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We would buy this Ferrari 250 SWB Competizione just for the green interior

Raced in period with great success, this 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione by Scaglietti is your ticket to historic racing heaven. While the estimate is substantial, the striking yellow-over-green spec would convince us to raise our hand at the coming RM Sotheby's sale in Paris.

If you’ve ever taken delivery of a well-maintained collector car, you will have experienced the looming sense of responsibility to assume the role of the cautious custodian for your new automotive treasure. Instantly, the roads you once cruised down half-focused on the act of driving become Takeshi’s Castle-level obstacle courses, filled with opportunities to bump, graze, or curb your pride and joy as your spacial awareness adjusts to your new ride’s dimensions. For anyone with a modicum of mechanical sympathy, these first few drives will be dominated by equal portions of motoring bliss and existential dread. There’s no escaping it, whether you’re behind the wheel of a Mk1 Golf GTI, a 992-generation 911 GT3 RS, or anything in between, the feeling will be there to some degree. 

Now imagine that you haven’t become the owner of something so common as a mere Volkswagen or Porsche, but rather a true pedigree prancing horse, and your first outing isn’t on your familiar local roads, but rather one of the world’s most historic race tracks. No, we’re not talking about the hybridised hypercars that stampede out of Maranello at an increasingly rapid rate; our star car today makes these modern Ferraris seem like traffic fodder by comparison. In terms of rarity, racing history, and price tag, it stands among the most desirable objects with four wheels, and that’s before we mention the magnificent specification. Without further ado, we present this 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Compeitizione. 

Picking up where the 250 GT Tour de France left off, Ferrari weren’t shy about piling as much cutting edge racing tech into the 250 SWB as possible. As the name suggests, the biggest change was the shorter chassis for improved handling, while disc brakes at all four corners and an improved “outside-plug” version of Ferrari’s 3-litre Colombo V12 engine gave the 250 SWB enough pace and stopping power to put it right at the front of the grid in the 1960s. Enzo Ferrari famously said: “Race cars are neither beautiful nor ugly — they become beautiful when they win.” We’d argue that Scaglietti’s coachwork on the 250 SWB has very few peers in terms of sheer neck-snapping appeal. It just so happens that the 250 SWB was as successful as a poster car as it was on track, and this example — chassis 1773 GT — is no exception. 

Completed on March 16th 1960, 1773 GT was one of just 45 aluminium-bodied Competizione examples built that year. According to factory build sheets, 1773 GT had the proverbial kitchen sink thrown at it, equipped with a Tipo 168B “hot rod” engine and a roll hoop. This wasn’t purely down to its prestigious first home, Luigi Chinetti’s famous North American Racing Team, but also because 1773 GT was expressly built to participate in the 250 SWB’s competition debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Although 1773 GT’s first outing didn’t end in a shower of champagne, the significance of its impressive 7th place overall, and 5th in class finish should not be understated. 

We mentioned this car had an incredibly successful racing career: across more than 20 races, this 250 SWB finished on the podium on no less than 14 occasions. Following its time competing on track, this stunning Ferrari was passed from collection to collection, no doubt occupying pride of place in any garage it entered. 

In 2014, this fabulous Ferrari’s historical importance earned it a ticket to a concours restoration at Wayne Obry’s renowned Motion Products Inc. with the intention of returning it to its exact delivery specification. Before it was repainted in the correct shade of Giallo and fitted with a stunning new Pelle Verde interior, the bare metal body was inspected, confirming both its originality and the pampered existence it led. After final detailing was done at Toni Auto in Maranello, the bill for this pedigree racer’s restoration totalled nearly 700,000 dollars. 

So, returning to our hypothetical scenario, would you be brave enough to occupy the gorgeous green driver’s seat of this 250 SWB? The thought that it was one of the first of its kind to be driven in anger, under the prestigious NART no less, and that it went on to become accustomed to the podiums of any circuit it attended, will certainly not help ease your anxiety. Nor will the idea that, following decades spent living the good life, it was treated to a peerless restoration, placing it among the finest 250 SWBs in existence. RM Sotheby’s estimate of between 9 and 11 million euros for their Paris auction on January 31st — where it wears the crown of most valuable ride — will surely not help either as you line up against other multi-million euro sixties sports car icons. 

However, these cars were always meant to be driven, and we’d say that price tag would feel much more justified listening to chassis 1773 GT’s 12-cylinder howl on the Mulsanne straight than it would parked in a hermetically sealed chamber. So, to this Ferrari’s next custodian: we deeply, deeply envy you, but at the same time, we’re more than happy to watch from the grand stands. It seems in the upper echelons of the collector car world, owning these machines is both a blessing and a beautiful curse. 




This article has been produced and published as part of a paid partnership with RM Sotheby's. Classic Driver is not responsible for the information given above.