Engines

250 GT SWB

TIMELESS FASCINATION

The 250s are a series of cars produced by Ferrari between 1952 and 1964. Some of the Maranello company’s most emblematic vehicles were manufactured with this chassis, and they are nowadays avidly sought by the world’s vintage car collectors. Without doubt, one of the outstanding examples is the wonderful and eternal 250 GT SWB Berlinetta.

Designed by Pininfarina and built in the Scaglietti workshop, the 250 SWB was first presented at Paris’ 1959 Motor Show. The initials SWB stand for Short Wheel Base, reflecting the fact that this was indeed shorter than that of the previous model. As a result, Ferrari both conceived of a vehicle which became the undisputed queen of gran turismo competitions, and made a car which was perfect for the everyday gentleman driver.

150 individual 250 SWBs were made. Apart from the basic model, the car was also available in competition specification, with an aluminium body, lightweight interior trim and the V12 engine in a high state of tune rising from 220 to 280 HP.

Owing to this legendary model, Ferrari was able to win numerous competitions, including three Tours de France, two Tourist Trophies at Goodwood, two GT-category victories at Le Mans and two more in the Nürburgring 1000 km race.

Many immortal cars have had their origins in the 250 series, including the 250 Testarossa and the 250 GTO. These vehicles need no introduction, and it comes as no surprise that many consider the 250 GT SWB to be one of the most successful and fascinating Ferrari cars ever made.

The photo gallery shows a superb 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, sold at a RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterey in 2017.