One of Ferrari's most successful lines is the 250 series which includes various models designed for road use or sports car racing. A pinnacle of this line is the world's most expensive car, the Ferrari 250 GTO (click here to read the full article). But another important model of the 250 series is the legendary Ferrari 250 GT SWB which uses a short wheelbase (hence the SWB acronym) of 2400 mm for better handling and is 200mm shorter than that of the standard 250 GT. Ferrari presented the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB, the predecessor of the legendary 250 GTO, to the public at the Paris Motor Show in October 1959.
The SWB was introduced after Ferrari was struggling to win in big races. Enzo Ferrari (a.k.a. "il commendatore") understood the importance of racing for the brand's success and that it’s important to bring home the big wins for Ferrari again. As the saying goes “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.”
Two men in particular were responsible for the success of the 250 GT SWB. Carlo Chiti, who was head of the design department, and Giotto Bizzarrini, head of the development department. The two Ferraristi were close friends of “il commendatore” and helped him to push Ferrari's global success. Produced in a modest batch of 167 cars over three years, the SWB claims rarity yet was produced in sufficient-enough numbers to allow for discreet competition and road-going versions.
The SWB was originally delivered in two variants. The first variant was comprised of steel body. These versions were nearly as powerful as the racing car but were luxuriously trimmed and bodied in steel. Also the interior differed in order to provide a more comfortable driving experience. The second variant was called the “Competizione” version (also known as “the Ferrari 250 GT berlinetta passo corto”) and was made from aluminum, making it lighter. The aluminum version is rarer and one of the most sought-after Ferraris among car collectors.
In 1961 an advanced version of the aluminum “Competizione” was released (some people refer as to the 3rd version). It was the highlight of the line until the appearance of the 250 GTO in 1962 and was known as the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB Competizione/61 (Ferrari internal description). In literature, however, the designation ‘SEFAC Hot Rod’ has become established for those cars, whereby SEFAC is the factory abbreviation for "Scuderia Enzo Ferrari Automobili Corsa".
The bodywork of the 250 GT SWB is widely considered as one of Pinin Farina’s greatest masterpieces. The engine is Ferrari’s light and compact Colombo-designed 3.0-litre V12 motor, which produces a power output of 280 PS and 240 km/h. The combination of light bodywork and a powerful engine made the 250 GT SWB an absolute nightmare for its competitors.
The Collectors Circle is happy to have seen many 250 GT on the streets recently. A car, no matter how valuable it is, is supposed to be driven. The time of “Garage Queens” is over. Now it’s time to celebrate and drive the cars our community has to offer. Some collectors only see the car as an asset but it’s a lot more than just that - it’s PASSION!
For the blue-chip cars that we can offer our TCC clients, the price is approximately CHF 7m for steel road cars to CHF 12m+ for aluminum competition cars. No question, it’s a lot of money for a car. But consider this car a moving a piece art.
Please enjoy the stunning pictures of this masterpiece. By the way, did you ever see a car worth million driving in a heavy hailstorm? Our photographer Dario was lucky to capture one. One of the greatest shots of a Ferrari 250 GT SWB of all time.
250 GT SWB Berlinetta
from CHF 7 million to CHF 12+ million for the rare “Competizione” models
Small production batch of only 167 cars
As we previously sad, the time of Garage Queens is over. Obviously, the Ferrari 250 GT SWB wouldn’t be your first choice for a long road trip, but why not use it for a great city cruise with your loved one on a rainy autumn day!?
The car was ahead of its time as its success in racing reflects its dominance in the 60’s. The Collectors Circle thinks the car is one of the greatest collaborations between Ferrari and Carrozzeria Scaglietti.
Photography: Dario Fontana: Instagram @dario.fontana