Tag Archives: 250GT

8 Inches Shorter – Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB #2891 GT

Sharing the same chassis as the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB, the short wheel base (SWB) Ferrari 250 California Spyder was a fraction under 8 inches shorter than the original Long Wheel Base Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder of which 49 examples had been built 1957 and 1960.

Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

Of the 55 SWB California Spyder bodies designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti 37 had faired in headlights.

Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

First seen at Geneva Motor Show in 1960 the California Spyder was powered by a 276hp version of the 3 litre / 183 cui V12 motor designed by Gioacchino Colombo.

Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

Along with the additional power the SWB California was fitted with hydraulic disc brakes in place of the drum brakes of originally fitted to the older long wheel base model.

Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

At the time of writing it is not known who first purchased chassis #2891 in 1961, but it’s three known subsequent owners all lived in Europe, so this car appears to have never seen the California sunshine for which it was built.

Thanks for joining me on this “8 Inches Shorter” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll for the start of GALPOT’S 50th Anniversary of the Porsche 911 celebration. Don’t forget to come back now !


Pedro y Ricardo – Ferrari 250GT SWB Berlinetta Compitizione #3005GT

In 1961 Luigi Chinetti ordered today’s Ferrari 250GT SWB Berlinetta Compitizione chassis #3005GT and entered it in the Paris 1000kms race held at Montlhéry for the Mexican brothers Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez to drive.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, Goodwood Revival

The results of qualifying are not known however the result was an emphatic win for the Mexican’s by thirty seconds over the 250 GT SWB of Willy Mairesse and Lucien Bianchi, infact the first five cars to finish the race were all 250 GT SWB’s including chassis #2729GT driven by Pierre Dumas and Jo Schlesser which featured last weeks Ferrari Friday blog.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Ricardo Rodriguez was also credited with fastest lap at Montlhéry, having impressed Enzo Ferrari a couple of weeks earlier at Monza with a front row qualifying spot Ricardo was given a works contract for 1962 and continued to impress despite being just 20 years old with a string of good results including a win in the 1962 Targa Florio sports car race where he co drove a Ferrari 246SP with Olivier Gendebien and Willy Mairesse. Tragically Ricardo was killed in practice of the 1962 non Championship Mexican Grand Prix driving a Lotus for Rob Walker after Ferrari had declined to enter the race.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Older brother Pedro was equally talented particularly in the rain and behind the wheel of big sports cars like the Gulf Porsche 917, Pedro won two Grand Prix first in the 1967 South African GP where he drove a Cooper Maserati and the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix where he drove a BRM P153, recording a record average speed for any Grand Prix at the time of 149 mph. Like his brother Ricardo Pedro died at the wheel in 1971 at the Norisring where he drove a Ferrari 512M chassis #1008 that burst into flames after an accident.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Today’s featured car meanwhile was sold to Doug Thiem for the 1962 season and he is known to have driven it in at least 14 further US sports car races winning outright at Erkhart Lake / Road America in September 1962.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, Goodwood Festival of Speed

#3005 stayed in the US until 1980 when Italian Pietro Brigato acquired the car and entered it into classic events in Italy and Germany. In 2011 Lukas Hueni, acquired the car and can be seen at the wheel in the top photo at the 2011 Goodwood Revival and in the bottom photo at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Thanks for joining me on this “Pedro y Ricardo ” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Early Doors – Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta #2025GT

I’m not sure exactly how many dozens of race meetings I attended between 1985 and 1992, certainly dozens, but curiously I only took one photograph of a Ferrari on track, of the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta coming round Surtees bend at Brands Hatchs seen below.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, Brands Hatch

The prototype 250 GT SWB Berlinetta was first show to the public at the 1959 Paris Auto Show, sans front wing/fender cooling ducts, vents, indicators and recessed number plate holder on the boot / trunk.

Sergio Pininfarina is said to have referred to the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta as “the first of out three quantum leaps in design with Ferrari.” The bodies were manufactured by Scaglietti where like true craftsmen employees typically worked without drawings.

Power was provided by the latest 250 – 280 hp 168B Colombo 60º V12 which can be identified by additional cylinder head studs. The 250 GT SWB Berlinetta was the first Ferrari model to be offered with disc brakes.

167 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlintta’s were built between 1959 and 1963 originally with aluminium bodies “Competizione” bodies and later with steel “Lusso” bodies, some steel shelled cars are also known to have been delivered with Competizione features just to keep things interesting for historians.

Stirling Moss is credited with scoring the SWB’s first significant overall win driving Rob Walkers distinctive blue car with a white nose band in the non Championship 1960 Tourist Trophy. The following year the GT SWB Berlinetta won the GT Class of the Constructors Championship for Ferrari.

Identifying the #1 car above has proved to be another fascinating adventure, At The Nostalgia Forum Peter Stenning recognised this as a Scuderia Campidoglio vehicle driven by Fabrizio Violati and Tim Murray came up with the 1989 FIA GT Championship as the event held at Brands Hatch.

It was suggested at FerrariChat that the #1 was chassis #2021GT, but that car is credited as having been driven to victory, in the same race as seen here, as the #2 with Lindsay Owen-Jones at the wheel.

The #1 and #2 cars looked more or less identical in the race, however during practice the #1 carried a white band across the yellow sunstrip and more importantly the #1 features the original door type with a bent top rail that was straightened on some of the later cars. This eliminated #2021 and another 250 GT SWB #2443GT which had also passed through Fabrizio Violati’s hands.

Finally I managed to pin down the identity of the early door 250 GT SWB Berlinetta in my photograph as most likely to be #2025

#2025 was originally purchased by Edoerdo Lualdi in 1960 who won several class victories on the Italian Hillclimbing circuit in 1960 and 1961, in mid 1961 Luciano Conti acquired the car and continued its successful career on the Italian Hills until the end of 1961.

The following year turned up badly wrecked in Sicily and it’s motor was removed and sold to some one in the USA to be replaced by a motor from a 250 GT Lusso.

Fabrizio Violati acquired the #2025 in 1976 and so far as I know the car is in the Maranello Rosso Museum, founded like Ferrari Club Italia by Violati with the cooperation of Enzo Ferrari.

Violati came to prominence after being photographed jumping 12 barrels with a Vespa Scooter aged 16. After a racing car accident put him in hospital for six months, Fabrizio’s family put a stop to his racing exploits in 1959. He purchased a Ferrari 250 GTO while on honeymoon in Monaco in 1965. Fabrizio has the record for continuous ownership of a 250 GTO.

While mounting an unsuccessful attempt on the 1975 Admirals Cup yacht race Fabrizio started collecting cars including three different 250 GT SWB Berlinetta’s and eventually started competing in historic events with them.

In 1984 he was summoned by Enzo Ferrari to start Ferrari Club Italia and given permission to use the Maranello Rosso name for his collection of cars in San Marino.

Fabrizio who was crowned 1985 European FIA Historic Champion, passed away aged 74 in 2010.

My thanks to Peter Stenning, Tim Murray, Terra and Daytonasme for their help in tracking the identity of today’s featured car.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Early Doors’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be featuring the still born Lotus Indy Car. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS subsequent to my original post the story behind the fate of the original #2025GT motor with photographic evidence has come to light at FerrariChat, turns out the original motor for the car featured today now sits in another 250GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione chassis #1953, for more details see this link.


16 Blocks of Classics ! – Carmel by the sea Concours d’Elegnce 2011

Here in the UK the Autumn is already closing in with days of rain. To cheer myself up with a hint of California sunshine I thought to share with you these fabulous photo’s from last month’s Carmel by the sea Concours d’Elegance kindly sent to me by Geoffrey Horton.

Allard J2R, Carmel BTS

I understand for the day of the event sixteen blocks in central Carmel are closed down and given over to that part of the motoring fraternity that is fanatical about presenting their cars built between 1945 and 1989 in better than new condition. First up a Cadillac powered 1955 Allard J2R.


When I first started reading ‘Motor Sport‘ in 1973 the car to have in touring car racing was the 3.0 litre / 183 cui BMW CSL which in full works Group 2 specification with ‘batmobile’ rear wing fairly wiped the hitherto dominant Ford Capri off the top place on the winners rostrum of the European Touring Car Championship. A #55 Jaegermeister sponsored 3.0 CSL looking very much like the car in Geoffrey’s photo, but without the 1974 IMSA GTO spec vented flared wheel arches, driven by Derek Bell and Harald Ertl, won the RAC Tourist Trophy on the 23rd Sept 1973.

Ferrari 250 GT Boano, Carmel BTS

I have already posted a blog about the unique 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Boano Convertible, that was declared the winner of this years Carmel Concours, so with best wishes for the Birthday boy most of you know from his posts on this blog as Jr Cracker here is a Ferrari 250 GT Boano chassis 0553 GT which has gone through several colour changes and engine changes but after a twenty plus year gap now has it’s original motor safely re-installed. Last sold in January 2008 for US$ 975.000.

Bardahl Special, Carmel BTS

The 1957 Indy 500 was won by Sam Hanks in the Epperly Belond Exhaust Special, Jack Turner driving the #19 Bardahl Special a Kurtis 500G started 19th and came in 11th last man to complete the full 200 laps.

Lola T70 Ford, Carmel BTS

I believe this wonderful Lola T70 Mk 2 is the only car to have ever to have won a Can Am race powered by a Ford V8, a 302 cui motor fitted with Westlake heads, which Dan Gurney used to take honours in the second ever Can Am race at Bridgehampton in 1966. John Surtees won the 1966 Can Am series in a similar, but Chevrolet powered, Lola T70 Mk 2.

Morgan 4-4, Carmel BTS

The vintage and history of this Morgan 4-4 is still a mystery to me but nice to see someone flying the motherlands flag in a swinging sixties style.

My thanks to Geoffrey for his wonderful photos, I hope you will join me in wishing the man behind GALPOT’s Ferrari Friday’s, Jr Cracker, a very Happy Birthday !

Thanks for joining me on this Jr Cracker birthday edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be taking a close look at a rare Aston Martin by Touring. Don’t forget to come back now !


When is a redhead not a redhead ? Ferrari 500 TRC #0690 MD TR

The other day Rowdizen jr Cracker asked if I had ever seen a Ferrari Testa Rossa driving around town the answer to which is no, but a couple of months ago I did see this Ferrari 500 TRC chassis number #0690 MD TR which came from the second batch of Ferrari vehicles with the Testa Rossa name.

Having noticed that the Alta engines of the HWM Formula 2 team had noticeably superior fuel efficiency compared to his own Colombo designed V12’s which dominated the Formula 2 class Enzo instructed Aurelio Lamperdi to design a 4 cylinder 2 litre / 121 cui engine.

The Lamperdi alloy four pot featured double over head cams acting on 2 valves per cylinder. Installed in a Formula Two car this engine powered Alberto Ascari two world championshops in 1953 and 54. This 4 cylinder engine was also used in the successful 500 Mondial Sports Cars of 1954 – 56 which scored numerous class wins.

Towards the end of 1956 Vittorio Jano completed work on his update of the 500 Mondial which featured red cam covers on its Lamperdi 2 litre 4 cylinder engine and so the Testa Rossa legend was born, the TR scored a maiden win at Monza in the hands of Brits Collins and Hawthorn.

The first batch of 500 TR’s were rendered almost instantly obsolete by new sports car regulations, written and introduced after the disaster at Le Mans in 1955, known as Appendix C which required sports cars to race with full width screens, a passenger door, and fuel tanks mounted outside of the cockpit. The second batch of Testa Rossa’s became known as the 500 TRC of which #0690 MD TR is one of less than 20 examples.

This particular car has an unfortunate history, it was entered in the 1958 Cuban GP, an event during which pole sitter Juan Manuel Fangio was kidnapped by Castros forces and he ended up watching the race on television. Armando Garcia Cifuentes was at the wheel of #0690 when he lost control on a patch of oil, hit a curb and promptly ploughed into a spectator area. Seven spectators were killed in the accident over 40 were injured, miraculously Armando survived after being taken to hospital on the bonnet of a competitors TR.

It is not clear what happened to #0690 after that crash but the Indiana Jones of finding forgotten cars Colin Crabbe located it and it has now been restored with a non standard 12 cylinder engine allegedly sourced from a 250 GT Lusso, one of the more expensive 250 GT variants ! It is not known what happened to the original 4 cylinder Testa Rossa engine.

Note uniquely for a 500 TRC #0690 now has a large central perspex bonnet scoop for the V12 carburettors.

In order to not disappoint jr Cracker entirely here is a photo by Ed Arnaudin of a 500 TRC compete with a 4 cylinder red cam cover engine and without the large central bonnet scoop. The vehicle in this photo taken at Lime Rock possibly 24th April 1959 appears to be chassis number #0706 MD TR entered by the MJ Garber team and driven by Swiss driver Gaston Andrey.

Thanks once again to Steve Arnaudin for letting me share one of his father Ed’s photos. Hope you enjoyed todays edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ hope you’ll join me again tomorrow, don’t forget to come back now !


What’s a missing 1/4 light between friends ? – 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Ellena

It’s a great honour to share another couple of Steve Anaudins Dads photo’s to day this time from Lime Rock in 1959.

During the mid to late 50’s Ferrari like Maserati realised that a business model focused on the production of low volume racing cars was not sustainable and so both began producing larger volume road cars, we saw the Maserati 3500 GT yesterday, Ferrari’s transition was a little more chaotic with the introduction of 250 GT which was introduced in 1954 and in at least 12 different body variations.

The car was built around the staggering 280 hp 2,953cc / 180 cui Colombo Tipo 125 V12, which weighed nearly half the weight of the contemporary Jaguar XK 6 engine with a similar power output.

Amazingly the clue to the identity of this 250 GT is in the absence of the 1/4 light window in the door ! In 1956 Pinin Farina designed a prototype coupe which he did not have the capacity to build so responsibility for production was handed over to an ex Farina and Ghia coachworks employee Mario Felice Boano who produced 64 coupes all with a lower roof line than original prototype.

Not long into production Boano was employed by FIAT and so he handed production responsibilities over to his son in law Ezio Ellena who produced a couple of cars identical to the low roof line Boano, before raising the roof line and doing away with the quarter light to tidy up an already exceptionally clean and smooth design. It is thought that Ellena produced around 50 250 GT’s before production of the next 250 GT upgrade was taken in house by Ferrari in 1958.

Hope you have enjoyed popping by today, thanks again to Steve Arnaudin for sharing his Dad’s photographs with us and thanks to Steve’s Dad for taking them in the first place.

Looking forward to trawling through my archives for tomorrow’s edition of ‘Gettin a lil’ psycho on tyres !’ hope you’ll join me, don’t forget to come back now !