The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is a classic car lover’s dream; more race car than roadster, the Ferrari sports a sexy design and reputation as the greatest sports car of all time. It is also one the rarest cars of all time- Ferrari only made thirty-nine, despite the racing society’s rule that a car couldn’t be classified unless one-hundred prototypes were made.
The letters ‘GTO’ are an acronym for Gran Turismo Omologato, or Grand Touring Homologated. Car manufacturers needed this approval from the international sports racing socity in order to better market their cars. Somehow, Ferrari charmed their way past the one hundred prototype rule, and made it in with only thirty-nine. The allure and potetial success of the Ferrari 250 were evident from the beginning.
The racing success of the Ferrari 250 GTO was exceptional. World Drisocietypotentialving Champion American racer American Phil Hi and Belgian Oliver Gendebien drove the 250 GTO during its debut year, winning the Championship. The classic Ferrari 250 GTO went on to win the 1963 and 1964 races as well. This track record cemented the Ferrari 250 GTO’s place in racing history.
The popularity of the Ferrari extended beyond the racetrack, however. Not only was it the last truly competitive front-engine automobiles, it is considered by many to be the last winning race car that could still be driven as a roadster. This, despite the large steering wheel, odd pedal placement, and a lack of carpet that made the Ferrari 250 GTO completely uncomfortable for both driver and passenger!
Equipped with a powerful engine that can produce up to 300 horsepower and a top speed of 170 miles per hour (powerful in its day), the Ferrari has established itself as the ultimate racing champion of the world. With a zero to sixty time of 6.11 seconds, the Ferrari 250 can make a 1/4 mile in 13.5 seconds.
This title can carry a hefty price tag: a Japanese businessman paid $16.6 million for the classic. Recent trends have seen a decrease in the classic car market, including the 250 GTO. A conservative year-end estimate of 2004 put the car at a mere$6 million. Original 1960’s buyers paid $18,000 for the GTO- although with only forty made, a buyer had to be in Ferrari’s stratosphere of existence to even make an offer!
There were several replicas made in the 1980’s and 1990’s, many of which fooled even the best of experts. Several of these cars were sold, duping buyers and scamming of them of hundreds of thousands of dollars. One model sold for $175,000! The only way to determine many of these vehicles authenticity is by the serial number.
Ferrari equipped the 1962 250 GTO with several ‘special touches’, adding touches of class to the race car. Specialized door handles and car hoods were used; Ferrari also used Borrani wire wheels, painted silver. A mark above traditional racing tires, the Borrani tires helped create the overall image of the Ferrari GTO. A balanced combination of beauty and function, the Ferrari 250 GTO has withstood the test of time.