Ferrari with an index of 250 were produced from 1954 until the end of the 60s in numerous modifications, most of which were assembled “individually” or in very limited quantities. All the 250s were a 2-door rear-wheel drive coupe “berlinetta” with a hard (hardtop) or open (convertible) top and belonged to the GT class – Grand Tourismo, but in essence they were real supercars. The name of the model comes from the number of “cubes” (cm³) per cylinder – 250.
The production of the Ferrari 250 GT model with a three-liter engine from Gioacchino Colombo for more than a decade (until 1968) established for Ferrari the unofficial title of “master of the roads”. Up to 20 modifications were built on its base with improvements from various ateliers and design groups, as well as to participate in various races.
The Ferrari 250 GT Europa model appeared in 1954 and marked the beginning of the cooperation of Ferrari with the Pininfarina body shop. The body design was developed by Francesco Salomone. Europa has become a prime example of a classic rear-wheel-drive V12 engine, presenting the final development of Pininfarina’s own style. In total, 18 copies of the Europa model were collected, of which 15 had the body of the famous atelier. It was the first Ferrari designed for public roads, not for race tracks. The interior, like the exterior, did not express unnecessary claims for sportiness. The number of seats 2 + 2, the curb weight of the car was 1150 kg.
Cars with 2.953 L engines with 200 hp (at 6500 rpm) were intended for the European market and were called Europa. A car with this engine accelerated to 100 km / h in 8 s and had a maximum speed of 185 km / h. On the North American market were models with 4.523-liter engines, they were called 357 America.
The engines were aggregated with a 4-speed manual transmission, which had synchronizers and a thin long lever. The front suspension was independent, the rear semi-independent. Drum brakes were installed. By modern standards, dynamics and controllability were mediocre, but in 1954 it was a real leap forward.
Among all the 250s, GT cars with a long wheelbase LWB were particularly successful, which after winning the Tour de France in 1956 received an additional three letters in the name – TdF.
Inspired by success, Enzo Ferrari began mass production of road versions with a derated engine: first the 250 GT Boano coupe, then the Pinin Farina convertible (1957), and in 1961 Scaglietti created the Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider. For him, the 250 GT TdF chassis was chosen with both a long and a shortened wheelbase, there were also small changes in the exterior. In addition to derated engines, racing engines with a capacity of more than 250 hp were also installed on the model. About a hundred cars of this version were produced.
From 1957 to 1958, 19 unique Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa racing cars were assembled at Ferrari (“Red Head” – by the color of the engine block). The 800-pound model had a Scaglietti pontoon wing body, a traditional V12 engine with 300 hp, rear-wheel drive and 4MKPP. This racing car reached a top speed of 270 km / h. At the same time, the steel frame had a ladder structure, the DeDion rear axle has long been used in racing cars, outdated drum brakes were on all four wheels, and the engine design had more than a decade of history.
From 1958 to 1961, 250 TRs participated in 19 races, taking first places ten times. During this time, the design of the car was constantly improved: Dunlop disc brakes appeared, engine valve springs were replaced, which led to an increase in power to 306 hp, a 5-speed gearbox was installed. In the 1961 season, the version received a new chassis with a spatial design and the name 250 TRI.
The introduction of new rules in 1962, connected with a number of tragic events during the competition, deprived Testa Rossa of the possibility of further participation in races.
In 1959, a version of the 250 GT SWB was introduced in Paris. The SWB index denoted a short, 2400 mm, base. It was a sports car with minimal trim and a stiffer suspension. The chassis and engine have not undergone any significant changes compared to the 250 TdF. Body shapes have become smoother and more rounded. This car won not only on the circuit of ring races and rallies, but also at numerous beauty contests. 165 pieces of 250 GT SWB were produced.
Supercar Ferrari 250 GTO (the letter “O” in the name means Omologata) was first introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1962, it was produced until 1964; it was one of the most famous racing cars, considered the quintessence of all Ferrari models. In 2004, the renowned American Sports Car Intternational magazine named the 250 GTO the best sports car of all time. In addition, one of the oldest automotive publications, Motor Trend Classic, assigned Model No. 1 on the list of all Ferrari cars.