Ferrari 250 GTE
First introduced in 1954, the Tipo 250, in its various incarnations, was the first true production car built by Ferrari. Over the course of ten years, approximately 2,500 Ferrari 250s were built, ranging from the 250 GT California Spyder destined for American shores to the luxurious and attractive 250 GT Lusso. By the late 1950s, however, as other sports car manufacturers, such as Maserati and Aston Martin, geared towards offering 2+2 models, Ferrari recognized a demand among its clients for a four-seat grand touring car. Continued investment in the Scuderia’s racing projects would naturally require additional revenue as well.
At Le Mans in 1960, the course marshal drove a 2+2 Ferrari, an apparent statement of the compatibility of performance and practicality. By October of the same year, the 250 GTE was officially introduced to the public at the auto show in Paris. Derived from the 250 GT, additional space was created by moving the pedals, seats, front floorboards, and engine forward. The Pininfarina body was composed of steel with aluminum doors, bonnet, and boot lid and rode on Borrani wire wheels. Inside, a Nardi steering wheel, leather-trimmed seats, and chrome-rimmed Veglia instruments created an atmosphere that was at once luxurious and sporty. The new Colombo-designed 2,953 cc V12 engine, first introduced on the 250 GT and derived from the 250 MM, was fitted to this model as well. This powerplant, with a four-speed overdrive gearbox, was good for 240 hp and an estimated top speed of 225 kph. Ferrari 250 GTs typically accelerated from a standstill to 100 kph in 8 seconds or less.
Production of the 250 GTE was rather short-lived. Minor styling revisions resulted in a name change to 250 GT 2+2, which by late 1963 was replaced by the 330 America. From the 400i to the Mondial and the current 612 Scaglietti, the GTE’s legacy has proved the popular appeal of a four-seat Ferrari.
These cars were auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida, May of 2012 at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco, as well as in Aalholm in August 12, 2012.
240 bhp, 2,953 cc single-overhead camshaft V12 engine, four-speed manual gearbox, front double wishbone suspension and semi-elliptic leaf spring and solid axle rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 102.4".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel and Simon Clay; FLUID Images