The Fascinating History of the Ferrari 250


The Ferrari 250 is arguably one of the most popular lines that Ferrari has offered in their history of car manufacturing. It is in the 250 line that car enthusiasts have seen the rarest and most expensive cars in the vintage market, and its reverence in the car world is likely due to its quality and performance. While the 250 line is already rare, there are some specific models that are rarer than the others, and one of those is the Ferrari 250 GT BerlinettaCompetizione, which was released by the company in 1956. To know more about the line and its rarest model, let us take a look at the fascinating history of the Ferrari 250.

Origins of the 250

Before the 250 line was officially launched in 1953, Ferrari first experimented on a prototype vehicle that will serve as the predecessor for all the 250 models, and this prototype is called the 250 S. The Ferrari 250 S was introduced in 1952 and was driven by famous racecar drivers Giovanni Bracco and Alfonso Rolfo for the 1952 Mille Miglia race. The prototype models feature a powerful V-12 engine that was capable of pushing 227 horsepower for the vehicle. Furthermore, its sleek design helps it to become aerodynamic and have little to no wind resistance while running at a faster pace. Although it was inferior to the Mercedes-Benz W194 during that time, its lightweight body and aerodynamic exterior help the car run faster and win the Mille Miglia race. After getting first place at the Mille Miglia, the Ferrari 250 S was then driven at the Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana races in the same year.

Ferrari steering wheel

A year later, Ferrari then released the 250 MM, the successor of the 250 S that serves as the first official model of the 250 line. The MM in this particular model stands for “Mille Miglia” in honor of the race where the 250 S competed. Much like the 250 S, the 250 MM participated in several races, including the SCCA National Sports Car Championship and the Mille Miglia race. While there was only one 250 S built, there were 31 units of the 250 MM that were produced between 1952 and 1954.

Fast forward to 1954, and the 250 line was divided into two categories, with the first being the category for racing models, while the other being the GT line. The GT in the new Ferrari 250 category stands for “grand touring,” which is the term used to indicate cars that were made for long-distance and high-speed driving. Although there were many 250 GT vehicles that Ferrari manufactured from 1954 to 1960, the one model that really stood out the most was the 250 GT BerlinettaCompetizione that was released in 1956. The 250 GT Berlinetta was known by different names, including the “Long Wheelbase Berlinetta” and the “Tour de France,” which came from the 10-day Tour de France race where the model became well-known.

Silver Ferrari 250

It was reported that Ferrari built 77 250 GT Berlinetta between 1956 and 1959, and all of these units were used for grand touring races. The manufacturing and construction of the Berlinetta were handled by CarrozzeriaScaglietti, a coachbuilding and automobile design company that was located near the Ferrari office in Italy. Because the owners of Ferrari and CarrozzeriaScaglietti were close friends, they would often have a partnership for building Ferrari units.

Before the 250 GT Berlinetta appeared in races, Ferrari first introduced the model at the Geneva Motor Show in 1956. The first official production unit of the model was built in May 1956, and it would soon be followed with four series. An early production model of the 250 GT Berlinetta was seen winning three races at the Tour de France in 1956, 1957, and 1958. Its dominance in the racetrack made it popular among racing enthusiasts. Ferrari’s winning streak in the said competition would be carried over by the SWB Berlinetta.

One of the prototypes of the 250 GT Berlinetta, with a chassis number “0435GT,” recently went on sale through Auxietre& Schmidt, a premier car brokerage firm in Europe, on May 2020. The asking price for the prototype, which was colored in stunning silver, was $1.4 million, making it currently one of the most expensive vintage vehicles in the world. Before it was put up on sale by the said firm, the prototype 250 GT Berlinetta was first seen at an auction hosted by RM Sotheby in 2015, where it was bought for approximately $1.5 million. It was believed that there were only nine prototypes made for the 250 GT Berlinetta, which justifies its high resell value. What’s interesting about the prototype is that it is still in pristine condition, as it has been taken good care of Ferrari and the subsequent companies that have handled the prototype.

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