Re-birth of an icon: The 1960 Ferrari 250 GT is back (and it can be yours, for a price)

By Pritesh Ruthun Time of article published Sep 3, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Inspired by the legendary 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, arguably one of best Ferrari race cars of all time, this new 250 SWB Revival from GTO Engineering is said to offer a more usable, customisable and bespoke variant of the highly collectable original Competition car, for those with the deepest of pockets, of course.

Driven by the likes of Sir Stirling Moss who once said it was “the greatest GT car in the world” after it took wins at Le Mans (1960 class win), Tourist Trophy (1960) and Spa GP (1960), today it’s regarded as one of the most noteworthy, collectable and appreciating cars of its type on the planet - therefore it is rarely seen on the road and only occasionally does it make an outing at historic race meetings.

GTO Engineering then, with over half a million miles under their belt driving some of the most special Ferraris of all time, and over 200 years combined experience working on Ferraris, has decided to create what they believe to be the ultimate interpretation of a legendary Ferrari from the 1960s.

Engineer’s masterpiece

From the chassis to the cockpit, every element of the 250 SWB Revival has been strictly enhanced, improved or rebuilt at the GTO Engineering UK-based headquarters.

Using the team’s extensive motorsports and engineering knowledge, historical technical drawings and industry insight, the Revival is said to provide a truly visceral experience of a high-revving Columbo V12, combined with an enjoyable chassis and lightweight aluminium body. It's essentially that alluring blend of the classic car exterior and interior design, plus some modern touches to make it a pleasure to drive daily, on track or save for Sunday best that all petrolheads want in a car, regardless of badge.

GTO Engineering's managing director Mark Lyon says the 1960 Competition car is the one to have: "Not only is it the shorter chassis, improving drivability and handling, but it also has disc brakes [the 250 SWB was the first to have them on a Ferrari GT car], and an aluminium body rather than steel. But it has one major drawback. Because it was made in so few numbers, it’s not really a car you can take to the shops or drive on the lock-stops without fearing damaging the body or destroying originality.

The 250 SWB Revival is a ‘best of’, based on original drawings and knowledge, with an added usability, driveability and the option to make it as road or race-focused as you’d like.”

Using Ferrari's original drawings and measurements, the GTO Engineering 250 SWB Revival uses a hand-built tubular frame underneath a hand-beaten aluminium body. It’s based on the shorter format of the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione specifications, which is eight inches shorter than the 250 GT. Each GTO Engineering 250 SWB Revival is created as a bespoke build, with numerous options designed for enjoying the car on the road, used for rallying, touring, sprinting and racing.

“It’s hard to beat perfection [the 250 SWB], but you can make it more drivable, liveable and easier to use on a daily basis. You can also provide drivers with the option for different V12 engines and gearboxes, which you can’t with an original. We wanted to give flexibility to owners who either want a grand tourer, a faster set-up road car or full race car that you can drive to and from events. The 250 SWB Revival was designed to be versatile, usable but also completely customisable,” Lyon adds.

THE KEY SPECS

Engine

Built in house, each Columbo V12 engine takes over 300-man hours to produce. The GTO Engineering team can build to 3.0-litre, 3.5-litre and 4.0-litre specification and can offer bespoke cubic capacity depending on customer desire.

Each Columbo V12 engine is paired with triple carburettors; no injection here.

Gearbox

Available with a four- or optional five-speed gearbox, the GTO Engineering team created their own internal design package for the gearbox. Designed to be a precise gearchange that works in traffic and at high-speed, for enhanced usability. For owners looking for uprated clutches, GTO Engineering can fit bespoke clutch set-ups, too.

Exterior

Available as a revival of the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, of which the 250 SWB Revival takes inspiration, each client can build a car without bumpers (as standard on the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione) or GTO Engineering offers bespoke chrome bumpers for a more road-inspired look.

Wheels and brakes

Incorporating the disc brake design from period, of which the 250 SWB was the first Ferrari GT car to include disc brakes, the GTO Engineering team uses traditional disc brakes and offers optional lighter and more heat efficient aluminium brake callipers.

Wheels are available in 16-inch or optional smaller 15-inch, in polished or standard finish. The set-up is square with optional 6J or 6.5J width wheels.

Suspension and handling

Considering the team’s extensive road car and racing car knowledge, they say they can offer a bespoke suspension and alignment set-up for increased grip, stability, comfort and usability, depending on your specific needs.

For added driver experience, a smaller steering wheel is available as a cost option alongside a quicker 17:1 steering ratio.

Interior Features

Available as standard with fully leather-trimmed seats and optional leather-trimmed headrests, owners can specify their cars with lap belts or harnesses (with optional harness bar).

The headlining is trimmed in the original perforated material that would have been on the original 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione.

Air-conditioning, you'll be pleased to note, is also available as an optional extra, with the fans fitted situated behind the driver to ensure the originality of the dashboard set-up.

If you like, you can also specify a carefully-designed under dash USB charger to be fitted, too.

BUY A PERIOD RACE CAR FOR THE ROAD

GTO Engineering has already sold more than 30 of these 250 SWB Revivals to-date, with each build taking between 12-18 months depending on specification.

Each example is built in-house at GTO Engineering’s premises in Twyford, in the United Kingdom.

If you have around R23 million burning a hole in your wallet, contact [email protected] to place your order today. A relative bargain considering the price of an original, we think.

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