Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta by Scaglietti: One of the World's Most Iconic Automobiles

Mar 25, 2017 12:10 AM EDT | BC Tabotabo

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Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta by Scaglietti: One of the World's Most Iconic Automobiles

The Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta is one of the most imporant members of the 250 family. It is one of the most successful racing cars in the Italian automaker's history and has claimed around 250 class and overall victories. In fact, the 250 stands for the number of times it has won the Tour de France rally.

(Photo : Petrolicious/YouTube)

The Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta is one of the most important members of the 250 family. It is one of the most successful racing cars in the Italian automaker's history and has claimed around 250 class and overall victories. In fact, the 250 stands for the number of times it has won the Tour de France rally.

250 GTO. The most expensive member of the 250 family is the GTO. In a report by Auto Blog, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was put up for auction at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegrance. It sold at auction for a whopping $38.1 million. It was the most expensive car ever sold at auction.

Apparently, only 39 of these racers were ever built. While racing cars need at least 100 examples, the Italian automaker was able to get away with only making 39 of them. In the past, one was even reportedly sold privately for $52 million while one built for Stirling Moss also went privately for $35 million.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta by Scaglietti. Unlike the long-wheelbase "TDF" cars, there was a total of 165 SWB examples of the 250 GT. SWB stands for short-wheelbase. Apparently, the Italian racing tea, consisting of Carlo Chiti, Mauro Forghieri, and Giotto Bizzarrini decided to shorten the car's wheelbase from 102.3 inches to 94.4 for the SWB.

The resulting change allegedly provided higher cornering speeds. In addition, the suspension was modified as well. Apart from that, everything remained pretty much the same.

The 250 GT SWB Berlinetta came in two basic forms. There was a Competition model for racing and a Lusso (Luxe) model for those who preferred a fancy street machine. The racer bodies were made of aluminum and given a more powerful V-12 engine. In addition, they had specially tuned engines and fitted with revised camshaft profiles and competition carburetors.

Road and Track reported that the V-12 engine remained at 3.0-liters but had some modifications. It had bigger valves and some timing changes, as well as some modifications inherited from the Testa Rossa Engine. Ferrari expert Jess Pourret stated that the Competition motor had around 260 to 275 horsepower while the street car variants had a horsepower between 220 and 240 hp.

The SWB Berlinetta's were successful from the very beginning. They would nail down wins in the GT class and not fall behind at all from other sports racers in the overall race wins. In particular, Stirling Moss did a great job in Rob Walker's No. 7 car which was painted blue with a white stripe. The two dominated the 1960 and 1961 Tourist Trophy at Goodwood.

In addition, another 250 GT SWB with chassis 2035GT from the Ralph Lauren collection was also significant. It had an all-aluminum body and was raced extensively in Portugal by Horácio Macedo. It was able to win several seasons of the National Champion of Grande Turismo and later used in historic racing prior to its acquisition by Ralph Lauren in 1986.

The Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta by Scaglietti is an iconic and important part of the Ferrari heritage. While it may not be as expensive as the 250 GT TDFs, it is still among the most iconic cars in history.

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