My Car Quest

September 19, 2019

The Fabled Ferrari 250 GTO

A Look at the Series 2 GTO

by Wallace Wyss –

You can see why Chez Pininfarina hated the Series I Ferrari GTO. Because that damn engineer Giotto Bizzarrini, who created the car from the short wheelbase 250GT without a stylist per se. The order came from Enzo Ferrari to create it after the E-type Jag came out and scared Enzo into thinking his cars were not lean enough.

The scary part was that such a good looking car could be created by an engineer who didn’t believe car designers were necessary.

Ferrari 250 GTO - art by Wallace Wyss

Ferrari 250 GTO Series 2 – art by Wallace Wyss

Bizzarrini, a Ferrari employee, who at that time had not yet joined the palace revolt where several key management executives walked out, just cobbled together a body on a mule chassis and each day would throw on the Italian equivalent of Bondo for a different shape and then take it out on the autostrada (hey, who needs test tracks?) and run it between two points to see which nose shape was the fastest.

The Kamm effect tail was certainly better than the pointed tail of the 400SA body style, which ironically was more Jaguar XKE shaped.

The first series GTO did, admittedly, have a bit of tail lift however which is why a rear spoiler went on pretty soon.

As we all know the Series I GTO was very successful, until finally Shelby sent enough Cobra Daytona coupes to challenge it. But overall they won more races than the Cobra coupes.

What some people don’t know is that some of the Series 2 GTOS started out as Series 1 cars with the fastback body. One of those sold recently was chassis number 3413 GT, which was born with the Series I bodywork. It was the third of the 36 GTO’s built. A factory mule for a while, it was used as a test car by Phil Hill for the 1962 Targa Florio road race.

It went on, says RM Sotheby’s Auction Co., who sold it in Monterey in 2018, to win a number of events, including the 1962 Italian National GT championship and first in class at the 1963 and 1964 Targa Florio.

The sale of the car at Monterey was helped by a video featuring the owner, well-known collector and vintage-racing enthusiast Greg Whitten, the chairman of Numerix and former chief software architect at Microsoft, where he was an early employee.

Ferrari 250 GTO - art by Wallace Wyss

Ferrari 250 GTO Series 2 – art by Wallace Wyss

The auction company supplied a video showing Whitten driving the car on a private race course, accompanied, says the auction company, “by the spirited music of the high-performance V12 engine, which is original to the car.””

Hey who needs musicians?

The hammer price in the 2018 sale at Monterey was according to Hemmings Motor news $44 million. Actually the auction started out at a bid of $35 million, but a trio of phone bidders competed with each other so that it hammered at $44 million ($48.405 million with fees), setting world records for auction prices.

Ferrari historian Marcel Massini reported a Ferrari 250GTO series I sold privately for $70 million so this Series 2 was still not the most expensive Ferrari.

But hey, we could talk about rebodying….?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

 
 
 
 
AUTHOR/ARTIST: Wallace Wyss is the author of the novel Ferrari Hunters. As a fine artist, he is offering size 20” x 30” giclee copies in oil on canvas of his Ferrari 250GTO Series II paintings shown here. Price information from mendoart7@gmail.com.

 
 

 

 

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Summary
The Fabled Ferrari 250 GTO
Article Name
The Fabled Ferrari 250 GTO
Description
The scary part was that such a good looking car could be created by an engineer who didn’t believe car designers were necessary.
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