Good old Ferrari celebrated its 55th anniversary not so long ago and its GTO, born in 1962, marked the end of the celebrated 250 GT bloodline. It has to be one of the most desired Ferrari’s of all time and it was the model that managed to convince the racing authorities that the GTO was an evolution.
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Ferrari’s 250 GTO was an Italian race car that was built to compete in the FIA’s Group 3 Grand Touring Car racing category. Ferrari had all the wheels set in motion ready to build 100 cars which would be legal to race and throttle all of its competition on the road. Sadly, this dream didn’t happen and only 36, yes you heard that right, just 36 of these cars were built, which was down to the advanced engineering apparently and not being able to afford to build anymore.
Boasting Giacchino Colombo’s legendary engine, the GTO was considered by many classic car experts to be the golden era for the brand. With a 60° V12 twin overhead camshaft and 300bhp, this bad boy was also mounted on some beautiful magnesium-alloy manifolds and was topped off with a five-speed, all-synchromesh gearbox. If that’s not enough to get you going then we don’t know what is.
Slaying everything on the racetracks, it was the body design of this masterpiece that needed overhauling so that it could keep up with its rivals. It's all about aerodynamics, which is why you’ll see that the focus was all about the front. By reducing the front, Ferrari was able to improve the downforce at the rear. Testing after testing and more testing, the finished 250 GTO was eventually released to the media and put up on display in February 1962 for the annual press day. Originally known as the Comp 62, it was actually an English journalist who came up with the name of GTO. Who’d have thought it ay, English journalists being all creative?
With its distinctive slippery shape, the GTO is now renowned for being one of the most beautiful automotive designs ever. Thanks to its low noise and high tail, surely that’s enough to catch anyone’s eye in the street when they're passing. Oh, and let’s not forget about that gorgeous body-integrated rear spoiler too, which was the first time that this innovation had ever been seen on a road car! It’s quite funny when you think about it, as Ferrari never intended for the 250 GTO to stray very far from the track, but it was inevitable that it kind of had too given that it needed to be legal on the road, but hey ho, they got there in the end.
If we’re talking engines and aerodynamics, then combining the V12 engine with the body of the GTO, then you’re onto a winner. We’re hitting 170mph no matter what day of the week it is, so you know you’ll be able to rack up some victories on the road. You can see for yourself if you look back at some of the class wins in the Targa Florio, Spa 1000km, and Le Mans, which were all epic races. Ferrari also won the GT World Championship three years running from 1962!
It’s the gift that just keeps on giving. Looking at developing the GTO even further in 1964, three-second series’ GTO/64 cars were on the horizon. There were also some lightweight racers based on van-type styling. Sadly, the GTO’s racing days were over and the old bird just didn’t have it in her to carry on.
Although their racing days were long gone, the GTO had definitely made its mark and made its place in history, which explains why people are prepared to pay over the odds for one these days, we know that we would.
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