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Sunday, September 12, 2010

1959-1960 Ferrari 250 SWB Berlinetta Competizione

Ferrari 250 Grand Touring Sport Coupe

Building on the successful history of the V12 GT racing engines that made the GTOs so substantial, brought the 250 Berlinetta sport coupe about. GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato in Italian, and in English means Grand Touring Homologated. Homologated means Official Agreement. So, the GTO was Officially Agreed to be a Grand Touring car. Anyway, the 250 simply is the measurement in cubic centimeters of each of the cylinders.

The 250 is all Race

The car was built by Ferrari from 1953 to 1964 becoming Ferrari's most successful line of cars to date. It was the first Ferrari to receive four disc brakes. Versions of it were the first four seater. Having a lightweight V12, 260-275bhp, 4 gear trans., competition engine launched its success at winning so many races recounting in detail would be endless, so here's a few:

The first four places in its class at the 1960 Le Mans 24 hour race, leaving Chevy and Aston Martin far in its dust. With three consecutive Tour de France wins, taking the first three places at the 1960 Tour de France, 5500 km race. Later that season the SWB won outright, at Goodwood when Sterling Moss lapped the entire field in it, making it the second consecutive win. Then in England, Monza in Italy, Spa, Nurburgring, and Monthlery.

Weighing only 2,314 pounds gives the Ferraris 250 SWB Competizione a great power to weight ratio. Maximum speed was a little over 150 mph, and 0-60 was 6.2. Excellent numbers for 1960's.

One of the Greatest Ferraris Ever Built

Enthusiasts envied the fact that owners of this car could show up, unpack and race in the same unmodified car, occasionally changing tires. The only thing necessary was to paste on numbers. The competition models were lighter and had 30-40 more horsepower, regardless of which one you were in other manufacturers didn't stand a chance.

Out of the ten Greatest Ferraris of all time, Motor Trend ranked this one 5th. Sports Car International placed it at 7 Top Sports Cars of the 60's. Mark A Cella gave it first place of his 1960's Muscle Car Picks, second is the 67 Corvette Sting Ray and third being the cherished 1968 Chevy Camaro.

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