1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Re-creation Coachwork by Carrozzeria Allegretti Chassis no. 4087GT
'It was the ultimate expression of a front-engined Ferrari, a jewel in the history of the motor car and as timeless as a Botticelli.' Lehbrink & Schlegelmilch, 'Ferrari'.
The most iconic Ferrari Gran Turismo of all time, the World Championship-winning 250 GTO needs little introduction. Developed specifically to compete in the FIA GT Championship, the 250 GTO (the initials stand for Gran Turismo Omologato) duly captured the manufacturer's title for Ferrari in 1962, 1963 and 1964.
Ferrari's policy of building a single, dual-purpose race/road model did not survive long into the 1960s, the diverging requirements of the two markets necessitating greater specialisation in the form of the competition-only 250 GTO and 250 GT Lusso Gran Turismo. Built on a short-wheelbase (240cm) chassis, the 250 GTO was designed initially by a small team headed by Giotto Bizzarrini, and completed by Mauro Forghieri after Bizzarrini and a number of his colleagues had been fired. A relatively conservative design, the GTO drew heavily on experience gained racing the 250 GT SWB, using a similar, oval tube chassis that was lighter, stiffer and lower than before. There was wishbone-type independent suspension at the front and a live axle at the rear located by a Watts linkage, while disc brakes were fitted to all four wheels. Powering the GTO was the latest development of Gioacchino Colombo's light and compact 3.0-litre V12, as used in the 250 Testarossa. Breathing through six twin-choke Weber 38DCN carburettors, the two-cam, all-aluminium unit produced between 280 and 300bhp. The gearbox was a new five-speed unit incorporating Porsche-type synchromesh.
Following Bizzarrini's departure, Enzo Ferrari brought in one of his long-tem collaborators, coachbuilder Sergio Scaglietti, to finalise the body design. Scaglietti simplified the design he had inherited and altered it to meet the FIA's new requirements regarding windscreen dimensions, completing his work (on chassis number '3223 GT') on 5th December 1961. After Belgian drive Willy Mairesse had wrecked the prototype during testing, Forghieri made significant changes aimed at increasing stability: fitting the aforementioned Watts linkage to the rear axle, stiffening the suspension springs and adding a small spoiler at the tail. These changes did the trick, and when the 250 GTO made its competition debut at the Sebring 12 Hours race in March 1962, hopes were high. Driven by reigning Formula 1 World Champion Phil Hill and endurance-racing specialist Olivier Gendebien, '3387 GT' finished 2nd overall, beaten only by the Ferrari 250 Testarossa of Jo Bonnier and Lucien Bianchi. The 250 GTO would go on to win three World Championships over the course of the next three years.
Ferrari made only 39 250 GTOs, which were used almost exclusively for racing. Nevertheless, and despite being a state-of-the-art GT racer, the GTO was tractable enough to be used on the road, which in part explains its enduring charm: unlike any competition Ferrari since, it was a practical Grand Tourer, albeit one lacking in the creature comforts usually associated with the latter.
As is the case with rare sports-racing exotica, the growth of the historic motor sports scene in more recent times has seen demand greatly exceed supply, leading to the creation of replicas such as that offered here. Most often the donor car would be a Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2, which is how chassis number '4087 GT' began life in 1962. Sold new in Italy, the car was re-bodied in 1978 by Carrozzeria Allegretti in Modena, emerging as a 250 GTO Replica. In 1990 it was sold through Swiss dealer Touring Garage AG (Peter Rau) of Oberweningen near Zurich to an unknown buyer. The Ferrari was later owned by a Mr Willner in Switzerland, who kept it until July 2014 when his collection was dispersed, the majority being sold at auction.
Since its acquisition by the current vendor in July 2014, '4087 GT' has benefited from the expert attention of GTO Engineering of Hare Hatch, Berkshire, who have rebuilt the carburettors, fitted a new Facet fuel pump and thoroughly overhauled the braking system, while the car also benefits from a new set of Michelin tyres (see bills on file). A convincing evocation of one of the world's most desirable cars, this beautiful 250 GTO re-creation is offered at a mere fraction of the price of an original.