Ferrari 250 GTE

First introduced in 1954, the 250, in its various incarnations, was the first true series production car built by Ferrari. Over the course of ten years, approximately 2,500 Ferrari 250s were built, with most early cars carrying two-seat coachwork. By the late 1950s, however, as other sports car manufacturers began offering 2+2 models, Ferrari recognized a demand among its clients for a four-seat grand touring car.

The 250 GTE 2+2 debuted at the 1960 Le Mans 24-Hour race, serving as the course marshal's car. There had been four-seater Ferraris before the 250 GTE. Ghia, Touring and Vignale all produced 2+2 designs in the 1950s, but none were nearly as successful. The GTE’s development benefitted from close collaboration between Ferrari and Pinin Farina. Its coachwork was designed and built by Pinin Farina and included extensive wind-tunnel testing at the Turin Polytechnic Institute.

By October 1960, the 250 GTE was officially introduced to the public at the Paris Salon. The GTE has the same 2,600-mm wheelbase as the legendary 250 GT Tour de France, but moving the engine forward in the chassis and widening the track of both the front and rear wheels increased the interior space significantly. Despite being a larger car with luxury and creature comforts, the model was pure Ferrari. The body was composed of steel with aluminum doors, hood and trunk lid and rode on Borrani wire wheels. Inside, a Nardi steering wheel, leather-trimmed seats and chrome-rimmed Veglia gauges created an atmosphere that was both luxurious and sporty.

The new Colombo-designed 2,953-cc V-12 engine was mated to a four-speed overdrive gearbox and was good for 240 hp and an estimated top speed of 140 mph. Ferrari works driver Phil Hill even took the car from a standstill to 100 mph and back to a stop in under 25 seconds, a staggering achievement for a grand tourer with three people aboard.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California and in March of 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

240 bhp, 2,953 cc single-overhead camshaft V-12 engine, four-speed manual gearbox, front double wishbone suspension and semi-elliptical leaf spring and solid axle rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 102.4".

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Ferrari 250 GTE