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!
Oh yeah! I am behind this nominee all the way.
Using this line of reasoning, the 1965 CCOTY would have to be the Cobra Daytona Coupe with its cast iron, pushrod 289, the descendent of the 1962 221 that found its way into the Fairlane. Along with the Ford Mk IV, these two cars put an end to Ferrari’s racing days (at least for “production” sports cars).
Both are a helluva lot better than an Avanti.
Using all the same reasoning that you posted and what was posted for the Avanti the CCoty for 63 should be the Stingray.
Kevin, looking at this GTO and I am convinced that Peter Brock had visions of this car on his mind when he penned the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. The ultimate irony is it beating the Ferrari. Mr Ferrari must have been especially enraged over these events! With the Jaguar XK-E in 61 and now this car, the automotive world at this time had officially entered the golden age of GT design.
I look forward to the 1963 CCOTY nomination and winner by landslide, the Corvette Stingray! 🙂
It is a nice enough looking car, but the most significant thing about it is that it represented the end of the road for cart-sprung, front engined Ferraris in GT racing. The BMW was far more important and forward looking.
Are you suggesting I’m not too likely to find one on the street in Eugene?
You’ll always have the Testarossa.
Well I don’t know, with that UO International Student Car Club in town, I don’t think anything would completely shock me.
Perhaps one based on a Datsun 240Z?
35 Million for a car. If I was Brucie, I’d get more satisfaction from building a hospital and driving a beat up Volkswagen Beetle.
These will remain the pinnacle for a long long time
In it’s class… no argument here.
A beautiful car to be sure, but I personally don’t think it qualifies as a CCOTY. It’s debatable whether 35 hand-built cars even constitutes a production run, and your odds of stumbling upon one on the street or even at a local car show are practically zero.
I saw James Jaeger’s (the guy who made the original Escort radar detector in the seventies and co-founded Cincinnat Microwave with Mike Valentine) ’62 GTO at a local cruise-in once. It was quite surreal to see such a rare, original automobile worth so much, parked in a Kroger’s parking lot between grungy, everyday Mustangs and Camaros. At first, I thought it was a kit-car of some sort, but then as I looked more closely, I realized it had an actual Ferrari engine.
I still couldn’t believe it was an original, so I asked some guy standing next to me, “Is this a real GTO?”. To my surprise, he knew exactly what it was, and told me the story (even though he couldn’t remember Jaeger’s name).
The GTO was a 250 GT with a lightweight body but essentially the same engine and running gear as the 250 GT. Quite a few 250 GTs have sacrificed their chassis and running gear to become tribute GTOs.
Yeah, I read essentially the same thing, that the most valuable part of an original Ferrari GTO is the VIN tag. Everything else is more or less 250GT and can be replicated (at an exhorbitant cost, of course).
The Ferrari 250 GTO, 39 were built, and only 3,744 of them survived.
Rare and expensive never seen by most of us pesants. NO certainly not car of the year
No. 24 (the red one) sounded okay in that video- until they got to No. 63 (the black one). Now that’s how a Ferrari’s supposed to sound- a silky-smooth deep purr, not a popping grumble with blue smoke.
Well, if they drove them somewhere else than onto the trailer….
For sure the GTO is right up there as a fantasy garage car, but not CCOTY. I’d nominate the Lotus Elan, introduced in ’62.
I bet Jimmy would agree 🙂
I know Emma would agree.
There was one racing out here at the Philip Island historics 7 years ago, it was holding station with an Austin Healey 3000. Now I can’t remember the specifics of the Healey, but it is a fair bet that it had about as much power as the GTO (is there much scope to increase the output?) and also that the Healey was pushing harder.
Sweet car, definitely, but also definitely not CCOTY material. That has to be a car that had some influence on future car design, wither in the short term or longer term.
And yes, if I had 35 mil to drop with the writing of a check, I’d make sure the local center for gay kids who have been kicked out onto the streets by their parents has a decent endowment.
man, I didn’t know they were so quick ! More than a car this is a (fast) rolling sculpture, its Van Gogh-like prices confirms that !
I wonder if Brucie’s car suffers from “carbon on the valves.”
Are you insinuating it needs an italian tune up?
In the movie “A New Leaf”, an aging, near destitute playboy, played by Walter Matthau, needs to have his similar Ferrari repaired everytime he drives it. The mechanic remarks it has “carbon on the valves.” The phrase is mentioned several times for other vehicles, including an airplane.
I haven’t seen the movie for years. First saw it as a patient in Ireland Army Hospital in 1972, while stationed at Fort Knox, KY. I thought the movie was a great comedy, but I was suffering from pneumonia and miserable. On a side remark, I don’t know how our troops are treated now, but then, the care was superb, even for a lowly private.
In my area, we referred to a Youngstown tune up. Not what I had in mind.
IMCDb experts ID that car as a 1966-68 Ferrari 275 GTB/4.
The GTO was cute, but not the ultimate Ferrari. The earlier 250 GT SWB shades it for style, if not for auction value.
An incredible car for sure, the one that solidified Ferrari’s position at the top of the sports car food chain where it’s remained ever since. That being said, I do think it’s interesting that as I sit and write this, the ’91 Pontiac Grand Prix feature has generated about 3X more interest than this Ferrari from the frequenters of this site. Me likes.
Cars like this really are pushing the envelope for this site. Certainly not showing up at any curbsides near me anytime soon. Besides, Ferraris on the web are so common.
The original GTO is so exceptional, I had to put it up here, if only for perspective. Also lust.