May 23, 2022

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This Is The Best Feature On The Ferrari 250 GTO

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Originally designed to compete in Group 3 GT racing, only 250 GTOs were built from 1962 to 1964. Surprisingly enough, even after six decades, all of them are still running. The model name GTO stands for its nature of covering a long distance at high speeds, and 250 is the displacement of each cylinder in its V12 engine. The remarkable design of 250 GTO coupled with an already race-proven Tipo 168 engine made it the most successful car in the history of Ferrari GT.

In 2004 the 250 GTO was placed on the eighth position in the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s by the prestigious Sports Car International magazine. It was also nominated as the top sports car of all time. Further, it was revered as the ‘Greatest Ferraris of All Time’ by Motor Trend Classics, and the esteemed magazine Popular Mechanics dubbed it the ‘Hottest Car of All Time’.

Even after almost 60 years of its launch, the Ferrari 250 GTO is still a showstopper at every auction where it is up for sale. It is a record that whenever a 250 GTO has been auctioned, it attracts the highest price, and in those terms, it is the most expensive car in the world now.

This old prancing horse is still a tough competition to modern racers when the price is concerned, and here’s a look at what makes the Ferrari 250 GT worthy of fetching millions year after year.

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The Unique Structure Specifications

An Image Of Ferrari 250 GTO's Inside


Designed particularly for racing, the 250 GTO owes its basic structure to the 250 GT SWB. It used a similar ‘Passo Corto’ 2400 mm wheelbase and a hand-welded oval tube frame. But for the GTO model, a smaller section tubing and additional bracing were used for increased torsional rigidity. Other incorporations in the structure were carried over from the SWB Berlinettas, which included disc brakes on all wheels with a cable-operated hand brake for rear wheels, an A-arm front suspension, a rear live-axle, and Borrani wire wheels. The car was configured with both right and left-hand drive versions.

The SWB chassis was thoroughly modified in every bit to make the new 250 GTO body as low as possible, and the body around the chassis was designed for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. To achieve this state, the engine was placed in a much lower position than the earlier models and was pushed further back in the chassis that enabled lesser drag.

The Simple And Effective Body Design

Via Wikipedia

Emphasizing its performance on the tracks, the exterior body design was quite simple but, at the same time, was extremely effective at high speeds. It would be safe to say that the car was a two-passenger cabin attached to an engine. Due to the large V12 engine that sat at the back, the car had a long hood that accounted for 70 percent of its total length.

The car adopted a simple fascia with a small oval grille and round transparent plastic wrapped headlamps on the front. The car’s special features were the long, protruded, smooth fenders and the bulged hood that gave the car its aggressive appearance. On the rear, it had a shaved fascia accompanied by massive fenders. This innovative design reduced lift at the front and improved downforce at the rear.

All the 36 cars built were handmade and thus had some differences. For example, some had two fender grilles while others had three. Later, the 1962-63 built cars received series one bodywork, and 250 GTOs produced after that received a series two bodywork. The last three cars of series one were built by Pininfarina and Scaglietti and had few design differences as compared to the others.

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The Racing-Oriented Interior

An Image Of Ferrari 250 GTO's Interior

Via Pinterest / Brian

This Ferrari was in no way similar to other cars manufactured by the company, at least when it came to the interior. Not a single bit of Ferrari’s celebrated interior luxury was present on the inside. Precisely designed for running as a lightweight machine, the interior of 250 GTO was totally stripped of everything that Ferrari engineers deemed as extra.

Ferrari’s standard leather upholstery was absent; rather, the seats were covered with cloth. The tubular space frame inside was exposed, and the door panels were stripped out. There was an element of surprise on the instrumental panel – it didn’t have a speedometer despite being a sports car. The large main dial was the rpm counter, along with other smaller gauges. The driver had to control the car with the help of a large yet slim three-spoke wooden steering wheel and an exposed metal gate shifter. All systems were analog without even a single electronic instrument. The only fancy element was the recirculating-ball steering instead of conventional rack-and-pinion steering.

The Track-Bred V12 Under The Hood

An Image Of The Ferrari 250 GTO's Engine

Via Magazine.Ferrari.Com

Though the entire structure of the car was thoroughly redesigned for the engine, Ferrari chose to go with the engine that had already proven its worth in the 250 Testa Rossa. The Ferrari 250 GTO was powered by an all-alloy Tipo 168/62 Comp. 3.0-liter (2,953 cc) V12. The engine utilized dry-sump lubrication and was equipped with six twin-choke Weber 38 DCN carburetors.

With this configuration, the gigantic V12 produced 300 PS (296 bhp; 221 kW) at 7500 rpm and 294 nm; 217 lb/f⋅ft (30 kg⋅m) at 5500 rpm of torque. This power was transferred to the rear axle through a propeller shaft and was controlled by a 5-speed all-synchromesh manual transmission.

Revered as ‘The Best Ferrari Ever’, the 250 GTO is the most sought-after Ferrari in any auction. Only 36 of the original production live around the world, many of whom have found their retirement home in famous people’s garages like Ralph Lauren and Craig McCaw. As per records, in 2014, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was sold for $38.1 million in an auction. Likewise, in 2018, a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO fetched an unbelievable $70 million in a similar event, making the Ferrari 250 GTO one of the most expensive cars in the world.

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