The 250 GTO could be said to be a response to Jaguars new E-type launched in 1961. Ferrari sales manager Girolamo Gardini saw the unveiling and returned to the factory telling anyone he could get to listen that “They are going to beat us with their new GT’. Once Ferrari recognised the seriousness of the situation he set up a team to build a new GT car capable of taking on the new threat.

    Built between 1962 to 1964, It was argued that the design was based on the 250 GT SWB. Concieved by Giotto Bizzarrini who put the 3.0 L V12 engine from the 250 Testa Rossa into a 250 GT SWB chassis and worked with Sergio Scaglietti to develop the body shape. Bizzarini made a point of getting the weight distribution right so the engine is placed behind the axel line. This move also had the effect of lowering the frontal area and aiding stability. In the middle of the development process a factory dispute occurred. It was ended by Enzo Ferrari sacking the largest part of his design force, including Bizzarini.

    Responsibility for the project passed to Mauro Forghieri, it was at this later stage that the rear spoiler and watts linkage were added to improve stability, who continued the work with Scaglietti using a wind tunnel to help perfect the aerodynamic shape. Ferrari is often quoted as saying “Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines”  He must have regretted saying it when he saw the 250GTO.

    To gain homologation into the FIA's Group 3 GT Car category Ferrari should have built at least 100 examples of the car. Only 39 were actually made. Ferrari maintained the argument that the GTO was an evolution of the SWB despite the fact that the cars shared very little in common. Ferrari also used none sequential chassis numbers, slipping them in amongst the 250 GT models numbers, giving the impression that more cars had been built than actually were. When questioned on these issues Mr Ferrari threatened to withdraw from all motorsports. Faced with the loss of a big crowd puller the FIA relented and Homologated the car!

    In way it was the right decision as a car this beautiful deserves some success, and success it certainly had. It won the over 2Ltr class of the FIA's GT manufacturers cup in 1962, ‘63 and ‘64.

                                                                      1/24th scale kit.

                                                                          Built by Ian.

     The Airfix 'Hi-Tech' kit is a really nice multi media kit. Originally from Gunze the kit features white metal, plastic, rubber and photo-etch parts. At times it is a little tricky, especially the wheels, but with a little patience builds into a lovely model. There are a few small gripes, like the fuel filler being on the wrong side, but most kits have something we wish was a little better.

    Ian built this one in the mid-late 1990s using Halfords acrylic car paints for the finish. The detail painting is done with Citadel and Tamiya acrylics and Humbrol enamels.

    More 250 GTOs the Graham hill drove are likely to appear as the years go by and it will be interesting to contrast the differing kits by Italeri and Revell too.

 

 

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