Showing posts with label Ferrari Classic Sports Cars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ferrari Classic Sports Cars. Show all posts

Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB

Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB 1960s Italian classic sports car

The Ferrari 250 GT was the base model for the most expensive car ever made. That was the Ferrari 250 GTO which sold at a Sotheby's auction for silly money. Actually, $48.4m - in California, in 2018. It is easy to see where the GTO got its chops from. In the case of the Berlinetta, bodywork was by Scaglietti. He styled the 250 GT-based competition cars - and their sports siblings. The 'short wheelbase' SWB, for instance, fell within his remit. Pininfarina helped sort less race-oriented versions of the 250 GT - like the 'long wheelbase' LWB. Felice Boano - celebrated Italian coachbuilder - likewise contributed to the GT's design.

The Berlinetta was launched in '61. It was not just its looks that came out of thè top drawer. Its 3.0-litre V12 motor was also hand-crafted. The man responsible for it - Gioacchino Colombo - was an industrial designer at 14. When most young men his age were gluing pictures of cars to bedroom walls, Colombo was engineering them. Suffice it to say, then, he was a child prodigy. At one point, he drafted a supercharger for homework - as you do. Subsequently, it was shown to Alfa Romeo. Alfa must have graded it A+, since he was offered a job on the strength of it. Several engines later, Colombo was approached by one Enzo Ferrari. The maestro was managing Alfa's race department, at the time. By then, Colombo was aged 34.

When Enzo set up his own car company, Colombo was one of his first hires. The motor man arrived in Modena in '45. Whereupon, he set about adding his own input to the 250 GT project. With such a wealth of design talent dedicated to it, it is little wonder the GT soared to the heights it did. In short, Ferrari's 250 GT Berlinetta SWB was as iconic as a sports car gets. Apart from the Ferrari 250 GTO, of course. Sorry, Sotheby's!

Ferrari Daytona

Ferrari Daytona 1960s Italian classic sports car

The Ferrari Daytona was launched in '68. Those in attendance were probably expecting a mid-engined equivalent of the Lamborghini Miura. If so, they were wrong. The Daytona on display that day was a front-engined GT car. Designed by Pininfarina, it was in the traditional sports car mould. A multi-tube frame, for example, supported a steel shell.

Despite its relative orthodoxy, the Daytona was still the fastest road car on the planet. Flat out, it was good for 174mph. Its V12 motor meted out 352bhp - via a manual 5-speed 'box. Capacity was 4,390cc. Dampening down performance was weight. The Daytona had a lot of it to lug about. 3,530lb, in all. Saying that, the weight was at least evenly distributed. Rearward positioning of the gearbox/trans-axle unit helped counterbalance the frontal mass of the engine. Wishbone and coil suspension - on a firm anti-roll setting - provided plenty of traction. A tad difficult around town, the more the Daytona was given its head, the better-behaved it became. Steering lightened up nicely. Road-holding grew increasingly precise.

For a car of its class, the Daytona's interior décor was far from lavish. Electric windows, contoured leather seats and air conditioning, though, did come as standard. Only 1,426 Daytonas were built. Overall, however, it was a success in the showrooms. Of course, the car was christened after the legendary American race-track. Ferrari had picked up many a win at The Daytona Raceway, over the years. So, it was a fitting name for what would become one of the most celebrated of Ferrari sports cars.

Ferrari 275 GTB

Ferrari 275 GTB 1960s Italian classic sports car

The Ferrari 275 GTB was not just beautiful to behold. It hit the technological sweet spot, too. Superlative suspension, for example, was brought to the Ferrari party - in a way not previously seen or felt. The result was a car which looked like $1m - and had handling to match. And, for once, the Ferrari engine - an alloy 60° V12 - was not the centre of attention. It was trumped by the transmission. For optimal weight distribution - and top traction - motor and gearbox were separate entities. The two were joined at the hip, on early models - by a slender prop shaft. Later, a stiffer torque tube did the job. Double-wishbone rear shock absorption had now been added to the mix. The 275 GTB was thus uniquely positioned to make the most of its 280bhp output. That came courtesy of a single-overhead-cam engine. 150mph was on tap.

Technical excellence was topped only by styling. Pininfarina did the design work. The steel body was coachbuilt by Scaglietti. They were based but a stone's throw from Ferrari HQ. That was in Modena - a town with near-mythical status among the marque's fans. Scaglietti fitted a multi-tubular frame - in familiar Ferrari fashion. The Borrani wire wheels sported a set of 'knock off' spinner centre hubs. A sporty 2-seater coupé, the GTB's exterior was pure Berlinetta. The interior did not disappoint, either. Its finely-crafted focal point was the wooden Nardi steering-wheel.

Launched in '64, there would be several versions of the GTB. '65's Series Two sported a longer nose and smaller air-intake. For '66, the quad-cam GTB/4 came with six carburettors - as well as dry-sump lubrication. The wind-in-your-hair model - the GTS - was aimed squarely at America. Just 200 GTBs were made. The GTB marked the point at which Ferrari began transcending mere beauty - to deliver on every level. Of course, the perfect Sixties roadster does not exist. The Ferrari 275 GTB, though, probably came as close as any!

Ferrari Dino

Ferrari Dino 1960s Italian classic sports car

When is a Ferrari not a Ferrari? When it is a Dino! How so? Well, what defines a Ferrari? Why, the prancing horse logo, of course. But the 246 only ever wore Dino GT insignia. The firm's founder, Enzo Ferrari, wanted this car to be a 'marque' all its own. There was a good - and moving - reason for that. He had prematurely lost his son Alfredino - so the car was a father's tribute. Even Enzo, though, may have conceded that the 'Dino' was a Ferrari in all but name.

Enzo had no qualms about including Fiat in such a personal project. The two firms struck a deal which enabled Ferrari to compete in the F2 racing series. To enter, homologation rules required that 500 roadsters be produced. Financially, Ferrari were not in a position to supply engines for that many Dinos. For the mighty Fiat corporation, though, such numbers were not a problem. So it was that - inside every Ferrari Dino - there lurks the spirit of Fiat.

Stylistically, the Dino was unaffected by the mechanical shenanigans. Beauty on wheels, its Pininfarina/Bertone styling was visible in every perfect curve. Of course, no car was ever going to make up for losing a son. It is to be hoped, however, that the Ferrari Dino was some small source of solace for the great man.