 Ferrari 250 LM.' Ultimatecarpage.com (2005): Web. 27 Jan 2010.
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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