1963 Ferrari 250 GT SWB 'Alloy' Berlinetta Recreation Registration no. AMO 382A Chassis no. 3493GT Engine no. 3493
'If you were a young, well-to-do racing enthusiast in 1960-61, the finest introduction into the enthralling world of Gran Turismo racing was to invest in a brand-new Ferrari 250 GT Short-Wheelbase Berlinetta. Fast, safe, near unburstable and user-friendly the alloy cars were the ultimate.' Motors.
Introduced at the 1959 Paris Salon, the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta went on to dominate its class in international GT racing in the years 1960 to 1962. A true dual-purpose car, it was arguably more capable than any Ferrari before or since of coping equally well with the conflicting demands of racetrack and highway. A quick change to cooler spark plugs, racing tyres and the addition of a roll bar and the SWB could contest its class at Le Mans or Sebring.
The 'SWB' (short-wheelbase) designation arose from a chassis that, at 2,400mm in that respect, was 200mm shorter than that of the standard 250 GT. Powering the 250 GT SWB was Ferrari's light and compact Colombo-designed 3.0-litre V12. Breathing through three twin-choke Weber carburettors, this two-cam, all-aluminium power unit produced 280bhp at 7,000rpm in competition tune, giving the car a top speed of 150mph and a useful 0-60mph acceleration time of 8.2 seconds.
Specifications could be varied to suit individual customers' requirements for either road or track, models supplied for competition use having lightweight aluminium-alloy bodies, and it was this special aluminium-bodied version of the 250 GT SWB that led directly to the immortal GTO of 1962. Before then, the 250 GT SWB Competizione had already established an enviable competition record of its own. In 1960 250 GT SWBs won the Tourist Trophy, the Tour de France, the 1,000 Kms of Paris at Montlhéry and finished fourth and fifth overall at the Sebring 12 Hours and fourth and fifth overall at Le Mans. The 250 GT SWB achieved numerous class wins in international events that same year and in 1961 won the Tourist Trophy yet again with Stirling Moss at the wheel, taking the GT class of the World Sports Car Championship with almost contemptuous ease.
After the first batch of SWBs had been built to lightweight Competition specification, the more refined (and 110 kilos heavier) steel-bodied Lusso, or street, version entered production towards the end of 1960 and would account for slightly more than 50 percent of the approximately 165 SWB Berlinettas made up to 1963.
This limited production run of SWB Berlinettas left many would-be customers disappointed, a situation which has led, inevitably, to a number of 'lesser' Ferraris being converted over the years, including left-hand drive chassis number '3439', that offered here. '3439' started life in 1963 as a Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 Series II that was delivered new to the USA and first owned by a Mr Senaja Kalter. Between 1971 and 2010 the Ferrari was owned by Mr Jerome Frederick Frick of North Hollywood, California. It was then despatched to Roelofs Engineering in the Netherlands for conversion to 250 GT SWB specification, including a totally correct new body in aluminium alloy. Carried out a an exemplary standard, the work was finished in 2012 and later that same year Chris Evans purchased the newly completed 250 GT SWB from Joe Macari. It benefits from a recent engine rebuild by Roelofs Engineering in Holland and last year was bare-metal re-sprayed by 355 International in Cream with Amaranto to match the interior. Other works carried out while in Chris' ownership include a gearbox overhaul and various engine top-end works by marque specialist Hoyle-Fox (bills on file).
Over the last three years the SWB has been one of Chris' most frequently used cars, featuring in his spectacularly successful 'Magnificent Seven' and CarFest North and South charity events organised to raise money for the BBC's 'Children in Need'. Versatile and highly desirable, exciting yet road legal, '3439' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a faithful re-creation of the much sought after 250 GT SWB at a mere fraction of the cost of an original.