Ferrari 250 Reviews
Ferrari 250 with an index 250 was produced from 1954 until the end of the 1960s in many versions, and, moreover, most of them were built in “single-piece” or in very limited quantities. All Ferrari 250 were a 2-door rear-wheel coupe “berlinetta” with hardtop or open top (cabriolet) top and belonged to the class GT - Grand Tourismo, but in fact they were true supercars. The name of the model is derived from the amount of “cubes” (cm³) per a cylinder - 250.
The production of Ferrari 250 GT with a three-liter engine from Gioacchino Colombo for more than a decade (until 1968) gave for Ferrari an unofficial title “the master of roads”. Till 20 modifications were built at its base with modifications of various studios and design teams, as well as the participation in various races.
Model Ferrari 250 GT Europa appeared in 1954 and marked the beginning of cooperation Ferrari with the bodywork studio Pininfarina. The exterior design was developed by Francesco Salomone. Europa became a bright example of classic rear-wheel drive car with V12 engine, presenting the final formation of its own style of Pininfarina studio. Altogether, 18 copies of the model Europa were made, 15 of them had the body of the famous studio. It was the first Ferrari designed for public roads but not for race tracks. The interior, like the exterior, did not express undue claims for sportiness. The amount of seats were 2 + 2, the curb weight was 1150 kg.
Cars with engines of 2.953 liter and the capacity of 200 hp (at 6500 r / min) were intended for the European market and were named as Europa. A car with this engine picked up the speed up to 100 km / h per 8 seconds and had a top speed 185 km / h. The models with 4.523-liter engines were sent to the North – American market, they were called 357 America.
Engines were unitized with a 4-speed manual transmission which had synchronizers and a long thin lever arm. The front suspension was independent, the rear one was semi-independent. Brakes were drum. According to modern standards the dynamics and handleability were mediocre, but in 1954 it was a real breakthrough.
The GT cars were particularly successful among all the 250's which had a long wheelbase LWB, which after winning “Tour de France” in 1956 received additional three letters – TdF in its name.
Encouraged by the success, Enzo Ferrari started a mass production of road versions with a derated engine: at first Coupe 250 GT Boano, then Cabriolet Pinin Farina (1957), and in 1961 Scaglietti created Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider. There was selected a chassis 250 GT TdF for it both with long and with shorter wheelbase, as well as there were small changes in the exterior. Apart from derated engines, racing engines with the capacity of more than 250 hp were installed into the model. About a hundred cars of this model were produced.
From 1957 to 1958, Ferrari made 19 unique racing cars Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa (“Red Hea” - according to the colour of the engine block). The 800-kg model had a body with pontoon wings of Scaglietti’s work, the traditional engine V12 with a capacity of 300 hp, rear-wheel drive and 4 manual transmission. This racing car reached a top speed of 270 km / h. However, the steel frame has a ladder structure, the rear axle DeDion were used in racing cars long ago, there were outdated drum brakes on all four wheels, and the engine design has more than ten years history.
From 1958 to 1961, 250 TR participated in 19 races taking the first places ten times. During this time, the construction of the car was constantly improved: disc brakes Dunlop appeared, engine valve springs were replaced, which led to an increase in power up to 306 hp, the 5-speed gearbox was mounted. In the season of 1961 the model got a new chassis with the space design and the name of 250 TRI.
The introduction in 1962 of new rules associated with a number of tragic accidents during the competition deprived Testa Rossa opportunities for the further participation in the race.
In 1959 a model of 250 GT SWB was represented in Paris. The SWB index meant a short, 2.400 mm, base. It was a sports car with minimal interior trim and a stiffer suspension. The chassis and the engine did not have any significant changes compared with 250 TdF. Shapes of the body became smoother and more rounded. This car won not only on the tracks of circle races and the rally, but also in numerous beauty contests. 165 units of 250 GT SWB were produced.
Supercar Ferrari 250 GTO (the letter “O” in the name means Omologata) was first represented at the Paris Motor Show in 1962, it was made before 1964; it was one of the most famous racing cars considered as the quintessence of all the models of Ferrari. In 2004, the famous American magazine “Sports Car International” named 250 GTO as the best sports car of all times. In addition, one of the oldest car publishing houses “Motor Trend Classic” assigned “№ 1” to the model in the list of all Ferrari.
250 GTO was built to take part in races GT. It had a debut at 12 Hours of Sebring in 1962. It won the World Manufacturer's Championship for three consecutive years: in 1962, 1963 and 1964. In 1962 GTO cars took the second and the third places in the race “24 Hours of Le Mans”.
In all there were thirty-six 250 GTO cars. Future owners of each of the thirty-six 250 GTO cars were defined by Ferrari Enzo himself or his North American representative Luigi Chinetti. As a result, at present their market price is estimated at an average of about five million dollars per a car. At the same time there are a large number of counterfeit of 250 GTO, especially from the much more common other models of Ferrari 250 GT. In 1984 the successor to the 250 GTO was Ferrari 288 GTO.
250 GTO was the last Ferrari with a front engine location and the result of the evolution of 250 GT SWB. The chief engineer Giotto Bizzarrini took the chassis from the standard 250 GT SWB and combined it with a 2.953-liter (for America 3.967 liters) V12 engine with a light-alloy block of cylinders and six carburetors Weber 38 DCN from the version 250 Testa Rossa. And the weight distribution by the axes was improved by moving the engine back and its lower location, which could not affect the handleability. By way of improvements, the engine power was increased to 300 hp (at 7400 r / min), the acceleration to 100 km / h took 5.6 sec, and a top speed of 250 GTO was 265 km / h; in the company of car drivers the car was nicknamed “Italiano Rosso Corsa”.
Later, the engineer Mauro Forghieri and the designer Sergio Scaglietti joined the project. The body was tested in a wind tunnel and improved under the personal supervision of Enzo Ferrari. The other components of the car were the result of well-established by the beginning of the 1960s technologies of Ferrari: a hand-welded tubular space frame, a single-plate clutch, an independent front suspension on triangle levers with stiff coil springs and shock absorbers, leaf rear springs with compensators in the form of coil springs and shock absorbers, disc brakes, Borrani wheels with spokes, and, also, a new 5-speed gearbox and a new door design, which increases the rigidity of the body structure retained in later models. As the result, as rivals of Ferrari said that only red colour remained from the starting model.
In this case, the interior of the car was very simple, the speedometer was placed on the side of the console and played “the second” role because a huge tachometer took a central place on the panel in front of the driver, some switches were used from Fiat 500, and the fabric in the finishing - from overalls.
It is believed that nowadays all 36 cars are “alive”, and some of them are still involved in the Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca.
In 1962, the engineers Giotto Bizzarrini and Carlos Chiti under the control of the owner of the racing team Scuderia Serenissima Giovanni Volpi on the base of standard 250 GT was created single original Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan (“Bread Van”).
The engine was the most moved back and was completely behind the front axle - 12 cm more than GTO. He had a system of lubricant with dry crankcase and had six Weber carburetors, the power reached 300 hp. The transmission was 4-speed base and the wheels and tires were as in GTO. The front part of the car was much lower because of that there had to install plastic dome over the carburetors, and had a more acute form.
His first race at Le Mans in 1962 failed because of the broken drive shaft. The car heading the race for four hours stood out of the path. Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan came the third during the race in Montlhery in the same year, behind two 250 GTO.
First Ferrari 250 GT Lusso appeared in October 1962 at the Paris Motor Show, where it won the success due to elegant proportions of its body designed by Pininfarina. The passenger compartment of the two-seated sports car was quite spacious, which became possible by shifting forward the 250-horsepower 3.0-liter engine.
250 GT Lusso had much in common with the legendary racing car 250 GTO: the same wheelbase, the suspension, the disc brakes, Borrani arms of wheels and the all-aluminum engine V12. Despite the fact that Lusso had the same modern chassis and a steel-aluminum body structure had only the hood, trunk and doors, many owners of these cars used them for racing. 348 copies of this model were made.
Upon the completion of two phenomenally successful seasons Enzo Ferrari felt the need to replace 250 GTO. The reason was big Cooper which put up the mid-engined car in Formula 1.
Once in 1963, Ferrari won the race “24 Hours of Le Mans” on Ferrari 250P car with the engine installed in the database, was approved the decision to create a series of 100 mid-engined cars of GT class - Ferrari 250 LM. Ferrari 250 LM was represented to the public in 1963 at the motor show in Paris, and only 32 cars of this model were produced.
Ferrari 250 LM Pininfarina Stradale Speciale made its debut in Geneva in 1965. The construction of the body was engaged by Pininfarina; the passenger compartment was increased, and the base was extended to 2600 mm. To maintain the proportions of the car, the overall length and width were increased. For easier access to the compartment, the part of the roof was made open and the engine bay was covered with plexiglass cover. The car was released in a single copy and was painted in white with a blue stripe.
In addition, for different years other models of Ferrari 250 GT were produced: Zagato Ferrari 250 GT Berlina (1956), Zagato Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Corsa (1956), Zagato Ferrari 250 GT Competizione (1957), Ferrari 250 GT Coupe (1958), Ferrari 250 California Spider (1960-1963), Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 (1960-64), Ferrari 250 GT Bertone (1961), Ferrari 250 GTE (1963), Ferrari 250 GT SWB Sperimentale (1959).
All of them gained the fame of cult cars, they are worshiped by Ferrari fans and they are an excellent investment for their owners.View PhotosView Videos
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