1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

The 250 GTO was designed to compete in GT racing, where its rivals would include the Shelby Cobra, Jaguar E-Type and Aston Martin DP214. The development of the 250 GTO was headed by chief engineer Giotto Bizzarrini. Although Bizzarrini is usually credited as the designer of the 250 GTO, he and most other Ferrari engineers were fired in 1962 due to a dispute with Enzo Ferrari. Further development of the 250 GTO was overseen by new engineer Mauro Forghieri, who worked with Scaglietti to continue development of the body. The design of the car was a collaborative effort and cannot be ascribed to a single person.

The mechanical aspects of 250 GTO were relatively conservative at the time of its introduction, using engine and chassis components that were proven in earlier competition cars. The chassis of the car was based on that of the 250 GT SWB, with minor differences in frame structure and geometry to reduce weight, stiffen and lower the chassis. The car was built around a hand-welded oval tube frame, incorporating A-arm front suspension, rear live-axle with Watt’s linkage, disc brakes, and Borrani wire wheels. The engine was the race-proven Tipo 168/62 Comp. 3.0 L V12 as used in the 250 Testa Rossa Le Mans winner. An all-alloy design utilizing a dry sump and six 38DCN Weber carburetors, it produced approximately 300 horsepower. The gearbox was a new 5-speed unit with Porsche-type synchromesh.

Bizzarrini focused his design effort on the car’s aerodynamics in an attempt to improve top speed and stability. The body design was informed by wind tunnel testing at Pisa University as well as road and track testing with several prototypes. The resulting all-aluminium bodywork had a long, low nose, small radiator inlet, and distinctive air intakes on the nose with removable covers. Early testing resulted in the addition of a rear spoiler. The underside of the car was covered by a belly pan and had an additional spoiler underneath formed by the fuel tank cover. The aerodynamic design of the 250 GTO was a major technical innovation compared to previous Ferrari GT cars, and in line with contemporary developments by manufacturers such as Lotus. The bodies were constructed by Scaglietti, with the exception of early prototypes with bodies constructed in-house by Ferrari or by Pininfarina. Cars were produced in many colours, with the most famous being the bright red “Rosso Cina”.

Reality: I’m very familiar with the above 250GTO as a customer and friend owned it for 18 years and thus my exposure to it on a regular basis. It is a ’62 rebodied in ’64 to the newer and more aerodynamic form by Sergio Scaglietti which adorned the newer series cars and retrofitted to several first series.

Digital Restyling: I’ve always wondered what the intermix of the 250GTO would be like with the beautiful wheels of the F40 itself and this is the result.

This is another example of digital restyling and design by ModenaWest