The name Ferrari evokes an iconic image in the minds of car enthusiasts. The graceful design, the thrilling speed, and the trademark red colour are all front and centre whenever a Ferrari is envisioned.
While some people may hear the name and picture an 80s icon such as the F40 or the timeless elegance of the Testa Rossa, one model stands out from the rest: The Ferrari 250 GTO.
This remarkable vehicle has an enduring legacy that has spanned more than five decades. Like everything that is timeless in the world of automobiles, the 250 GTO lives on thanks to the consistent passion and effort of fans worldwide. Keep reading to learn more about the history of this collector car, as well as the many ways in which it continues to inspire us to this day.
Origins of an Iconic Vehicle
While most popular classic cars can be attributed to one or two designers who brought their grand visions to life, this cannot be said about the 250 GTO. In fact, most of the engineers who designed the car were sent packing by Enzo Ferrari himself during an exodus of staff in 1961.
The 250 GTO was in the final stages of production at the time of these staffing cuts. To get the vehicle released, it took a total team effort from Ferrari engineers, led primarily by Mauro Forghieri. Despite this tumultuous development process, the 250 GTO became an instant success on the road racing circuit.
The original edition of the 250 GT, released in 1962, featured a 3.0-liter V12 engine that had already proven to be a competition crusher. Ferrari’s 250 Testa Rossa had used a similar engine to win at Le Mans, so engineers were only too happy to bring that same winning reputation to their newest GT car.
With 296 horsepower at 7500 RPM, this Italian stallion had more than enough power to impress both road racers and enthusiasts alike. It was certainly light enough — at just under 2,000 pounds (907 kg) — to swiftly manoeuvre about the road. Its navigation matched the nimble fashion drivers had come to demand of Ferrari automobiles.
Why We Still Adore the Ferrari 250 GTO Today
While the 250 GTO certainly had its moment in the sun during the years it was produced (1962-1964), its legend has only grown throughout the last several decades.
Ferrari cars have always been sought after collector items, but the 250 GTO has taken that reputation to an entirely new level. Since there were only 36 models produced (each one ever-so-slightly different thanks to the handcrafted manufacturing process), the 250 GTO has become the holy grail of collector cars.
Just how valuable has the 250 GTO become? To put it plainly, it’s the world’s most expensive automobile. Thanks to its iconic look, winning pedigree on the road, and Ferrari namesake and legacy, a 1963 GTO 250 sold at auction for a staggering 70 million USD.
Ferraris have always been sought after, but the recent explosion in values has led many to wonder which Ferrari could be next to see such a boost.
It’s unfortunate that most people will never lay eyes on a Ferrari 250 GTO, let alone drive or own one. For now, it’s best enjoyed at car shows and other events in which collectors display their prized possessions. There’s nothing to suggest the 250 GTO will ever lose its value, as the timeless look has aged like fine wine. After all, there will always be a market for world-famous cars — and that’s exactly what the Ferrari 250 GTO has become.