The Ferrari 250 GT Lightweight Berlinetta


I’ve enjoyed reading the Ferrari 250 GT Lightweight Berlinetta article in the November issue of Motor Sport. It was well documented and accurate.

If I may I’d like to stress a few points for the sake of precision :

The 1960 Coppa Inter-Europa at Monza was won by C. M. Abate with car 1875 GT (The list I worked from gave 1999 GT. C.R.), and the C. Kreisler Berlinetta at Sebring was 1785 GT.

The 250 Export engine with 68 x 68 bore and stroke of Lampredi origin seems to have been used only once in the Bracco 225 Vignale Berlinetta and replaced by another experimental 3-litre engine with shorter block using 73 x 58.8 bore and stroke, ancestor of the 250 Mille Miglia and 250 GT engine. Nevertheless, the long block 68 x 68 engine was used for the “Europa” touring series, along with a 4-speed gear box. The “Europa” used a chassis known as Tipo 103, of 2,800 mni. wheelbase, 1,325 mm. front track and 1,320 rear track. This chassis common to the 375 America had an independent front suspension with transverse leaf springs and a solid rear axle which lived above the chassis frame.

In 1954, after the “Europa” run of 22 cars and the 375 “America” run of 15 or so cars, a new “Europa” and a new “America” were put into production. The “Europa” becoming the “250 GT” and the “America” becoming the “410 Superamerica”. Both displayed a new frame (the first two years, this 410 had a longer wheelbase than the 250 GT, later on, the same one). The 250 GT received a chassis known as Tipo 508, with front suspension by coil springs, rear axle now suspended under the frame and a shorter wheelbase of 2,600 mm. While the front track was increased to 1,354 mm. and the rear track was increased to 1,349 mm. The engine used was a new 3-litre V12. motor of 73 x 58.8, bore and stroke and under the denomination 112 was the production version of the 250 Mille Miglia racing engine. The main difference being the 6 ports cylinder heads (instead of 12 for the MM) the 3 twin choke Weber 36 DCF carburettors (instead of the 3 four choke Weber 36 1F/4C) and milder cam shafts. A few cars were fitted nevertheless with 12 port heads. A new 4-speed all synchro gear box was fitted as well as a new differential.

The new 250 GT Tipo 112 motor was superseded the year after by another development from the 250 MM motor known as the Tipo 128. This new engine extensively modified over the years gave birth to the 128 LM (Testa Rossa V12), the 168 (all SWB Berlinettas, street or racing cars and SWB Californias as well as the GTO), the 128F (LWB coupes and convertibles) 128E (2+2) and finally was stretched to 3.3 litres for the 250 LM and the 275 GTB.

After this quite long digression, let’s get back briefly to the article. Late 1959 another SWB Berlinetta of the racing variety was built beside 1539 GT and 1613 GT. This one spotted a Bertone body with chassis number 1739 GT (Scaglietti-bodied cars were the norm. -CR.). In 1961, another Bertone Berlinetta was made but on a “street” chassis.

The first of the “street” steel cars was 1993 GT and not 1933 GT. Headlamps were then furnished by Marchal and the road or street cats as well as the racing ones were fitted with Tipo 68 engines although in different states of tune and using 3 Weber 36 DCZ/DCL or 40 DCZ/DCL, later in 1961, 46 DCL3/DCF3, most of the 1961 competition cars using the big 46’s.

Another competition car was made with RHD: 2221 GT while more were made as such but of the street version. The last picture in the article; showing Moss and Parkes during the 1961 T.T. with 1961 cars, reminds me that Parkes car, 2417 GT, a former factory car, seems to have disappeared. Does anybody know its whereabouts?

May I say to conclude that the vintage/classic section of Motor Sport is always a very interesting proposition in your great motor magazine.


(Jess Pourret is the acknowledged authority on the Ferrari 250 GT and the author of The Ferrari Legend The Competition 250 GT Berlinetta, the authoritative work on the subject see D.S.J.’s book review in this issue. CR.)