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250 Europa GT Vignale Coupe
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  Ferrari 250 Europa GT Vignale Coupe      

  Article Image gallery (18) 0359GT Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1954
Numbers built:1
Internal name:Tipo 508
Designed by:Vignale
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:August 31, 2012
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAlthough the 250 Europa GT was named very similarly to the 250 Europa it replaced, it was quite different in design. More importantly, Ferrari no longer considered the '250' as a road car only, but as it name suggests also constructed a 'Competizione' version to race in international GT-races. The 250 Europa GT might not be the best known of Ferraris, but it was the first in a long line of 250 GT race cars, which dominated GT-racing for almost a decade.

Launched at the 1955 Paris Motorshow, the first 250 Europa GT looked like the 250 Europa launched two years earlier. However, under the Pinin Farina designed coupe body, very little remained the same. The most important change was the replacement of the Lampredi long-block engine found in the 250 Europa, with the Colombo short-block engine. Both engines displaced just under three litres and had 12 cylinders, but that is where the similarities end.

Gioacchino Colombo's short-block V12 was first seen in 1.5 litre form in the Ferrari's first model, the 125 of 1947. He left Ferrari not long after that initial design, but his successor, Aurelio Lampredi, continued developing the short-block engine alongside the long-block unit of his own design. Being very similar in design to the larger 375 America, it was understandable that the 250 Europa also shared its long-block engine, even though there was already a 3 litre version of the short-block engine available.

One of the biggest advantages of the Lampredi unit as a road car engine was its simple design, with undetachable cylinder heads. For racing purposes the Colombo engine with its all-alloy construction and separate heads was the more suitable V12. The three litre Colombo V12 had made a victorious competition debut in the 1952 Mille Miglia. Based on the winning 250 S, Ferrari produced a series of thirty-one 250 MM (Mille Miglia) racers fitted with various bodies of which the Pinin Farina Berlinetta was the most common.

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  Article Image gallery (18) 0359GT Specifications