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Ferrari 250 GT SWB

The Ferrari 250 GT SWB (Short Wheel Base) Berlinetta.

Vehicle Overview

The Ferrari 250 GT SWB, designed by Pininfarina, made its public debut at the 1959 Paris Motor Show, evoking the aesthetics of the Berlinettas of its era. The development of this iconic model was entrusted to Giotto Bizzarrini, Carlo Chiti, and the young Mauro Forghieri, who later spearheaded the evolution of the 250 GTO. The “SWB” moniker, denoting “short wheelbase,” was added to distinguish this model, with its 2400mm wheelbase, from the 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France, boasting a longer 2600mm wheelbase. Designed primarily for racing but also available to private customers, the Ferrari 250 GT SWB could be customized with racing features such as an all-aluminum body, the lightest option, and the most potent engine. The racing models, featuring a lighter body, also incorporated minor modifications for enhanced performance. Its main rival was the Jaguar E-Type. Crafted at Carrozzeria Scaglietti, the Ferrari 250 GT SWB is revered as one of the most coveted Ferraris of all time. From 1959 to 1962, a total of 167 units were built, marking a significant chapter in the Ferrari 250 lineage. This model replaced the larger 250 GT Berlinetta LWB “Tour de France” and served as the sporty counterpart to the contemporaneous 250 GT Coupe and 250 GT 2+2 touring cars. The Ferrari 250 GT SWB spawned several notable variations, including the competition-oriented Competizione and SEFAC Hot Rod versions, as well as the more comfort-oriented Lusso variant. Special editions and experimental models further showcased the versatility of the SWB platform, with creations like the “Breadvan” race car, five Pininfarina Experimental models, and a unique piece from Bertone. Following its public unveiling in October 1959 at the Paris Auto Show, series production commenced, with the Carrozzeria Scaglietti in Modena responsible for assembly. Initially offered as the Competizione model, a lighter and more powerful version, known as the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB SEFAC Hot Rod, succeeded it in 1961. A street-friendly Lusso variant was introduced in 1960 to ensure homologation for motorsport purposes. The production of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB spanned nearly four years, resulting in a total of 167 units across all variants. Although exact production figures for each variant remain unclear, the SWB’s legacy endures as a pinnacle of automotive engineering and design.

ferrari 250 gt

Technical Specifications

  • Body
  • Year
    1959
  • Make
    Ferrari
  • Model
    250 GT
  • Coachbuilder
    Scaglietti
  • Length (mm)
    4150
  • Width (mm)
    1690
  • Height (mm)
    1290
  • Units built
    167
  • Engine Type
    V12
  • Designer
    Pininfarina
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