Classic car of the month: Ferrari 250 GTO
3 April, 2017
In 2014 the sale of a Ferrari 250 GTO ended up becoming the most expensive car sold at auction worldwide, selling for a total $34,650,000 (£27,195,668). This record was quite impressive, until another of these classic cars was put up for sale at £45 million this year.
Why so much demand? The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is one of the most sought after cars of all time, with only 39 models ever made. Each of the cars has distinct differences in its manufacturing, as well as a long, often colourful history which makes every model a prize to be sought.
With a beautiful appearance and excellent design, it is easy to see why the Ferrari 250 GTO would be so popular with collectors - and well deserving of being our Classic Car of the Month.
History of the Ferrari 250 GTO
The Ferrari 250 GTO was designed in 1962, with the aim of creating a vehicle to compete in GT racing. Development of the car was headed by chief engineer Giotto Bizzarrini, although he was fired after a dispute with Enzo Ferrari and replaced as engineer by Mauro Forghieri. Though Bizzarrini is often cited as the official designer of the Ferrari GTO 250, the car is a collaboration between both designers.
Only 39 Ferrari 250 GTOs were ever produced. This included 33 which incorporated similar elements between manufacturing, and would form the ‘normal design’, and 3 which incorporated revised framework. Due to FIA regulations at the time, in order to compete in the Group 3 Grand Touring Car racing, 100 models of the car had to be built. This was a problem for Ferrari, so they came up with a cunning plan to get around it.
Each of the models created were numbered out of sequence, with gaps in between numbers in the sequence. When FIA inspectors came to confirm that 100 models existed, the gap between model numbers gave the impression that more cars existed. The rouse was enhanced further by Enzo Ferrari who swapped out cars between different locations to help support the impression that there were more.
The 250 GTO was one of the last front-engined cars to compete in the top tiers of sports car racing, and although the car had some success in competitive racing, winning the over 2000cc class of the FIA's International Championship for GT Manufacturers in 1962, 1963, and 1964, the model would eventually become less common on the race track.
The car was built for racing and, with its exceptional body and engine, would eventually come out of racing hibernation to return to the track in numerous vintage race circuits around the world.
About the Ferrari 250 GTO
Though the typically stunning bodywork of the 250 GTO is reason enough to get excited about the car, beneath the bonnet are more than enough mechanical features to boost that admiration further.
The engine was the Tipo 168/62 Comp. 3. L V12 which had also been used previously in the 250 Testa Rossa. It produced around 300 horsepower, meaning that the car could reach max speeds of 174 mph and 0-60 in just 6.1 seconds.
Aerodynamics was key to the car's design, and was a major focus of Bizzarrini’s initial plans to improve the car's overall speed and stability. With input from aerodynamic research at a wind tunnel testing facility at Pisa University, the final, all-aluminum bodywork and body design was a triumph, especially compared to previous Ferrari GT cars.
Whether you believe that the car deserves its hefty price tag or not, there are few that can deny that this car truly is a one of a kind - and will go down as one of the greatest, rarest race cars around. Let us know your thoughts by tweeting us at @Footman_James to join our discussion on this iconic vehicle.