The Ferrari 250 GTO is a GT car produced by Ferrari from 1962 to 1964 for homologation into the FIA's Group 3 Grand Touring Car category. It was powered by Ferrari's Tipo 168/62 Colombo V12 engine.

Ferrari 250 GTO
A bright red racing car with blank, square white numbmer patches, on a white showroom platform
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3851GT
Overview
ManufacturerFerrari
Production1962–1964
(36 produced)
Designer
Body and chassis
ClassSports car
Body style2-door berlinetta
LayoutFR layout
Related
Powertrain
Engine
Power output
  • 300 PS (296 hp; 221 kW) @ 7500 rpm
  • 294 N⋅m; 217 lbf⋅ft (30 kg⋅m) @ 5500 rpm
Transmission5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length4,325 mm (170.3 in)
Width1,600 mm (63.0 in)
Height1,210 mm (47.6 in)
Curb weight880 kg (1,940 lb)
Chronology
PredecessorFerrari 250 GT SWB
SuccessorFerrari 250 LM
Rear view of a silver sports car parked on grass facing a river
Rear view of 1962 250 GTO (chassis 4153GT)

The "250" in its name denotes the displacement in cubic centimeters of each of its cylinders; "GTO" stands for Gran Turismo Omologato, Italian for "Grand Touring Homologated."[4][5][6]

Just 36 of the 250 GTOs were manufactured between 1962 and 1964. This includes 33 cars with 1962-63 bodywork (Series I) and three with 1964 (Series II) bodywork similar to the Ferrari 250 LM. Four of the older 1962-1963 (Series I) cars were updated in 1964 with Series II bodies.

When new, the 250 GTO cost $18,000 in the United States, with buyers personally approved by Enzo Ferrari[7][8] and his dealer for North America, Luigi Chinetti.[citation needed] This model has since become highly desired by automobile collectors and sales have repeatedly set price records.[9][10][11][12] The current record for world's most expensive car was set in June 2018 when a 1963 250 GTO (chassis 4153GT) was sold in a private sale for $70 million.[13]

In 2004, Sports Car International placed the 250 GTO eighth on a list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s, and nominated it the top sports car of all time. Similarly, Motor Trend Classic placed the 250 GTO first on a list of the "Greatest Ferraris of All Time."[14] Popular Mechanics named it the "Hottest Car of All Time." [15]

Design and developmentEdit

The 250 GTO was designed to compete in Group 3 GT racing, where its rivals would include the Shelby Cobra, Jaguar E-Type and Aston Martin DP214.[16] The development of the 250 GTO was headed by chief engineer Giotto Bizzarrini. Although Bizzarrini is usually credited as the designer of the 250 GTO, he and most other Ferrari engineers were fired in 1962 due to a dispute with Enzo Ferrari . Further development of the 250 GTO was overseen by new engineer Mauro Forghieri, who worked with Scaglietti to continue development of the body.[5] The design of the car was a collaborative effort and cannot be ascribed to a single person.

The mechanical aspects of 250 GTO were relatively conservative at the time of its introduction, using engine and chassis components that were proven in earlier competition cars. The chassis of the car was based on that of the 250 GT SWB, with minor differences in frame structure and geometry to reduce weight, stiffen and lower the chassis. The car was built around a hand-welded oval tube frame, incorporating A-arm front suspension, rear live-axle with Watt's linkage, disc brakes, and Borrani wire wheels. The engine was the race-proven Tipo 168/62 Comp. 3.0 L (2,953 cc) V12 as used in the 250 Testa Rossa Le Mans winner. An all-alloy design utilizing a dry sump and six 38DCN Weber carburetors, it produced approximately 300 PS (296 bhp; 221 kW) at 7500 rpm and 294 N⋅m; 217 lbf⋅ft (30 kg⋅m) at 5500 rpm of torque. The gearbox was a new 5-speed unit with Porsche-type synchromesh.[5]

Bizzarrini focused his design effort on the car's aerodynamics in an attempt to improve top speed and stability. The body design was informed by wind tunnel testing at Pisa University as well as road and track testing with several prototypes. The resulting all-aluminium bodywork had a long, low nose, small radiator inlet, and distinctive air intakes on the nose with removable covers. Early testing resulted in the addition of a rear spoiler. The underside of the car was covered by a belly pan and had an additional spoiler underneath formed by the fuel tank cover. The aerodynamic design of the 250 GTO was a major technical innovation compared to previous Ferrari GT cars, and in line with contemporary developments by manufacturers such as Lotus. The bodies were constructed by Scaglietti, with the exception of early prototypes with bodies constructed in-house by Ferrari or by Pininfarina (in the case of s/n 2643 GT). Cars were produced in many colours, with the most famous being the bright red "Rosso Cina".[5]

 
Interior of 250 GTO (chassis 3647GT)

The minimalist interior of a 250 GTO reflects the car's racing intentions. There is no speedometer, seats are cloth-upholstered, and neither carpeting nor a headliner was installed. Cockpit ventilation is via exterior air inlets.[5] The exposed metal gate defining the shift pattern became a Ferrari tradition maintained in production models until replaced by steering column-mounted paddle shifters in the 2000s.[17]

Variants and related modelsEdit

Handbuild production, updates, and repairs throughout each car's competition history result in differences both visible and invisible between individual 250 GTOs. Variance in air intake/vent configuration is common among cars. Modifications to the original bodywork were performed by the factory, Scaglietti, or other body shops, usually after crashes or according to a racing team's wishes.[5]

 
1964 250 GTO (chassis 5575GT), clearly showing the updated Series II bodywork

In 1964, Ferrari tasked Mauro Forghieri and Mike Parkes with redesigning the 250 GTO's bodywork, resulting in what became known as the GTO '64 (or Series II). Three new cars were produced to the 1964 specification, and four earlier 250 GTOs were retrofitted to it by the factory.[5] This redesign was intended to maintain the GTO's competitiveness for one more year, as the FIA decided to not approve the 250 LM for GT-class racing during the 1964 season. The Ferrari engineers incorporated many of the 250LM's aerodynamic features into the 1964 GTO. This resulted in a visual similarity between the two models, even though the GTO does not share the 250LM's mid engine rear wheel drive layout. The factory also made minor modifications to the engine, gearbox, chassis, suspension and interior. Despite these changes, the overall performance improvement was slight. The GTO '64 still saw some racing success with factory and privateer teams, including an overall win at Daytona in 1964 by Phil Hill and Pedro Rodriguez driving for NART. [18][19][20]

Three 330 GTO specials were made using the 250 GTO chassis and body fitted with 400 Superamerica 4.0L motors. Distinguished by a larger bonnet bulge, these cars were used briefly for racing and testing by Scuderia Ferrari before being sold to private customers.[21]

The 330 LMB is sometimes considered a GTO variant. These cars used a 4.0L 330 motor and a modified 250 GT Lusso chassis/body. Four were produced in 1963.

Three 275 GTB/C Speciales were built in 1964/65. Despite their origins as competition versions of the 275 GTB, they are sometimes considered developments of the 250 GTO due to similarity of configuration and bodywork.[22][23]

The Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan was a one-off racing car designed for Scuderia Serenissima by Bizzarrini after his departure from Ferrari. It was developed specifically to compete against the then-new 250 GTO. Although based on the earlier 250 GT SWB, the Breadvan provided an opportunity for Bizzarrini to develop the ideas he had first explored with the GTO, such as lower and more aerodynamic bodywork, incorporation of a dry sump, and radical lightening of the entire car.

RacingEdit

 
Four 250 GTOs and one 330 GTO (second to last car) at the 2012 Goodwood Revival
 
250 GTO (chassis 3809GT) driven by Kalman von Czazy and Karl Foitek during the 1963 1000km Nürburgring

FIA regulations in 1962 required at least one hundred examples of a car to be built in order for it to be homologated for Group 3 Grand Touring Car racing.[24] Ferrari built only 39 250 GTOs (33 of the "normal" cars, three with the four-litre 330 engine sometimes called the "330 GTO"—recognizable by the large hump on the bonnet—and three "Type 64" cars, with revised bodywork). It became a popular myth that when FIA inspectors showed up to confirm that 100 examples had been built, Enzo Ferrari shuffled the same cars between different locations, thus giving the impression that the full complement of 100 cars was present.[25] In reality, no deception was required, as the production of the 250 GTO was covered by the homologation of the earlier 250 GT Berlinetta SWB model. These homologation papers were issued in 1960, but extensions were applied for and accepted multiple times between 1961 to 1964, allowing Ferrari to add modifications not covered under the original specification, including changes to the engine, transmission, and suspension.[4] Additionally, since more than 100 bodies had been built according to the earlier 250 GT SWB specification, FIA regulations allowed a new body to be designed, leading to the development of the new 250 GTO body style.[5] This method of homologation was not unique to Ferrari, as similar methods were used to homologate the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato and the Jaguar E-Type Lightweight.[4]

The 250 GTO's racing debut was at the 1962 12 Hours of Sebring, driven by American Phil Hill (the Formula One World Driving Champion at the time) and Belgian Olivier Gendebien. Although originally annoyed that they were driving a GT-class car instead of one of the full-race 250 Testa Rossas competing in the prototype class, the experienced pair impressed themselves (and everyone else) by finishing second overall behind the Testa Rossa of Bonnier and Scarfiotti. [26]

Ferrari would go on to win the over 2000cc class of the FIA's International Championship for GT Manufacturers in 1962, 1963, and 1964,[27] the 250 GTO being raced in each of those years. 250 GTOs also won the 1963 and 1964 Tour de France Automobile, marking Ferrari's nine year dominance of that race.

The 250 GTO was one of the last front-engined cars to remain competitive at the top level of sports car racing. Before the advent of vintage racing, the 250 GTO, like other racing cars of the period, passed into obsolescence. Some were used in regional races, while others were used as road cars.

CollectibilityEdit

While the GTO is now arguably the most valuable collector car in the world, it was merely a no-frills used race car in the late 1960s and very early 1970s. Many of the vehicles were offered at or acquired for four-figure (USD) sums. In contrast, restored Duesenberg Model J’s often traded in the vicinity of $50,000 around 1970.[citation needed]

From the late 1970s to the late 1980s, classic car values rose rapidly and the 250 GTO became the most valuable Ferrari model, touted as the Ferrari that most completely embodies the characteristics of the manufacturer. Prices fell substantially during the car market crash of the early 90s, resulting in lows of $2,700,000 in September 1994 and $2,500,000 in May 1996. Prices began to climb again in the late 90s and have continued to rise through the present day. 250 GTOs have repeatedly broken records for most expensive car ever sold at auction or private sale.[13][9][12][11][10] The current record for world's most expensive car was set in June 2018 when a 1963 250 GTO (chassis 4153GT) was sold to David MacNeil in a private sale for $70 million.[13] On August 25, 2018, RM Sotheby's sold Greg Whitten's 250 GTO 3413GT at their Monterey auction.[19] The final price inclusive of buyer's fee was $48,405,000, representing a new record for most expensive car ever sold at auction. The previous record was also held by a 250 GTO, 3851GT, which was sold at the Bonhams Quail Lodge auction in 2014. [10][11]

Scarcity and high prices led to the creation of several replica 250 GTOs on more common Ferrari chassis. Misrepresentations of the original cars, offered for sale at full market value, have been reported.[28]

Price HistoryEdit

 
Scatter plot of Ferrari 250 GTO price history, 1962-2018


Ferrari 250 GTO Price History, 1962-2018
Year Price (USD) Sold or advertised at this price Chassis Number (if known) Notes
1962 18,500 Sold Selling price from factory when new[7][8][29]
1965 4,000 Sold 3851GT Purchased from Ernesto Prinoth by Fabrizio Violati.[30][31]
1965 10,500 Sold [citation needed]
1966 7,000 Sold 3647GT Purchased by James McNeil from Robert Sauers in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA.[32]
1968 6,500 Advertised June 15th, a 1962 example was advertised in Autoweek[citation needed]
1969 2,500 Sold 3223GT Sold at Kruse International auction. The lowest documented price a GTO ever changed hands for, well below the $6 to $8.5k market price of the time.[citation needed]
1969 5,400 Sold 3387GT Purchased by Kirk F. White of Pennsylvania, USA.[33]
1970 8,500 Advertised 4757GT Advertised in the LA Times[citation needed]
1970 7,780 Advertised Advertised in Road & Track by Tom Meade of Modena, Italy. The 1962 GTO was one of several Ferraris offered by Meade in the ad.[citation needed]
1971 9,500 Advertised Advertised by Algar Ferrari in Autoweek[citation needed]
1971 9,900 Advertised Advertised in Road & Track[citation needed]
1971 6,000 Sold 3589GT The car was auctioned off by Victoria High School in Texas.[citation needed] It had been donated to the school 7 years prior.[34]
1971 12,000 Advertised Advertised by KFW Motorcars in Paoli, PA.[citation needed]
1973 17,500 Sold [citation needed]
1974 28,000 Sold [citation needed]
1975 13,000 Sold 3387GT Purchased by Stephen Griswold of Berkley, CA.[33]Well under market at the time, even for an unrestored car.[citation needed]
1975 35,000 Sold 3223GT [citation needed]
1975 48,000 Advertised Advertised in Autoweek & Competition Press.[citation needed]
1977 71,000 Sold Purchased by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason with proceeds from the album Dark Side Of The Moon.[35]
1978 90,000 Sold 3987GT Car in good original condition.[citation needed]
1978 125,000 Sold 3387GT Purchased by Mark De Friece.[33] Car in perfect Concours-ready condition.[citation needed]
1980 190,000 Advertised 3445GT Asking price following restoration.[citation needed]
1981 285,000 Advertised 4091GT Advertised in various publications.[citation needed]
1982 345,000 Sold 4757GT Purchased by Christopher Murray of Rhode Island, USA[36] Price quoted as either $250,000 or $345,000.[37]
1983 300,000 Sold [citation needed]
1984 500,000 Sold [citation needed]
1985 650,000 Sold 3987GT Purchased by Ralph Lauren.[38]
1986 1,000,000 Sold 3589GT [citation needed]
1987 1,600,000 Sold 4757GT Sold at FBI Auction[37] and subsequently entered collection of Jacques Swaters.[36]
1988 4,200,000 Sold 3589GT Purchased by Engelbert Stieger of Teufen, Switzerland[34]
1989 10,000,000 Sold [citation needed]
1989 13,300,000 Sold 3909GT Sold to Takeo Kato of Japan.[39]
1990 13,000,000 Sold [citation needed]
1993 3,250,000 Sold 4219GT [40]
1994 3,500,000 Sold 3909GT Sold to David Morisson of London[39]
1996 3,500,000 Sold 5905GT Sold to Lee Kun-Hee of Seoul, South Korea.[41]
1996 3,500,000 Advertised 3445GT Advertised by SMC of La Jolla, California, USA.[42]
1997 2,200,000 Sold [citation needed]
1998 6,000,000 Sold 3729GT [citation needed]
2000 7,000,000 Sold 3413GT Purchased by Greg Whitten.[43]
2004 10,600,000 Sold 3223GT [44]
2007 22,000,000 Sold 5905GT Sold to William Ainscough of the UK.[45][46]
2008 42,000,000 Sold 5905GT Sold to Jon Hunt of London, UK.[47][46]
2010 26,000,000 Sold 3943GT [48]
2010 17,700,000 Sold 4675GT Purchased by BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans. Sale price includes value of cars given in trade, quoted as 17 to 17.7 million USD total value.[49][50]
2012 31,700,000 Sold 5905GT Believed to be the largest single car transaction in the U.K. at the time.[46]
2012 35,000,000 Sold 3505GT Sold to Craig McCaw of Washington, USA in a private sale.[9][51][52]
2013 52,000,000 Sold 5111GT Sold to an unknown buyer by Paul Pappalardo in a private sale.[12][53][54]
2014 38,115,000 Sold 3851GT Sold by the Fabrizio Violati estate at Bonham's 2014 Quail Lodge auction in Carmel, California, USA.[55]
2016 56,800,000 Advertised 3387GT Advertised by Talacrest UK.[56]
2017 44,000,000 Sold 3387GT Sold by Bernard Carl in private sale to Gregor Fisken.[57][58]
2018 70,000,000 Sold 4153GT Purchased in a private sale by David MacNeil of Chicago, USA, the founder of automotive accessory manufacturer WeatherTech.[13][59]
9007 48,405,907,000 legendary car 3413GT Sold by matti järvi at RM Sotheby's 2018 Monterey auction.[19]

Chassis numbersEdit

Chassis No. Build Date Driveside Factory Colour Current Location Comments
3223GT 19 June 1962
(Developed from 1961)
LHD Red/blue Unknown First GTO, used for testing and press by the Ferrari factory.

First private owner was William McKelvy, who purchased it from Luigi Chinetti Motors in July 1962 for $18,500.[5][60]

3387GT 16 March 1962 LHD Blue metallic
with central stripe
Gregor Fisken, Kensington, London, UK Originally shipped to Luigi Chinetti Motors Inc., NY for Phil Hill. Restored by Joe Macari, London in 2019.[61] As of 2019, this chassis was involved in a legal dispute regarding the possession of its original gearbox.[57][58]
3413GT 30 April 1962 LHD Rosso Cina/Blue Unknown First sold to Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi, who raced it extensively in hillclimbs during the early 1960s.

Rebodied by the factory in series II/GTO '64 style during 1964.

Sold by RM Sotheby's 26/Aug/18 at Monterey for $48.4M [19][62]

3445GT 30 April 1962 LHD Red/Blue Christopher Cox
Chapel Hill, NC, USA
First sold to Luciano Conti of Bologna. Raced by Scuderia Serenissima during the early 1960s.[63]
3451GT 20 April 1962 LHD Maroon/white roof Lawrence Stroll
Montreal, Canada
Purchased November 1996 via Duncan Hamilton.[64]
3505GT 20 April 1962 RHD Pale green Craig McCaw
Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Originally shipped to UK for use by Stirling Moss
3527GT 22 May 1962 LHD Rosso Cina Dr. Richard E. Workman
Windermere, Florida, USA
Built for Gotfrid Koechert. Sold by dealer Tom Hartley in mid-2019 for Irvine Laidlaw[65]
3589GT 20 April 1972 RHD Blu scuro/Rosso Christoph Stieger
Teufen, CH
Originally shipped to Tommy Sopwith's Equipe Endeavour, Brighton, UK via Maranello Concessionaires Ltd.[66]
3607GT 6 June 1962 LHD Rosso Cina/Blue S. Robson Walton
Bentonville, AR, USA
Originally sold to Ferdinando Pagliarini.[67]
3647GT 6 June 1962 RHD Rosso Cina James McNeil Jnr.
Staten Island, NY, USA
Originally shipped to Col. Ronnie Hoare of Bowmaker Ltd, UK, raced initially by John Surtees for Col. Hoare's Maranello Concessionaires team. Owned by James McNeil since 1966. The only 250 GTO to remain unrestored.[32]
3705GT 14 June 1962 LHD Rosso Cina/Blue Ed Davies
Coral Gables, FL, USA
Came second at the 1962 24 Heures du Mans, driven by Jean Guichet/Pierre Noblet[68]
3729GT 28 July 1962 RHD Bianco Jon Shirley
J&M, LLC
Originally shipped to John Coombs in the UK.[69]
3757GT 20 April 1962 LHD Red/Blue Nick Mason
London, GB
Originally shipped to Jacques Swaters Ecurie Francorchamps racing team. Came third at the 1962 24 Heures du Mans.
3767GT 26 July 1962 RHD BP green Anthony Bamford
Oakamoor, GB
Originally shipped to David Piper in the UK.[70]
3769GT 13 June 1962 LHD Grey metallic
with blue central stripe
Anthony Wang
Long Island, NY, USA
Originally shipped to Fernand Tavano for the 1962 24 Heures du Mans, DNF.[71]
3809GT 9 July 1962 LHD Rosso Cina Unknown Originally shipped to Kalman von Czazy in Switzerland[72]
5111GT 6 September 1963 LHD Rosso Cina Unknown Originally shipped to Jean Guichet in France.[73][5]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  69. ^ "250 GTO s/n 3729GT". www.barchetta.cc. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  70. ^ "250 GTO s/n 3767GT". www.barchetta.cc. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  71. ^ "Detail - 250 GTO s/n 3769GT". www.barchetta.cc. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  72. ^ "250 GTO s/n 3809GT". www.barchetta.cc. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  73. ^ "250 GTO s/n 5111GT". www.barchetta.cc. Retrieved 2019-11-11.

BibliographyEdit

  • Buckley, Martin; Chris Rees (1998). World Encyclopedia of Cars: The Definitive Guide to Classic and Contemporary Cars from 1945 to the Present Day. London: Anness Publishing. ISBN 1-84038-083-7. OCLC 40502946.

External linksEdit