My Car Quest

December 1, 2021

Ferrari 250 GTO – Five Things – Part Two

by Mike –

Here are the other two things of interest about the Ferrari 250 GTO. Also see Ferrari 250 GTO – Five Things – Part One.

4) There was a big controversy in the early 1960s about the inability (or refusal) of Ferrari to homologate the 250 GTO. The Cobra and Corvette teams were quite upset because they were losing races to the GTO.

Ferrari 250 GTO

It is a complicated subject that involves the FIA changing the rules and other intrigue. But bascically a manufacturer was required to produce 100 examples of a GT race car within 12 months.

Ferrari only made 39 GTOs in total, well short of the 100 required. Somehow they got away with it, and as I said it is a complicated story.

The “O” in GTO stands for “omologato”, Italian for homologated. Was Enzo Ferrari trying to fool everyone with a name, like a magician using mis-direction? The GTO was not “omologato”.

Ferrari 250 GTO

5) Another question comes to my mind: what would the value of the 250 GTO be today if Ferrari had made 100 instead of only 39? Would the additional 61 GTOs have kept the value lower?

Are there another 61 people willing to pay $25 million for a real GTO? I believe that the law of supply and demand applies to GTOs too. Let me know what you think.

ferrari logo

Comments

  1. Stephen Mitchell says

    My favorite subject!

  2. Gabriele Spangenberg says

    61 more and it would still be THE most beautiful car in the world!

  3. Mike Gulett says

    Stephen, I think your readers know this is your favorite subject.

    Gabriele – what about the Bizzarrini GT 5300?

  4. Anonymous says

    There is a lot of confusion about the homologation of 250 GTO.

    FIA allowed a body revision after 100 units built and this is how "250GT SWB Comp/62" got homologated and nick named as "250 GTO". Ferrari actually had to increase production of steel bodied/road going SWBs to reach the magic number in time for the racing season of 1962.

    Nobody in their right mind would think that GTO could have taken all those victories with the slightest problem in the homologation process or EVERYONE would have filed a protest every time it raced.

    Ferrari actually had more problems getting 250GT SWB homologated in time for Le Mans in 1960.

    Best wishes, Kare

  5. Mike Gulett says

    Kare,

    I have corrected a typo from my previous comment.

    This is a controversy as I mentioned. My main source of information is an article in the August 1963 issue of "Motor Sports" magazine by James V. Elmore on page 16.

    I quote "the real furor came this fall when Enzo Ferrari dropped the bomb about how many of the cars had actually been built …only a little over thirty GTOs had been made and that production was suspended because the market was saturated. Further that the possibility of building 100 GTOs was out of the question."

    The article goes on to discuss the outrage of the FIA but they do not do anything and "..here in the United States the blade still cuts as sharp as ever. The biggest cry against the GTO comes, quite naturally, from the drivers of Sting Rays and Cobras … they are the ones who are being taken by the Maranello wonders".

    The title of the article is "GTO: How to Win Races and Enrage Fellow Competitors or Rule Bending With Your Ferrari GTO".

    This subject is also mentioned on Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrari_250_GTO

    "FIA regulations as they applied in 1962 required at least one hundred examples of a car to be built in order for it to be homologated for Group 3 Grand Touring Car racing. However, Ferrari built only 39 250 GTOs … Ferrari eluded FIA regulations by numbering its chassis out of sequence, using jumps between each to suggest cars that didn't exist."

  6. Anonymous says

    By 1963 it was off course easy to judge FIA's earlier decision of the homologation. During 1962 season 250GTO had won about everything so competitors were naturally starting to ask some questions.

    Had FIA really required Ferrari to build 100 identical cars in a 12 month period, 250 GT/E would have been the only Ferrari racing in 1962. I think I remember reading that Ferrari pointed out to FIA that as a small manufacturer they change things all the time hardly ever making more than a handful of identical cars. This may be the key to why FIA decided to categorize Ferrari production by the wheelbase as a starting point. I think this was fair for Ferrari and (what is most important) for the sport.

    This is how 250 GT Comp/62 – or "250 GTO" – finally got homologated for the GT/3.0 category. We may discuss whether it was fair to homologate such an advanced car with so many upgrades, but I still think it is unfair to say it wasn't homologated. Ferrari called it "omologato" for a reason.

    Best wishes, Kare

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