top of page

1963 FERRARI 250 GTE

Historic Cars

1963 FERRARI 250 GTE
Historic Cars
info_icon.png

If you are interested in the content of this listing, please contact the Dealer. Contact details are indicated below in the section "Contact the Dealer." Should you require confidential support from SpeedHolics for your inquiry, kindly complete the section "I am Interested." This listing is provided by SpeedHolics solely for the purpose of offering information and resources to our readers. The information contained within this listing is the property of the entity indicated as the "Dealer." SpeedHolics has no involvement in the commercial transactions arising from this listing, and we will not derive any financial gain from any sales made through it. Furthermore, SpeedHolics is entirely independent from the "Dealer" mentioned in this listing and maintains no affiliation, association, or connection with them in any capacity. Any transactions, engagements, or communications undertaken as a result of this listing are the sole responsibility of the parties involved, and SpeedHolics shall bear no liability or responsibility in connection therewith. For more information, please refer to the "Legal & Copyright" section below.

info_icon.png

SH ID

23-0620009

info_icon.png

FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

info_icon.png

Sold

info_icon.png

France

info_icon.png

Dealer


Description

The Ferrari 250 GTE (Gran Turismo Evoluzione) or GT 2+2, launched in 1960, is a touring car developed by the Italian manufacturer Ferrari, designed by Pininfarina and bodied by Scaglietti. Although a handful of Ferraris - mostly special orders - had previously been fitted with limited space behind their only two seats, the 250 GTE inaugurated a new range of bodywork for Ferrari, the "GT 2+2". Despite a certain amount of condescension from "purists", the GT 2+2 or 4-seater coupés were a great success, and for many years became the automaker's specialty. In fact, the 250 GTE and its descendant, the 330 GT, accounted for over 50% of the company's output at the time. Described as "not only a great touring car, but also a prestigious one", the 250 GTE was the best-selling Ferrari of its day. In 1964, the 250 GTE was replaced by the Ferrari 330 America, 50 of which were produced, most of them exported across the Atlantic. Strictly speaking, it was the same model, but with displacement increased to 4 liters. In order to increase sales of passenger cars and thus finance its very expensive racing activities, Ferrari decided to develop a car capable of attracting a new clientele, eager to combine the practicality of a "family car" with the sportiness of a GT. Like Maserati and the 3500 GT, Ferrari realized the importance of high-volume cars to the brand's survival. Indeed, Enzo Ferrari's son Piero Ferrari explained that two-seaters "weren't his father's favorite cars to drive. He loved the 2+2 as a personal car. He usually drove the car himself, but he was always accompanied by a chauffeur and his dog, so a 2-seater just wasn't enough". A great deal of work went into adapting the Ferrari 250 to its new vocation. Ferrari developed four prototypes, an exceptionally high number, which covered a distance never before achieved by the company. The 1960 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was the occasion to present the new Ferrari 250 GTE, or rather one of its prototypes. Naturally, it appeared not as a participant, but as the race director's car, driven by the 24 Hours director. It was officially presented at the Paris Motor Show in October of the same year. 950 examples were built between 1960 and 1963, the last year of production, making the 250 GTE Ferrari's best-selling model. By 1958, Ferrari had built almost 685 road cars since its creation in 1947. Three series of 250 GTEs, distinguished from each other by a few aesthetic modifications, were actually produced The exterior Surprisingly, the design of the new Ferrari, without departing from that of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB, is by the hand of Sergio Pininfarina - and not his father Battista - marking his growing influence within the Pininfarina company. It's well known that he succeeded in retaining the racy look of a GT despite the move to 2+2 dimensions, and the 250 GTE proves to be a marvel of balance. The plunging design of the side windows, in particular, reduces the impression of a sedan induced by the horizontal roofline. 1962 saw a slight revision of the grille and hood design. Sergio Pininfarina, who had been an aerodynamics assistant in the wind tunnel at Turin Polytechnic, also understood the importance of aerodynamics in terms of aeroacoustics, and had each prototype studied in the wind tunnel. As was customary at the time, Carrozzeria Scaglietti was responsible for the bodywork and assembly of the GTE. The GTE's structure is essentially made of steel, with the exception of the doors, hood and trunk lid, which are made of aluminum. The grille, which proudly displays the brand's prancing horse, is usually fitted with additional lights at each corner. Originally positioned on the grille, these lights were moved outside in 1962. In the same year, the chrome rod running across the hood was also replaced by a rectangular air intake. A discreet body crease runs along the fenders, from the front wheel arch to the rear lights. The taillights - three vertically positioned headlamps on either side - are mounted on a chrome plate. To provide four comfortable seats, the cabin is more generous than that of the 250 GT Berlinetta, thanks to an increase of 300 mm in length and 60 mm in width, although the height is reduced by 50 mm. However, the 250 GTE only qualifies as a "2+2" - for two seats in the front and two in the rear - and not as a four-seater in its own right, since the front seats must have sufficient space up to the pedals for the driver's legs, thus penalizing the legroom of rear passengers. The interior of the 250 GTE is luxurious and "extremely" comfortable; for example, the rear seats are separated by a central armrest with an ashtray. Compared to the PF Coupé, the boot volume has been increased to accommodate the luggage of up to four people. The dashboard, meanwhile, is covered in black leather, while the eight instruments, encircled in Veglia chrome, are integrated into a panel generally the same color as the body. Engine The Tipo 128E engine, the latest evolution of the 60°-open V12 "Colombo" with a displacement of 2,953 cm3 (bore/stroke 73 mm × 58.8 mm), is positioned longitudinally forward to allow for a larger passenger compartment. With the engine positioned in front of the front wheel axle, the weight distribution is 55% front and 45% rear; although "handling is excellent", the engine's forward movement tends to accentuate the 250 GTE's understeer. This engine, whose cylinder head is taken from the 250 Testa Rossa, has already proved its worth in competition and on a number of production Ferraris. Thanks to a compression ratio of 9.2:1 and three Weber twin-barrel carburetors, the 250 GTE achieves 240 hp at 7,000 rpm, a very high figure for a 2+2 at the time, despite the extra weight - 80 kg to reach 1,280 kg - compared with the Berlinetta. It also accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just over seven seconds. The engine is mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox, the last of which is overdriven by a Laycock de Normanville electric overdrive. This overdrive reduces engine speed by 22%, thus lowering the fuel consumption of the "greedy" V12 (14 ℓ/100 km). The 250 GTE was also the first Ferrari to be equipped with an air-cooled radiator cooling system. In 1964, the 250 GTE engine was upgraded to a displacement of 3,967 cm3 (bore/stroke 77 mm × 71 mm) - and renamed Tipo 209 - to power the Ferrari 330 America, the only difference between the 330 America and the 250 GTE. The engine now delivers 300 hp at 7,600 rpm. Chassis The wheelbase of the 250 GTE is 2600 mm. The difficulty in adapting a GT, namely the 250 GT Berlinetta, to more "family" use lies in retaining the wheelbase of a coupé - i.e. 2,600 mm, as with the Pinin Farina berlinetta and cabriolet - while offering sufficient space to add two seats. The chassis of the Ferrari 250 GTE has been completely redesigned to allow the engine to be moved forward some twenty centimetres and the two rear seats to be installed in front of the axle; the tracks have also been widened by 60 mm compared to the berlinetta, in order to accommodate the engine. The suspension system received special attention, since a set of telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers - replacing the rod shock absorbers - parallel trailing arms and leaf springs, assisted by coil springs from 1963, was dedicated to it. Ferrari GTE Squadra Mobile A little-known episode in the career of the Ferrari 250 GTE is its time in the hands of the Roman police. In 1962, after several major successes against the city's underworld, the then President of the Italian Republic, Giovanni Gronchi, organized a ceremony in honor of the forces of law and order. During the ceremony, he asked the officers present what reward they wanted, to which one jokingly replied: "a Ferrari". Gronchi took the request very seriously, and Enzo Ferrari, being a shrewd businessman, agreed to donate two Ferrari 250 GTEs to the Roman police (he hoped, beyond the spin-offs in terms of image, to equip other police forces in the country). As soon as they arrived in Rome, one of the cars was involved in a fatal accident, and the wreckage was taken back to Modena and destroyed by the ever-superstitious Enzo Ferrari. The other model was entrusted to an officer named Maresciallo Armando Spatafora. The latter had impressed everyone at the tests held in Modena a few days earlier, being extremely fast, so much so that Il Commendatore himself offered him a bucket seat, which he refused, stipulating "I'm a policeman, I only drive police cars". The car was an integral part of the Roman squadra mobile until 1968, when it was sold at auction to a private individual in 1972. During its 6-year career, it was truly the star of Rome. Legend has it that delinquents occasionally paid Spatafora to chase the Ferrari. While this has never been verified, what is certain is that a significant number of crooks were put behind bars thanks to her driver, to the point of giving rise to a saying in Rome in the 60s: "Advice from the brigands to their followers: if you're out at night, watch out for the panthers (the name of the Roman police's rapid intervention cars), but if you're out until dawn, then watch out for Spatafora behind the wheel". In particular, an encounter with a French bandit nicknamed "Le Marseillais" led to one of the Italian capital's most epic chases, as the latter, hoping to take advantage of his Citroën DS's air suspension, drove down the stairs of the Piazza di Spagna, which didn't scare Spatafora, who followed and eventually apprehended him. The marks of the steps on the Ferrari's chassis are still visible today. This remarkable episode gave rise to the film Poliziotto Sprint Heritage For a very long time, cars were sold without bodywork, and it was then up to the buyer to go to a coachbuilder to "dress" his car. The 250 GTE's high degree of industrialization for its time marks a definitive turning point in Ferrari's history: Ferrari no longer sells just a chassis, leaving its customers with a car body. Our car is a Ferrari 250 GT 2+2 that left the Maranello factory in July 1963. Delivered to the Vari Gioacchino garage in Rome, it featured red bodywork and beige leather interior. The car kept this red color when a complete restoration was undertaken (photo file available). At the time, the car was painted in black with a Cartier interior whose elegance cannot be disputed. Our file shows that the car was owned by Mr Rouer in the mid-1980s. In 2009, it was acquired by Jean Pierre Van Den Doorn, a Parisian collector and dealer, who sold it back to its owner in 2010. Since then, the car has taken part in numerous rallies and trips in the hands of its owner. Regularly maintained in Parisian workshops including Pozzi, the engine was completely rebuilt in 2013 by the Atelier des Sportives. The numerous invoices available in the file attest to a car regularly used and maintained in perfect working order. Today, this Ferrari 250 GT 2+2 boasts a beautiful patina acquired over many kilometers on French roads. It's a pleasure to drive, and a real invitation to travel.