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The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta

Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta

Sold at a price of £2,240,000

The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta not only has breathtaking looks, it remains arguably the greatest and most important Ferrari road/racing car ever built. Its forerunner was the 250 MM, so-named after the famous Mille Miglia race, which hard-charging Italian hillclimb champion Giovanni Bracco won for Ferrari in 1952. That achievement, plus Ferrari’s first World Driver’s Championship win with Alberto Ascari driving the Type 500 and the company’s first collaboration with Pinin Farina (the 212 Inter cabriolet) combined to make the year 1952 a particularly significant one in the marque’s history.

Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta


The last 250 MMs had been built by 1954, and work began on what would become the 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France. A new strengthened 2,600-mm tubular chassis was equipped with a modern wishbone/coil-spring suspension and the Colombo Tipo 112 “short-block” V-12 engine. Subsequently, this engine was developed further and re-designated Tipo 128B, C and D. Three more 250 GTs similar to the 250 MM followed the prototype Pinin Farina-bodied Berlinetta, 0369 GT, between April and July 1955.

That October, another car was shown at the Paris Salon and was the first design with many side louvers set within the rear sail-panels. Pinin Farina made two more prototypes, one of which was owned by the Marquis de Portago from Spain. At Nassau in December 1955, he scored the first victory for the car, a record that would reach epic proportions by the end of the decade. The Le Mans tragedy of 1955, where Peter Levegh’s Mercedes flew into a crowd of spectators, killing 80 and injuring another 200, prompted the creation of a new Gran Turismo category with an engine capacity of 3.0 litres, which would play directly into Ferrari’s hands in 1956.

Not to be outdone by Pinin Farina, Scaglietti appeared at the 1956 Geneva Motor Show with their own 250 GT prototype, which became known as the limited production, Series I, “14-louvre” 250 GT Berlinetta. The first production car was built in November 1956, and production was now the responsibility of Scaglietti in Modena.