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You must have heard the famous Ferrari GTO 250 manufactured by Ferrari during the 1960s (1962 to 1964). This wonder car was a grand tourer (GT) designed to offer high speed and long-distance driving. 

The Ferrari GTO 250 was also the perfect combination of excellent performance and luxury features. The GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato whereas the ‘250’ in the name depicts the displacement of the car in cubic centimetres.

Ferrari manufactured just 36 units of the 250 GTO between 1962 and 1964 in which 33 cars were crafted with 1962-63 bodywork and 3 were designed with 1964 bodywork. The 1962-63 model was called Series I and 1964 was denoted Series II.

The Ferrari GTO 250 became famous in the United States setting price records and attracting automobile collectors. The new 250 GTO was priced at around US$18,000 and the buyers were personally authorized by Enzo Ferrari and Luigi Chinetti (Ferrari dealer for North America).

The 250 GTO became highly popular and also created a world record for the most expensive car in June 2018. This record was achieved when a 1963 Ferrari GTO 250 was sold for US$70 million as a private sale.

The Ferrari GTO 250 also managed to secure 8th position on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s which was published by the Sports Car International (an automobile magazine) in 2004. Another automobile magazine named Motor Trend Classic listed the car was in the first position for ‘Greatest Ferraris of All Time’. In addition, Popular Mechanics magazine named the GTO as the ‘Hottest Car of All Time’.

We have explored some basic information on the famous Ferrari GTO 250. With that, let’s find out why the car created a sensation in the automobile industry.

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Ferrari GTO 250 Design

The Ferrari GTO 250 was designed to meet the requirements of the Group 3 GT Racing that included sports car racing and rallying events. The Chief engineer Giotto Bizzarrini was the leader for the development of 250 GTO. 

Along with Giotto Bizzarrini, most of the Ferrari Engineers were fired in 1962 following the dispute with Enzo Ferrari. Due to such a situation, the company had to hire new engineers for the continuation of the 250 GTO project. Mauro Forghieri overtook the place of Bizzarrini and worked with an Italian automobile design and coachbuilding company Carrozzeria Scaglietti to complete the design of the GTO.

Engineer Bizzarrini emphasized more on the aerodynamic structure and design of the GTO 250 to enhance top speed and stability. This aerodynamic approach became a significant technological advancement in comparison to the previous Ferrari GT cars.

Automobile companies including Lotus, Carrozzeria Scaglietti, and Pininfarina handled the contemporary developments and body construction.

The mechanical design of the Ferrari GTO 250 was conservative as the frame structure, chassis, geometry was slightly changed in comparison to the 250 GT SWB. The key focus was to reduce weight, lower the chassis and optimize performance. 

A-arm front suspension, disc brakes, rear live-axle with Watt’s linkage, hand-welded oval tube frame and Borrani wire wheels were used to build the car.

Except for the 1964 Series II cars, all 250 GTOs featured three removable ‘D’-shaped panels on the upper face of the nose. This design was introduced to increase radiator air throughput.

Ferrari 250 GTO Engine

The engine was the main talking point of the Ferrari GTO 250.

The race-proven Tipo 168/62 3.0L V12 engine with 2,853cc was installed in the 250 GTO that would generate a maximum power of 221 kW and 102 hp per litre. About the speed, the car could reach a top speed of 280km.

The engine was manufactured using an all-alloy design and six 38DCN Weber Carburetors. With that, the car produced a maximum power of 221 kW (296 bhp; 300PS) at 7500 rpm and a maximum torque of 294 Nm (217 lb.-ft) at 5500 rpm. The 5-speed gearbox unit with Porsche type synchromesh was integrated into the engine.

Ferrari GTO 250 Interior

The interior of the Ferrari GTO 250 was developed with a minimalist design to enhance its racing ability. There was no speedometer, no carpeting, no headliner, and the seats were cloth-upholstered. 

Prototypes

There were two prototypes introduced for the Ferrari GTO 250; the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Le Mans Berlinetta Sperimentale and the second prototype manufactured from a donor car.

The 1961 prototype was produced from chassis 2643GT which was originally a 1961 250GT SWB. This prototype was powered by a Tipo 168/61 3.0L engine featured with dry-sump lubrication and 6 Weber 38 DCN carburettors. The Italian automobile company Pininfarina constructed a lightweight aluminium body.

The second prototype was manufactured from a donor car however, the exact information about the donor model is unknown. Some sources claim the donor for the second prototype was a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB (chassis 2053GT) while others mention the donor was a Ferrari 250 GT Boano (chassis 0523GT) or a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT SWB (1791GT).

Ferrari GTO 250 Variants

Some variants of the Ferrari GTO 250 were manufactured as the Ferrari instructed Mike Parkes and Mauro Forghieri to redesign the 250 GTO’s bodywork in 1964. This change resulted in the introduction of GTO ‘64 also known as Series II. With the redesign, three new cars were manufactured in 1964 and 4 other 250 GTOs were retrofitted by the manufacturing plant.

The Ferrari 250 LM was not certified by the FIA for GT-Class racing so, the company had to redesign to maintain the competitiveness in the racing industry.

Besides 250, three 330 GTO Specials were manufactured utilizing the 250 GTO chassis whereas the body was fitted with 400 Superamerica 4.0-liter motors.

Other variants include 330 LMB (4 produced in 1963) which was powered by a 4.0-litre 330 motor and a modified 250 GT Lusso chassis/body. Likewise, three 275 GTB/C Specials were introduced in 1964/65. The Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan was also manufactured as a one-off racing car.

Ferrari GTO 250 Racing Performance

The Ferrari GTO 250 initiated racing in the year 1962 when an American Phil Hill and Belgian Olivier Gendebien used it in the 1962 12 Hours of Sebring. These racing pair finished second in the race behind the Testa Rossa of Bonnier and Scarfiotti.

The 250 GTOs were also involved in the 2000cc class of the FIA’s International Championship for GT Manufacturers. The championship was held during 1962, 1963, and 1964 and the 250 GTOs won the 1963 and 1964 Tour de France Automobile.

The racing competitors of the Ferrat GTO 250 were:

Jaguar E-type

Jaguar E-type also known as Jaguar XK-E in the North American Market is a sports car developed by Jaguar Cars Ltd. The British Sportscar was resembled a beautiful design and offered high performance and competitive pricing.

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato is a grand tourer sports car manufactured by Zagato. This car was designed with a lower roofline, longer front end, a reshaped tail, a flatter, and larger rear wings to offer optimized racing performance.

DP212

The DP212 is an Aston Martin Prototype sports car manufactured by Aston Martin for the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans.

DP214

The DP214 is also the Aston Martin Prototype sports car developed for grand-touring style racing especially the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

DP215

The DP215 is another sports car prototype manufactured by Aston Martin for grand touring-style racing in the year 1963. It was manufactured alongside DP214 and DP212.

AC Cobras

AC Cobra is a sports car manufactured by the British Company AC Cars. It is powered by a Ford V8 Engine.

Ferrari GTO 250 Technical Specifications

Engine Typefront, longitudinal 60° V12
Bore/Stroke73 x 58.8 mm
Unitary Displacement246.10 cc
Total Displacement2953.21 cc
Compression Ration9.8:1
Maximum Power221 kW (300 hp) at 7400 rpm
Power Per Liter102 hp/l
Valve Actuationsingle overhead camshafts per bank, two valves per cylinder
Fuel FeedSix Weber 38 DCN carburettors
IgnitionSingle spark plug per cylinder, two coils
LubricationDry sump
ClutchSingle-plate
FrameTubular steel
Front Suspensionindependent, unequal-length wishbones, co-axial coils and telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
Rear Suspensionlive axle, twin radius arms, semi-elliptic springs, co-axial coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers
BrakesDiscs
Transmission5-speed + Reverse
SteeringWorm and roller
Fuel Tank130 litres
Front Tires6.00 x 15
Rear Tires7.00 x 15
Body Type 2-seater Berlinetta
Length 4325 mm
Width 1600 mm
Height1210 mm
Wheelbase2400 mm
Front Track1354 mm
Rear Track1350 mm
Weight880 kg (dry)
Top Speed280 km/h (2.9 sec for 0-100 km/h)
Car TypeRacing Car
Production Years1962-1964
Manufacturer LocationMaranello, Italy
EngineersGitto Bizzarrini, Mauro Forghieri
CoachbuilderCarrozzeria Scaglietti
Total Production 36 units
Predecessor1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB
Successor1964 Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari GTO 250 Price

The new Ferrari GTO 250 was priced at $18,000 in the United States however, the pricing fluctuated due to the automobile market crash and various other circumstances. 

The average price of the 250 GTO maintained somewhere around $2,700,000 and $2,500,000. The price started improving in the late 90s and in June 2018, a record-breaking sale happened when David MacNeil bought the GTO for $70 million in a private sale.

Likewise, another 250 GTO was sold for $48 million in a Monterey Auction which represented a new record for the most expensive car ever sold at auction.

The major Price History of the 250 GTO is illustrated in the table below.

Sold YearChassis NumberPriceStatus
1962New Models$18,500Sold
1974$28,000Sold
1977$71,000Sold
19783987GT$90,000Sold
19824757GT$345,000Sold
1983$300,000Sold
1984$400,000Sold
19853987GT$650,000Sold
19863589GT$1,000,000Sold
19874757GT$1,600,000Sold
19883589GT$4,200,000Sold
19893909GT$13,300,000Sold
20043223GT$10,600,000Sold
20075905GT$22,000,000Sold
20085905GT$22,763,611Sold
20103943GT$26,000,000Sold
20125905GT$31,700,000Sold
20123505GT$35,00,0000Sold
20135111GT$52,000,000Sold
20143851GT$38,115,000Sold
20173387GT$44,000,000Sold
20184153GT$70,000,000Sold
20183414GT$48,405,000Sold

FAQs

How much is a 250 GTO worth?

The new Ferrari 250 GTOs were priced at $18,000 in the United States however, the price fluctuated due to various reasons. The 250 GTO created a world record as it was sold for a price of $70 million in a private sale in June 2018.

How much does a Ferrari 250 GTO replica cost?

The Ferrari GTO replica costs around $1 million.

How many 250 GTO are left?

It is believed that 36 units of the Ferrari 250 GTOs are alive today.

Why is the Ferrari 250 GTO expensive?

The Ferrari 250 GTO is a sports car and was manufactured in a small number of 36 units only. Besides, the sportscar was manufactured to meet the FIA’s racing requirements.

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