CCOTY 1962 Nomination #5: Ferrari 250 GTO – The Ultimate

On its fiftieth anniversary we may ask, is this the ultimate Ferrari? Many Ferrari faithful think so. The ultimate sports car? What can top it? The ultimate car? It is surely a pinnacle of the automotive art. This particular Ferrari 250 GTO was on display at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

In one respect the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is certainly the ultimate car. In May 2012, one of the 39 ever built, the one made for Stirling Moss, became the world’s most expensive car, selling to tech magnate Bruce McCaw for $35 million.

In no way is this CCOTY candidate representative of volume-produced cars past or future. These are hand-constructed sports racing cars, equally at home on the road or on the GT circuit, where they took the GT Championship three years running. Tubular space frame, covered by hand-hammered aluminum body panels, shaped by some of the greatest Italian sculptors who ever lived. Total weight only 2315 lbs.

Its 3.0 liter V12 came from the 250 Testarossa. 300 hp at 7500 rpm: 100 hp per liter. Naturally aspirated through six twin choke Weber 38 DCN carburetors. Bore and stroke only 2.87 by 2.31 inches and dry sump lubrication enable an 8400 rpm redline. In its light body the result was stunning performance: 174 mph top speed, 0-60 mph in 5.4 sec., 1/4 mile 13.1 seconds @ 113 mph.

Our GTO’s racing-capable interior leaves the tubular space frame exposed in spots. This was the first Ferrari with the open metal shift gate that became a tradition. No provision for a radio, its 12-channel sound system is already installed under the hood.

Every angle, every square centimeter is purely functional and purely beautiful. Take some time and go over these lines and curves with your eye. Is any car this exciting, this fulfilling?

Finally let’s see and listen to three of these ultimate automobiles at Curbside, taken during the start of Tour Auto 2012 at Le Grand Palais in Paris.

$35 million for a car? Can one car be that valuable? Well, if you had $35 million to invest, which would you choose, an office building, or a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO? Mille grazie Ferrari!