FERRARI 250 Berlinetta “SWB”: myth and fascination



Difficult to decide whether Ferrari 250 Berlinetta is more famous for its breathtaking line or for its absolute leadership in the Gran Turismo racing category.

Presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1959,  it is universally known as one of the most beautiful Ferraris in which  Pininfarina has been able to combine elegance and  perfect  proportions with the emotion expected of a racing car.

Between 1959 and the beginning of 1962,   carbody maker Scaglietti of Modena    once more engaged  in technical collaboration with Pininfarina –  produced 73 “Competizione” examples and 87 “Lusso” examples.   The main difference  was in the material used for the bodywork  (aluminium or steel)  and in the engine power,  the  V12 cylinders of 2953 cc:  280 HP for the “Competizione”,  240 for the “Lusso”.

Owing to the shortened wheelbase compared with the previous Berlinetta Competizione  (from 260 mm to 240 mm),  it was almost immediately renamed SWB  (short wheelbase)  in the English circles,  an unofficial definition by now widely accepted.

The car presented at the Concours d’Elégance Castello di Miramare  is a “Competizione” that came out of Maranello in spring 1961  (chassis 2731).   Its debut in racing was at the 24H Le Mans the following June entered by   Luigi Chinetti’s  N.A.R.T. Team  and driven by American Bob Grossman and Belgian André Pilette.   After having gained the overall 6th place and the 2nd in its category,  the Berlinetta continued its career in the USA,  achieving gratifying results in the American Championship SCCA,  in the beginning driven again by Grossman.

In 1977 it was taken back to Europe by the well known Swiss  collector Albert Obrist who sold it to Clay Regazzoni in 1984.   In his turn, Clay – the never forgotten racing champion – sold it  four years later to the present enthusiast owner.