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250 Europa Vignale Coupe
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  Ferrari 250 Europa Vignale Coupe      

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1953 - 1954
Numbers built:21 (Two Vignale coupes)
Introduced at:1953 Paris Motor Show
Designed by:Giovanni Michelotti for Vignale
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:September 25, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFrom the outset Ferraris were no compromise racers. Enzo Ferrari quickly understood that to keep his company healthy he had to sell more than just racing cars. Very similar in design to the racing cars, the first road cars were still very spartan. Power came from slightly detuned engines and the chassis were usually identical to the cars that were winning races all around the world.

One of the first models marketed solely for road use was the 166 Inter of 1948, which was technically identical to the 166 MM. Both included a 2 litre version of the Colombo V12 engine. The Inter featured more elegant bodies than the crude racing bodies, which were constructed with weight saving in mind only. To distinguish the road cars from the racing cars, Ferrari used odd serial numbers for the former and even numbers for the latter.

In 1951 the 166 Inter was replaced by the 212 Inter, which now featured a variant of the Lampredi designed V12. The Lampredi V12 was referred to as the 'long block' engine. At the Paris Motorshow of 1953, the 212 Inter's replacement, the 250 Europa was introduced. Alongside it was the virtually identical but larger engined 375 America and together the two formed Ferrari's road car line up of the day.

A stroked version of the 212 Inter engine was used in the 250 Europa. This is the only time a three-litre version of the Lampredi was used. For all previous and upcoming 250 or three-litre cars Ferrari used the Colombo engine. With a bore and stroke of 68 mm, the engine was completely square. Three Weber carburettors supplied the fuel/air mixture to the 12 cylinders.

More than any Ferrari before, the 250 Europa was designed to appeal to the rich and famous. Battista 'Pinin' Farina designed a coupe body that was much more elegant than those previously designed by Vignale and Ghia. In the years after the 250 Europa, Pinin Farina (later Pininfarina) was the preferred coach-builder for all Ferrari road cars, with very few exceptions.

The 250 Europa's replacement, the 250 GT Europa was launched in 1954. Although the names of the two are almost identical, they are completely different technically. A shorter wheelbase, revised front suspension and Colombo engine made the GT a completely new car; a big step forward. In total only around twenty 250 Europas were constructed of which 16 were fitted with the Pinin Farina Coupe body.

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  Article Image gallery (44) Chassis (2) Specifications User Comments (2)