The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB (short wheelbase or short chassis) is a prestigious sports car developed by the Italian manufacturer Ferrari. The Ferrari 250 Tour de France, in honour of its nine consecutive victories in this event, appeared in 1959. It became the first car known internationally for its Grand Touring victories. The reduction in the size of its chassis from 260 to 240 cm allows it to have ideal proportions and optimized performance, the Short Wheel Base or SWB type becoming a myth in the GT category. The Ferrari 250 TDF short chassis will be available in convertible version with the California Spyder and in luxury version with the Lusso, the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB being the latest customer model of the 250 generation, replaced by the Ferrari 330 in 1963.
The first Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB that competes in the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hours still has the 260 cm long chassis, with a style that evokes the new Ferrari short chassis. Presented the same year at the Paris Motor Show, the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB is an evolution of the 250 GT Tour de France LWB berlinette, the identical chassis being reduced by 20 cm, which allows an optimized road holding, especially in curves. Like its predecessor, the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB was designed by Pininfarina and bodied by Scaglietti but its aerodynamics was worked thanks to rounded shapes due to the work of engineers Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini. Its engine remains the traditional V12 engine with three Weber dual body carburettors developing between 240 and 260 hp for the Lusso road versions, 270 hp for the 250 Berlinetta TDF customer version, 280 hp and even 293 hp for the 250 SWB Ferrari aluminium competition version. The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta achieves a stop-start speed of up to 100 km/h and then a stop in 22 seconds, thanks in particular to the introduction of disc brakes instead of the drums of previous models, with ventilation openings also being made behind the front wheels to cool the engine and above the rear window to ventilate the passenger compartment.
The competition version (74 units produced) of the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France is distinguished by its aluminium opening sashes or entire bodywork, while the customer version (89 units produced) is in steel. Like the previous 250 GT models, the 250 GT SWB Competizione Tour de France has spartan equipment, deleted bumpers, plastic side windows and a 120-litre petrol tank, as well as a welded tubular chassis like the road version. The rear suspension is provided by a rigid leaf spring axle. The Ferrari 250 Tour de France aluminium short chassis, with a speed varying from 250 (short axle) to 270 km/h (long axle), will win numerous races, eclipsing the competition with absolute victories, notably from 1959 to 1961 with the Le Mans 24 Hours in the 3-litre GT category, from 1960 to 1962 at the Tour de France, in 1960-61 at the 1000 Kilometers of Paris and the Tourist Trophy, but also at the 1 000 Kilometers of Nürburgring or at the Targa Florio.
Held to be one of the most beautiful car models, the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Tour de France aluminium Competizione that we present to you for sale is considered remarkable for having subtly combined aesthetics and utility. It is in an exceptional state of restoration and functioning and has a very beautiful pedigree.