Ferrari 250 GTO: On board


A few days ago, leaving the cinema after seeing Le Mans 66 Several friends had a heated debate. Is he Ferrari 330 P4 el pony most representative of all time? With its V12 capable of delivering 450CV at 8.000 rpm it is clear that the power is not bad at all. In addition, its aerodynamics sculpts forms that are pure muscle for competition. And that's not to mention his record: he did treble in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967. He also won the World Trademark Title; the twelfth of Ferrari.

However, only 3 units were manufactured. In addition, although in the mid-60s a young Mauro Forghieri had already convinced Enzo Ferrari about the benefits of the engine in a central position beyond F1 cars ... The truth is that the canonical arrangement at Ferrari was always to place a powerful V12 under the front hood. Thus, the other candidate to represent the essence of the brand is making its entrance: the 250 GTO.

Ferrari 250 GTO Goodwood Revival 2014
Ferrari 250 GTO II and I, respectively (Photo: Unai Ona)

Presented in 1962, this model fulfills -with its 36 units- the quintessence of Maranello. It features the ultimate shapes for any classic GT. A perfectly tuned chassis for both circuits and twisty roads. A 12-cylinder Colombo in front of the driver. Technical advances that make it the culmination of the 250 saga. A prodigious track record in endurance racing… Can you ask for more? Well yes: that sounds like a thousand wonders. And boy does it!


If there is an engine that has marked the history of Ferrari, it has been the Colombo. East V12 at 60º it evolved from the liter and a half of displacement in the 125S of 1947 to almost five of the blocks mounted in the 412 of 1986. It is present in many of the great GT of the Italian house, marking 3 liters and 302CV for the evolution installed on the 250 GTO chassis.

ferrari 250 gto sound engine

However, aerodynamics also helped the 250 GTO. The person responsible for it, Giotto Bizzarini, decided to do just the opposite of what had been done with its predecessor: the 250 GT SWB. It reduced the height of the front end - making it much more penetrating at the cost of the air intake - while increasing the downforce on the rear axle thanks to a protruding wedge finial. Something that had to outline Sergio Scaglietti when Bizzarrini left Maranello after the famous argument with Enzo Ferrari in 1961.


Considered the most versatile and fastest car in endurance racing in which it competed, the Ferrari 250 GTO became dominant on the circuits with its 1050 kilos and 280 km / h of top speed. All this opened with a most brilliant debut: second place in the 12 1962 Hours of Sebring driven by Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebein. Only surpassed by a Ferrari 250 TRI / 61 from the Scudería SSS Republica di Venezia. From there was made for three consecutive years with the title of champion in its class within the World Endurance Championship.

Ferrari 250 GTO Goodwood Revival 2014
A GTO II at Goodwood (Photo: Unai Ona)

1962, 1963 and 1964. Three years of glory in which the 250 GTO marked the end of the era of the great front-engined racing sports cars. Among its most famous pilots is the aforementioned Phill Hill, but also Pedro Rodríguez de la Vega, who together with the North American led the 250 GTO to victory in the 2.000 km of Daytona in 1964. And that is not to mention that the prototype was developed by Stirling Moss in 1961 on the asphalt of the Monza circuit.

Fortunately, this undeniable Ferrari is still seen in renowned videos and exhibition races such as the one held at the Dutch circuit of Zanvoort last 2018. A privilege for the ears where the notes of engineering stars resound like Gioacchino Colombo, Giotto Bizarrini or Enzo Ferrari. So yes, returning to the discussion at the exit of the cinema ... Possibly the Ferrari 250 GTO is the most representative horse of all time.

What do you think?

Miguel Sánchez

Written by Miguel Sánchez

Through the news from La Escudería, we will travel the winding roads of Maranello listening to the roar of the Italian V12; We will travel Route66 in search of the power of the great American engines; we will get lost in the narrow English lanes tracking the elegance of their sports cars; We will speed up the braking in the curves of the Monte Carlo Rally and we will even get dusty in a garage while rescuing lost jewels.


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