Although reluctant at first, road car production would become vitally important to the Ferrari company's stability. The 250 series would become their first volume-production model, beginning with the 250 Europa, built from 1953 to 1954 with less than 20 examples built. Before the Europa, Ferrari had built road-going convertibles and coupes in small numbers and were typically constructed to special customer order atop sports-racing chassis as the basis. Many of the bodies were built by Ghia, Vignale, and Touring. No attempts were made at standardization for series production and no two cars were alike.
The 250 Europa was fitted with the modified version of the 340 Amercia's Lampredi-designed 'long-block' engine. In 1954, with the introduction of the 250 Europa GT, Colombo's more compact and lighter short-stroke engine was installed. The 2,600mm chassis in which it was installed was 200mm shorter in the wheelbase than that of the Europa. It followed Ferrari's traditional building practices of a multi-tubular frame with oval main tubes, however, the independent front suspension was given coil springs instead of the previous transverse leaf type. In the back was a semi-elliptically sprung live rear axle. The engine was mated to a four-speed, all-synchromesh gearbox, and hydraulic drums at all four corners provided the stopping power.
After World War II, cars and technology advanced quickly, leading to a disastrous accident at Le Mans in 1955. In response, FIA regulations reclassified sports car racing with new limits on displacement classes. Ferrari found itself in a favorable position with the tried-and-true 3-liter short-block engine developed by Giaocchino Colombo. It was installed in their dual-purpose road-racing model based on the 250 GT chassis and clothed in lightweight aluminum coachwork by Scaglietti. The 250 GT Berlinetta quickly proved to be a potent force in sports car racing, particularly in the multi-stage Tour de France Automobile, which it won four consecutive years from 1956–1959. Marquis de Portago's Ferrari, a long-wheelbase version, won it in 1956. A year later, Oliver Gendebien won the race in another LWB Berlinetta, and he managed to repeat this feat in 1957 and 1958. The 250 GT TdF would go on to become the most successful competition 250 GT Ferrari model, with more victories than any other model, including the 250 GTO.
The 250 GT TdF Competizione model had evolved from the preceding 250 Europa GT and competition Mille Miglia models, built atop the same 2,600mm wheelbase as the former. The Colombo V12 engine offered up to 280 horsepower. The suspension assembly remained nearly unchanged, apart from a front anti-roll bar was included, for the first time in a Ferrari. Unlike some of its competition, Ferrari continued to use drum brakes instead of discs. Scaglietti bodied the majority of the models built between 1956 and 1959, to a Pininfarina design.
78 examples of the 250 GT Berlinetta were built in four distinct body styles including no-louver, 14-louver, three-louver, and single louver. They were also given the nickname the Tour de France (TdF). Fifteen were series II cars with three louvers and covered headlights. Twenty-nine series III cars were built with the covered headlights but a single louvre. Eight single louvre cars were built in 1959 with open headlights, a new requirement in Italian law. 36 examples were the single-louvre, covered-headlight examples. Five superlight cars were also made with coachwork by Zagato.
The 250 GT Berlinetta would win more races than either of its successors, the 250 GT SWB and the GTO. by Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2019
Related Reading : Ferrari 250 GT History
Production of the 250 Series began in 1954 and continued on through the early part of the 1960s. There were numerous variations of the 250 and would ultimately become Ferraris 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 1950s. Also, the 250 was the first four-seater. Ferraris.... Continue Reading >>
The Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta was produced from 1955 through 1959. Their first major racing success came in 1956 when drivers Alfonso de Portago and Edmund Nelson won the grueling, week-long Tour de France. The event was so difficult on drivers a....[continue reading]
This Ferrari was sold by Francorchamps, Belgium to Count Antoine d'Assche on February 25, 1958. It was the 47th vehicle produced out of a total of 93. This car is powered by a single overhead-cam 2.9-liter V12 engine developing 258 horsepower coupled....[continue reading]
Chassis 0787GT is the 12th of 18 Series II cars built. It is a three-louver example with covered headlights and was delivered with chrome headlamp trim piece, which it still has today. It is painted in Rosso red with matching interior. It was comp....[continue reading]
The Ferrari 250 GT TdF was a dual-purpose road-racing model based on the 250 GT production platform. Powered by a competition-tuned version of the Colombo short-block V-12, and fitted with alloy coachwork by Scaglietti, the 250 GT Berlinetta was an i....[continue reading]
This LWB Competition TdF is the fourth of only 36 single-louvre, covered-headlight Tour de France Ferrari's created. The car was fitted with a 508C chassis and Tipo 128C engine and was delivered new on April 21st of 1958, through Tore Bjurstrom, the ....[continue reading]
During the mid-1950s, the 250 Europa and 250 GT models were the best high-performance grand tourers on the market. This success prompted Ferrari to build a competition version of the model. Beginning in 1956, the first of the series was crafted by Ca....[continue reading]
In 1954 Ferrari began work on a new long wheelbase 250 GT berlinetta that would become known as the Tour de France. The Pinin Farina-bodied prototype, with multiple louvers in the rear side panel, was shown at the Paris Auto Salon in 1955 and five mo....[continue reading]
The Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta helped establish the marque's dominance in racing in the GT class. With the 3.0-litre Colombo V-12 engine fitted to Ferrari's 2,600-millimetre wheelbase chassis, many desirable Ferraris followed in its footsteps, inc....[continue reading]
This Ferrari 250 GT TdF with coachwork by Scaglietti is a '3-Louvre' coupe. It was originally owned by Giuliano Giovanard from Modena and campaigned for around two seasons in local hill climbs. At some point during its life, it was modified with the ....[continue reading]
The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta 'TdF' earned its moniker after Alofonso de Portago's victory in the 1956 Tour de France courtesy of his Ferrari 250 Berlinetta. The 250 GT TdF was such a success that Ferrari ultimately produced another 77 cars in four d....[continue reading]
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