The 1950s and 60s were arguably the most critical time in Ferrari’s history. The company had only just started building road cars and the legendary motorsport success on which the brand would later be built on was still a work in progress. One of the main contributors to Ferrari’s success was the 250 series of cars built between 1953 and 1964. This line covered everything from Ferrari’s Le Mans-winning race cars to some of the early road going GT cars, eventually culminating in the legendary 250 GTO. A homologation special regularly considered one of the greatest cars the company ever built.
The car in question here though is the Ferrari 250 GT Sperimentale relatively obscure, and almost as important as the aforementioned. Only five examples were ever in 1961, of which the first car was a test mule for the factory that was never actually raced. The other recorded car was the #2643 which was Ferrari’s factory car at Le Mans for that year. The Sperimentale featured a chassis design very similar to the 250 GTs from earlier, but the wheelbase was shortened by 20mm which led to the SWB moniker. The engine came from the Type 168 Testarossa of 1960 and was a 3.0-litre V12 unit that featuring dry-sump lubrication and six carburettors. These engines produced about 280 bhp in competition trim and 240 bhp in road-going trim. The Pininfarina body was also not all new but a development of the 250 GT LWB Interim Berlinetta from 1960. The main difference was a slight redesign to the rear glass area and the addition of a rear spoiler and front winglets to aid stability along Le Mans’ Mulsanne straight. This was also probably one of the handful works Ferraris that wasn’t painted in the traditional Scuderia Red, instead getting a traditionally French racing blue as colour treatment.
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