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  Ferrari 250 GT SWB Sperimentale
 

  Article Image gallery (17) Chassis (1) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1961
Numbers built:5 (Sperimentales)
Designed by:Pininfarina
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:October 03, 2005
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Click here to download printer friendly versionForm and function can be combined very well in automotive design, the Ferrari 250 GT SWB underlines this like few others do. Considered by many as Ferrari's and Pininfarina's best looking car, the SWB took the first four places in its class at the 1960 Le Mans 24 hours race, completely blowing competition from Aston Martin and Chevrolet away.

Introduced at the 1959 Paris Motorshow, the SWB used a body very similar to those of the 250 GT LWB Interim Berlinetta campaigned throughout the 1960 season. The largest visual difference between the two is the lack of the Interim's fixed rear quarter windows on the SWB. The new chassis was similar in design to the 250 GTs raced in the 1950s but the wheelbase was shortened by 20 mm to 2400 mm, hence Short Wheelbase (SWB). A wheelbase of 2400 mm is considered as the ideal length, to allow for good cornering characteristics (the shorter, the better) and straight-line stability (the longer, the better). It is not a coincidence that the most successful racer ever, the Bugatti Type 35, has a 2400 mm wheelbase. Another major improvement was the replacement of drum brakes by discs, all around. This was the first time the factory equipped discs appeared on a 250 GT.

Under the bonnet a revised V12 engine (Type 168) was installed. Although its displacement and bore and stroke were exactly the same as the first of the 250 GT engines, it was a completely different engine, a result of 6 years of development. The Type 168 engine was closely related to the Type 128DF engines used in the Interim Berlinettas of 1959. The sump, oil pump, timing chain casings and oil filters were updated or replaced by new parts compared to the 128DF engine. Larger Weber Carburetors were also fitted, breathing was further assisted by the installation of 250 TR derived intake and exhaust ports. Competition engines were good for around 260 - 275 bhp (referred to as the 280bhp engine) and the street engines good for 220 - 240 bhp (240 bhp engine).

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  Article Image gallery (17) Chassis (1) Specifications