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250 MM Pinin Farina Berlinetta
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  Ferrari 250 MM Pinin Farina Berlinetta      

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1953
Numbers built:18
Designed by:Pinin Farina
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:September 27, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAll of Ferraris early sports racers followed the lines penned in 1946: before the first car was even constructed. Of course there were many detail changes as the company's line-up gradually developed. The most obvious changes were made to the V12 engine originally designed by Gioachino Colombo, which gradually grew in size from its first 1.5 litre displacement. The all alloy engine was successfully raced in 2, 2.3 and and 2.7 litre before the first 3 litre car debuted victoriously at the 1952 Mille Miglia. It was in this configuration that the Colombo would be used for well over a decade, scoring innumerable major victories.

Dubbed the 250 S, after its unitary displacement of 250 cc, the Mille Miglia winner was built around the familiar ladder frame, constructed of large diameter oval tubes. The chassis had a relatively short wheelbase of 2250 mm. Suspension was by double wishbones at the front with a transverse leaf spring and a live axle at the rear. Breathing through three Weber Carburetors, the 2953 cc engine produced a healthy 230 bhp, which was around 20 bhp more than the 2715 cc '225 S' engine it was based on. Like its predecessor, the Vignale bodied machine was equipped with a five speed gearbox, bolted directly to the engine.

Only one example of the 250 S was produced, but throughout the summer of 1952 Ferrari worked on a production version that could be used by customers in the 1953 season. Launched in the fall at the Paris Auto Show, the new three litre production racer was dubbed 250 MM in honour of the Mille Miglia victory earlier that year. Technically the 250 MM was very similar to the 250 S, except for a slightly longer wheelbase of 2400 mm and the use of sturdier four speed gearbox. The engine now sported quad-choke Webers, boosting the power to 240 bhp.

Production commenced shortly after the Paris show and a total of 31 cars rolled off the production line before the end of 1953. Vignale clothed thirteen chassis; all but one with an open 'Spyder' body. These Vignale bodies could be separated in three series, which differed in slight detail from each other. More famous and highly regarded are the Pinin Farina designed and built Berlinetta bodies. The beautiful lines formed the basis for many of the company's greatest designs of the 1950s. The most recognisable elements of the Pinin Farina 250 MMs are the covered cut-outs in the rear fenders to make room for extra wide tires.

Commercially the Ferrari 250 MM was certainly a success, on the track however it struggled to keep up with the competition. Especially the larger engined 340 MM Works Ferraris proved difficult for the customers to beat. One of the most successful 250 MM racers was Phil Hill, who won several races in the United States with his Vignale bodied example. In Ferrari's history, the 250 MM does have a special position as it is the first of a long line of 3-litre engined sports racers that were raced to many victories by both the factory and privateers.

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  Article Image gallery (63) Chassis (5) Specifications