• May 6, 2011
Ferrari 250 GTO - Click above for high-res image gallery

The 250 GTO has long been considered the most desirable Ferrari of all time, and up until last year was regarded as the most valuable car in the world. The 250 GTO's rarity (just 39 were produced including a single prototype), its success in international racing in the 1960s, and the beautiful shape designed by Bizzarrini are an unmatched combination.

The 50th anniversary of the 250 GTO is just around the corner, and to celebrate, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance has decided to hold a gathering of as many of the cars as possible. An invite has been sent out to each of the owners, and more than half have already committed to attend. If it's anything like the Jaguar XK-SS reunion held at Pebble Beach last year, then the sight should be nothing less than epic. Hit the jump for the official PR from Pebble Beach, or peruse through our collection of Ferrari 250 GTO photos in the gallery below.
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Ferraris are revered the world over for being among the finest, fastest and most exotic sports cars ever conceived, and the Ferrari 250 GTO is considered by many to be the greatest Ferrari ever manufactured. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of this model, more than twenty of these exclusive sports racing cars will take to the show field of the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on Sunday, August 21.

Only thirty-six 250 GTOs were originally produced, as well as two 330 GTOs with larger capacity engines. All of these exclusive cars have been invited to the Concours and more than half have already accepted the invitation. Some of these GTOs have sold for as much as $30 million in recent years.

"The Ferrari 250 GTO is one of the great sports racing cars of all time," said Ed Gilbertson, Chief Judge of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. "The GTO beat everything in the world for about three years running, which is quite an accomplishment when you consider the marques that were racing at that time."

In its racing debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1962, American Phil Hill and Belgian Olivier Gendebien placed second overall in the 250 GTO, with only a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sports racing car ahead of them. This was the beginning of the 250 GTO's racing success, which included winning the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile's (FIA) International Championship for GT Manufacturers three consecutive years, from 1962 to 1964. Other 250 GTO wins included the Tour de France in 1963 and 1964; the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood in 1962 and 1963; the Nürburgring 1000 km in 1963 and 1964; class wins in the Targa Florio in 1962, 1963 and 1964; and category wins at Le Mans in 1962 and 1963.

Based on the Ferrari 250 GT SWB chassis, the 250 GTO evolved from an experimental test car, the 1961 250 GT Sperimentale, which was raced by Stirling Moss to a GT win and fourth overall at Daytona. Production of the 250 GTO began later that year. The Sperimentale and many examples of both the Series I and Series II 250 GTOs will be exhibited at Pebble Beach.
Gilbertson says just one of these limited production cars remains in its original condition, although it was repaired in period due to extensive race damage. It too will be on the famed 18th fairway at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Enzo Ferrari put engineer Giotto Bizzarrini in charge of developing a car outside the normal Ferrari circles, wanting the car built in complete secrecy. Bizzarrini started with the 250 SWB, lightened and reinforced the chassis, then moved the engine behind the front axle for improved weight distribution. But in the fall of 1961 Bizzarrini and a number of others left the company. Subsequently, Enzo Ferrari assigned engineer Mauro Forghieri and coachbuilder Sergio Scaglietti to complete the 250 GTO.

The team enhanced the 2953 cc V-12 engine, fitting Testa Rossa heads, larger valves and six double-barrel Weber carburetors, increasing the horsepower to 300 hp and replacing the SWB's four-speed transmission with a five-speed, all syncromesh gearbox.

The 250 GTO also featured many familiar Ferrari technologies of the era, including a hand-welded tube frame, A-arm front suspension, live-axle rear end, disc brakes and wire wheels. The interior was extremely basic, to keep the weight of the car as light as possible, with no soundproofing and no speedometer in the instrument panel.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      Redline
      • 3 Years Ago
      Droooooooooooooooooooooooooooool...
      Mike McDonald
      • 3 Years Ago
      I know someone who has one of the original 4 Liter 250 GTO's. I think only three of them were made. This particular car finished Le Mans and was in the top rankings. This car's owner also has an original Ford GT40 and a 1995 Scuderia Ferrari 412T2 F1 car. He also has one of the only original 1963 Corvette Grand Sports and around 20 other 60's and 70's Ferraris. He also has a 288 GTO. He has many other Italian and American treasures stored in his garage as well.
      Mike McDonald
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a URL that tells about the exact GTO that I mentioned in my earlier post. http://www.hemmings.com/hsx/stories/2007/01/01/hmn_feature1.html
      David S.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Beautiful......
      gtv4rudy
      • 3 Years Ago
      ... toys for billionaires.
      chuckgoolsbee
      • 3 Years Ago
      Somebody should check their math. 2011 is the 49th anniversary of the 250 GTO.
      TexRob
      • 3 Years Ago
      There is a good reason why this is one of the highest valued/sold cars in the world. Every time I see a pic of one I'm inspired all over again. Pretty gorgeous car.