Ferrari at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
1963 Ferrari 250 GTO
15th May, 2011
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ferrari 250 GTO,
more than twenty of these exclusive sports racing cars will take to the show field of the 2011 Pebble Beach
Concours d'Elegance, one of the world’s leading classic car event, on Sunday 21st August 2011.
Only thirty-six 250 GTOs were originally produced, as well as two 330 GTOs with larger capacity engines.
All of these exclusive cars have been invited to the Concours and more than half have already accepted the
“The Ferrari 250 GTO is one of the great sports racing cars of all time,” says Ed Gilbertson,
Chief Judge of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. “The GTO beat everything in the world for about
three years running, which is quite an accomplishment when you consider the marques that were racing at
Mercedes-Benz SL 600
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
In its racing debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1962, American Phil Hill and Belgian Olivier
Gendebien placed second overall in the 250 GTO, with only a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sports racing
car ahead of them. This was the beginning of the 250 GTO's racing success, which included winning
the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile's (FIA) International Championship for GT
Manufacturers three consecutive years, from 1962 to 1964. Other 250 GTO wins included the Tour de
France in 1963 and 1964; the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood in 1962 and 1963; the Nurburgring 1,000
km in 1963 and 1964; class wins in the Targa Florio in 1962, 1963 and 1964; and category wins at
Le Mans in 1962 and 1963.
Based on the Ferrari 250 GT SWB chassis, the 250 GTO evolved from an experimental test car, the
1961 250 GT Sperimentale, which was raced by Stirling Moss to a GT win and fourth overall at
Daytona. Production of the 250 GTO began later that year. The Sperimentale and many examples of
both the Series I and Series II 250 GTOs will be exhibited at Pebble Beach.
Gilbertson says just one of these limited production cars remains in its original condition,
although it was repaired in period due to extensive race damage. It too will be on the famed 18th
fairway at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California USA.
Enzo Ferrari put engineer Giotto Bizzarrini in charge of developing a car outside the normal
Ferrari circles, wanting the car built in complete secrecy. Bizzarrini started with the 250 SWB,
lightened and reinforced the chassis, then moved the engine behind the front axle for improved
weight distribution. But in the autumn of 1961 Bizzarrini and a number of others left the
Subsequently, Enzo Ferrari assigned engineer Mauro Forghieri and coachbuilder Sergio Scaglietti
to complete the 250 GTO.
The team enhanced the 2,953 cc V-12 engine, fitting Testa Rossa heads, larger valves and six
double-barrel Weber carburetors, increasing the horsepower to 300 hp and replacing the SWB's
four-speed transmission with a five-speed, all syncromesh gearbox.
The 250 GTO also featured many familiar Ferrari technologies of the era, including a hand-welded
tube frame, A-arm front suspension, live-axle rear end, disc brakes and wire wheels. The interior
was extremely basic, to keep the weight of the car as light as possible, with no soundproofing and
no speedometer in the instrument panel.