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This Rare 1960 Ferrari Could Fetch More Than $7.6 Million at Auction

This Rare 1960 Ferrari Could Fetch More Than $7.6 Million at Auction

Ferrari’s long-lived and wide-ranging 250 series includes such disparate models as the race-bred GTO and luxurious Lusso. But the quintessential 250 GT would have to be the SWB Berlinetta. The SWB (for Short Wheelbase) was, in reality, a racer thinly veiled as a grand-touring coupe. It’s a car that dominated tracks in Europe and America from its first racing appearance in 1960 until the advent of its successor, the GTO, in 1962. Altogether, Ferrari built 165 examples from 1959 through 1962, in varying degrees of road or race specification.

One can imagine such a Ferrari in its day on public roads, off to the track to win races, and home again. Such was the dual character of this model variant, whose predecessor was the 250 GT Berlinetta, called the TdF (Tour de France) after winning that race in 1957 and 1958. Distinguishing itself from the TdF, the SWB has a wheelbase of 2,400 mm, which is 200 mm shorter than that of the former. In addition, the SWB received a lighter chassis and smoother, more aerodynamic bodywork. With output totaling about 240 hp, it was also the first Ferrari road car equipped with disc brakes as standard.

The fully restored 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta being auctioned by RM Sotheby’s on June 12.

Sam Chick, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Engineered by Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini, the purposeful GT was designed by Pininfarina and bodied in steel or aluminum by coachbuilder Scaglietti. The 250 GT SWB was presented at the Paris Salon in 1959, and for a few brief years, dominated its class, concluding its in-period racing role with great fanfare in 1961, winning the Formula 1 World Constructors’ Championship GT Class. The car laid the groundwork for numerous worthy successors powered by the same 3.0-liter, Colombo-designed V-12 engine.

The 34th example of the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta built is the star of RM Sotheby’s auction at Cliveden House, about 30 miles outside of London, on June 12. According to the official build sheet, chassis No. 2067 GT left the factory painted Grigio, with a black Connolly leather interior. It was sold new for 5.5 million Italian lire (about $8,870 in the day) to Mr. Franco Caimi, who kept the car through 1967.

The 3.0-liter, Colombo-designed V-12 engine inside a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta.

The car’s 3.0-liter, Colombo-designed V-12 engine makes about 240 hp.

Sam Chick, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It was then acquired by the owner of the city’s official Ferrari dealership, who commissioned Modena-based Carrozzeria Sports Cars to rebody the car with more angular, wedge-shaped bodywork in 1971. Its fourth owner, U.K.-based racer and collector Rob Lamplough, commissioned Carrozzeria Allegretti to rebody the Ferrari as a 250 GTO. He then raced the vehicle until he sold it in 1992. The subsequent steward commissioned a full restoration, accompanied by new 250 GT SWB bodywork, this time in aluminum instead of the car’s original steel.

The interior of a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta.

Although chassis No. 2067 GT left the factory with a black Connolly leather interior, it was given red upholstery and racing harnesses by its current owner.

Sam Chick, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

In 2009, a Belgian owner returned chassis No. 2067 GT to its factory steel-body specification, the complete and extensively photographed restoration performed by Carrozzeria Autosport of Bachelli & Villa in Bastiglia, near Modena. With correct bodywork and matching-numbers chassis and engine, the car received “Red Book” certification by Ferrari Classiche in 2013.

A 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta.

The 34th example of Ferrari’s 250 GT SWB Berlinetta built, this car was returned to its factory steel-body specification in 2009.

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Sam Chick, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It’s understandable that such a rare and significant Ferrari would have so many custodians throughout its 64-year life, which has been documented with a Marcel Massini history report that records a direct chain of ownership. As for the car’s expected performance at auction, its high-end estimate is roughly $7.6 million, a testament to this Prancing Horse’s enduring appeal to collectors and vintage racers.

Click here for more photos of this 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta.

The 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta crossing the auction block through RM Sotheby’s.

Sam Chick, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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