Ferrari 250 GTO
|Ferrari 250 GTO|
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3851GT
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door berlinetta|
|Wheelbase||2,400 mm (94.5 in)|
|Length||4,325 mm (170.3 in)|
|Width||1,600 mm (63.0 in)|
|Height||1,210 mm (47.6 in)|
|Curb weight||880 kg (1,940 lb)|
|Predecessor||Ferrari 250 GT SWB|
|Successor||Ferrari 250 LM|
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 and his dealer for North America, Luigi Chinetti. This model has since become highly desired by automobile collectors and sales have repeatedly set price records. 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.
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." Popular Mechanics named it the "Hottest Car of All Time." 
Design and development
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. 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. 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.
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".
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. 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.
The first prototype, designated in official photos as the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Le Mans Berlinetta Sperimentale, was constructed from chassis 2643GT, originally a 1961 250 GT SWB. It was built to competition specification, which included a reinforced chassis, a competition gearbox and a Tipo 168/61 3.0 L engine tuned to 300 bhp, equipped with dry sump lubrication and six Weber 38 DCN carburetors. Pininfarina constructed a new lightweight aluminum alloy body for this prototype, which resembled that of the 400 Super America coupe. 2643GT was entered by Scuderia Ferrari in the 1961 24 hours of Le Mans, driven by Fernand Tavano and Giancarlo Baghetti. Although they were running as high as 8th overall, they were forced to retire at 4:45 am on Sunday morning due to engine failure. During the course of the race, Ferrari engineers gathered information about the performance of the car which was used to modify and improve it, including the addition of a rear spoiler. During the Le Mans race, 2643 GT suffered from high-speed instability, possibly due to the front end design. Following Le Mans, 2643 GT returned to the factory, where it was used for more testing. The prototype raced again at the 1962 Daytona Continental 3 hours, where it placed 4th overall and 1st in the GT class driven by Stirling Moss. Subsequently, it was sold to N.A.R.T. and a succession of private owners.
The second prototype was also constructed from a donor car, although sources disagree on the chassis number and type. Several older sources mention the donor as a 1960 250 GT SWB, chassis 2053 GT. Alternatively, other sources have claimed that a 250 GT Boano (0523GT) or a 1959 250 GT SWB (1791GT) was used as the donor car. This prototype was created entirely by the Ferrari factory's racing department under the oversight of Giotto Bizzarrini, including the bodywork. The original chassis was extensively modified, including relocation of the engine mounts lower and further back in the frame. A competition-specification engine was fitted, including six Weber 38 DCN carburetors. The bodywork seen on the second prototype in period photos was rough, unfinished aluminum. The body's ungainly appearance lead the Ferrari team to nickname it "Il Mostro" (the Monster) and the press to call it "The Anteater." Hammer marks, weld beads and bolted or riveted panels could be seen throughout, evidence of the continual modifications performed during factory testing in 1961. Although the body was crudely formed, it displayed features that would be seen in the production 250 GTO, including the overall profile of a low hood and high rear, triple front air intakes, engine bay cooling slots in the front fenders and plexiglass-covered headlights. The interior was hastily constructed and even more minimal than in the production 250 GTO, with scattered instrumentation and a bare aluminum dashboard.
The second prototype was tested at Monza in September 1961 by Stirling Moss. Results were promising, as the prototype was able to lap the circuit faster than a 250 GT SWB. However, the high speed stability issues seen during testing of the first prototype remained. Shortly after this test, construction of the first production 250 GTOs began in late 1961 with chassis 3223 GT and 3387 GT. 
As the prototype was no longer needed for testing, the experimental body was scrapped. Regardless of the identity of the chassis, sources are in agreement that the second GTO prototype was either partially or entirely scrapped and is no longer extant in its 1961 form. If 2053 GT was indeed the chassis, it was then given a 250 GT SWB style body and sold to Jacques Swaters. 2053 GT crashed during the 1962 Nürburgring 1000 km and was then rebodied by Carrozzeria Sports Cars. Subsequently, 2053 GT was totally destroyed in an accident at the 1964 Spa 500km. 
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.
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. 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. 
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.
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.
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.
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. 
Ferrari would go on to win the over 2000cc class of the FIA's International Championship for GT Manufacturers in 1962, 1963, and 1964, 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.
During the 1962-1964 racing seasons, only a few other GT-class models were consistently competitive with the 250 GTO. These were the Jaguar E-type, Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, DP212, DP214, and DP215, and the AC Cobras. In addition to official Scuderia Ferrari entries, many 250 GTOs were also raced by independent racing teams and private drivers. During this time it was therefore common for 250 GTO drivers to compete against other 250 GTOs. The 250 GTO was one of the last front-engined cars to remain competitive at the top level of sports car racing.
The 250 GTO gradually passed into obsolescence following the 1964 season. Scuderia Ferrari withdrew the 250 GTO from its racing activity by 1965, leaving only a few independent teams and private owners to campaign it in endurance races, rallies and hillclimbs. By 1967, the 250 GTO was almost entirely absent from international racing, with only a few rally and hillclimb results during that year. Prior to the development of the 250 GTO collector market and associated vintage racing and show events, some of the surviving 250 GTOs were used in regional races, while others were used as road cars.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
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. 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. On August 25, 2018, RM Sotheby's sold Greg Whitten's 250 GTO 3413GT at their Monterey auction. 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. 
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.
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|Year||Price (USD)||Sold or advertised at this price||Chassis Number (if known)||Notes|
|1962||18,500||Sold||Selling price from factory when new|
|1965||4,000||Sold||3851GT||Purchased from Ernesto Prinoth by Fabrizio Violati.|
|1966||7,000||Sold||3647GT||Purchased by James McNeil from Robert Sauers in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA.|
|1968||6,500||Advertised||June 15th, a 1962 example was advertised in Autoweek|
|1969||2,500||Sold||3223GT||Sold at Kruse International auction. The lowest documented price a GTO ever changed hands for, well below the $6k to $8.5k market price of the time.|
|1969||5,400||Sold||3387GT||Purchased by Kirk F. White of Pennsylvania, USA.|
|1970||8,500||Advertised||4757GT||Advertised in the LA Times|
|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.|
|1971||9,500||Advertised||Advertised by Algar Ferrari in Autoweek|
|1971||9,900||Advertised||Advertised in Road & Track|
|1971||6,000||Sold||3589GT||The car was auctioned off by Victoria High School in Texas. It had been donated to the school 7 years prior.|
|1971||12,000||Advertised||Advertised by KFW Motorcars in Paoli, PA.|
|1975||13,000||Sold||3387GT||Purchased by Stephen Griswold of Berkeley, CA.Well under market at the time, even for an unrestored car.|
|1975||48,000||Advertised||Advertised in Autoweek & Competition Press.|
|1977||71,000||Sold||Purchased by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason with proceeds from the album Dark Side Of The Moon.|
|1978||90,000||Sold||3987GT||Car in good original condition.|
|1978||125,000||Sold||3387GT||Purchased by Mark De Friece. Car in perfect Concours-ready condition.|
|1980||190,000||Advertised||3445GT||Asking price following restoration.|
|1981||285,000||Advertised||4091GT||Advertised in various publications.|
|1982||345,000||Sold||4757GT||Purchased by Christopher Murray of Rhode Island, USA Price quoted as either $250,000 or $345,000.|
|1985||650,000||Sold||3987GT||Purchased by Ralph Lauren.|
|1987||1,600,000||Sold||4757GT||Sold at FBI Auction and subsequently entered collection of Jacques Swaters.|
|1988||4,200,000||Sold||3589GT||Purchased by Engelbert Stieger of Teufen, Switzerland|
|1989||13,300,000||Sold||3909GT||Sold to Takeo Kato of Japan.|
|1994||3,500,000||Sold||3909GT||Sold to David Morisson of London|
|1996||3,500,000||Sold||5905GT||Sold to Lee Kun-Hee of Seoul, South Korea.|
|1996||3,500,000||Advertised||3445GT||Advertised by SMC of La Jolla, California, USA.|
|2000||7,000,000||Sold||3413GT||Purchased by Greg Whitten.|
|2007||22,000,000||Sold||5905GT||Sold to William Ainscough of the UK.|
|2008||42,000,000||Sold||5905GT||Sold to Jon Hunt of London, UK.|
|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.|
|2012||31,700,000||Sold||5905GT||Believed to be the largest single car transaction in the U.K. at the time.|
|2012||35,000,000||Sold||3505GT||Sold to Craig McCaw of Washington, USA in a private sale.|
|2013||52,000,000||Sold||5111GT||Sold to an unknown buyer by Paul Pappalardo in a private sale.|
|2014||38,115,000||Sold||3851GT||Sold by the Fabrizio Violati estate at Bonham's 2014 Quail Lodge auction in Carmel, California, USA.|
|2016||56,800,000||Advertised||3387GT||Advertised by Talacrest UK.|
|2017||44,000,000||Sold||3387GT||Sold by Bernard Carl in private sale to Gregor Fisken.|
|2018||70,000,000||Sold||4153GT||Purchased in a private sale by David MacNeil of Chicago, USA, the founder of automotive accessory manufacturer WeatherTech.|
|2018||48,405,000||Sold||3413GT||Sold by Greg Whitten at RM Sotheby's 2018 Monterey auction.|
|Chassis No.||Build Date||Driveside||Factory Colour||Current Location||Comments|
|2053GT||2 August 1960||LHD||Grey with brown stripe then Rosso Cina||Sergio Veneziani, Italy||Prototype of the GTO tested by Stirling Moss in Monza. Badly damaged twice. Rebuilt using different body.|
|3223GT||19 June 1962
(Developed from 1961)
|LHD||Red/blue||Joseph Barone, USA||First GTO, used for testing and press by the Ferrari factory.|
|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. As of 2019, this chassis was involved in a legal dispute regarding the possession of its original gearbox.|
|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 
|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.|
|3451GT||20 April 1962||LHD||Maroon/white roof||Lawrence Stroll
|Purchased November 1996 via Duncan Hamilton.|
|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|
|3589GT||20 April 1972||RHD||Blu scuro/Rosso||Christoph Stieger
|Originally shipped to Tommy Sopwith's Equipe Endeavour, Brighton, UK via Maranello Concessionaires Ltd.|
|3607GT||6 June 1962||LHD||Rosso Cina/Blue||S. Robson Walton
Bentonville, AR, USA
|Originally sold to Ferdinando Pagliarini.|
|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.|
|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|
|3729GT||28 July 1962||RHD||Bianco||Jon Shirley
|Originally shipped to John Coombs in the UK.|
|3757GT||20 April 1962||LHD||Red/Blue||Nick Mason
|Originally shipped to Jacques Swaters Ecurie Francorchamps racing team. Came third at the 1962 24 Heures du Mans.|
|3765LM||1 May 1962||LHD||Rosso Cina||James Jaeger, USA||4L Sefac car. Raced 1000 Km Nürburgring and 24 heures du Mans 1962|
|3767GT||26 July 1962||RHD||BP green||Anthony Bamford
|Originally shipped to David Piper in the UK.|
|3769GT||13 June 1962||LHD||Grey metallic
with blue central stripe
Long Island, NY, USA
|Originally shipped to Fernand Tavano for the 1962 24 Heures du Mans, DNF.|
|3809GT||9 July 1962||LHD||Rosso Cina||Ernesto Bertarelli, Swiss||Originally shipped to Kalman von Czazy in Switzerland|
|3851GT||11 September 1962||LHD||Rosso Cina||Carlos Monteverde, Brasil||Badly damaged twice|
|3869GT||8 October 1962||RHD||Rosso Cina||Giorgio Perfetti, Monaco||Raced by Ron Fry in 1963, 1964|
|3909GT||10 September 1962||LHD||Rosso Cina||John McCaw, USA||Raced by Jo Siffert at 500 Km Spa 1963|
|3943GT||16 October 1962||LHD||Rosso Cina||Charles E. Nearburg, USA||Class Winner 1000km Nürburgring 1963|
|3987GT||11 October 1962||LHD||Rosso Cina||Ralph Lauren, USA||Winner over all at 1000 Km Paris 1962 with Rodriguez|
|4091GT||17 November 1962||LHD||Silver metallic||Peter G. Sachs, USA||Class winner at Targa Florio 1965 with Clemente Ravetto|
|4115GT||7 December 1962||LHD||Silver metallic||Paul Vestey, England||The only GTO deliver new in Germany|
|4153GT||2 June 1963||LHD||Silver metallic||David MacNeil, USA||Winner over all at Tour de France 1964|
|4219GT||5 February 1963||LHD||Rosso Cina||Brandon Wang, England||Raced by Rodriguez in period|
|4293GT||22 April 1963||LHD||Rosso Cina||William E « Chip » Connor, USA||Class Winner 24 heures du Mans 1963|
|4399GT||29 May 1963||RHD||Rosso Cina||Anthony Bamford, England||Raced the 24 heures du Mans 1964|
|4491GT||7 June 1963||RHD||BP Green||Johann Anton Rupert, South Africa||Car rebodied many times|
|4561SA||23 September 1963||RHD||Rosso Cina||Carlo Vögele, Swiss||4 Liter customer car|
|4675GT||23 May 1963||LHD||Rosso Cina||Eric Shen, USA||Raced the Targa Florio 1964|
|4713GT||5 June 1963||LHD||Rosso Cina||Lulu Wang, USA||The only GTO with a 330 LMB body style|
|4757GT||5 June 1963||LHD||Rosso Cina||Tom Price, USA||The car raced the 24 heures du Mans 1963|
|5095GT||6 September 1963||LHD||Rosso Cina||Carlos Hank Rhon, Mexico||2nd over all at the Tour de France 1963|
|5111GT||6 September 1963||LHD||Rosso Cina||Unknown||Originally shipped to Jean Guichet in France.|
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250 GTO Vin. 3223 GT : https://pbase.com/ferrari250gto/250_gto_vin3223
Damaged 250 GTO : https://pbase.com/ferrari250gto/crash
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