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250 GT SWB Bertone Berlinetta
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  Ferrari 250 GT SWB Bertone Berlinetta      

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1962
Numbers built:1
Introduced at:1962 Geneva Motor Show
Designed by:Giorgietto Giugiaro for Bertone
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:August 13, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAt the 1962 Geneva Motor Show, Bertone revealed a spectacular Ferrari 250 GT SWB show car. Only the third Ferrari bodied by Bertone, the one-off was born out of Nuccio Bertone's strong desire to work for the Italian sports car manufacturer. To his great frustration, Ferrari favoured the work of Bertone's local rival Pininfarina, who had also styled the original 250 GT SWB.

To proof Ferrari wrong, Bertone acquired a 250 GT SWB rolling chassis early in 1962. Although due to be superseded by the 250 GTO, the 'Short WheelBase' was the leading Grand Touring car of the day, having scored countless class and outright victories since its introduction late in 1959. Delivered in road-car trim, the chassis used by Bertone featured a 240 bhp version of the legendary three-litre, short-block or 'Colombo' V12.

Working alongside Nuccio Bertone to design the Geneva show car was a very young but hugely talented Giorgietto Giugiaro. Although he was only 23 years old at the time, Giugiaro had already penned several highly acclaimed designs that included the Aston Martin DB4 GT Bertone Jet and a one-off Maserati 5000 GT. He would go on to be one of the leading (automotive) designers and, in 1999, was named designer of the century.

Giugiaro and Bertone drew inspiration of the design both from Ferrari's contemporary competition cars and some of Bertone's most famous designs of the past like the Alfa Romeo BATs designed by Franco Scaglione. All these machines shared an instantly recognisable and very striking 'shark-nose' front-end, which consisted of a split grille-intake. The 250 GT SWB carried over the shark-nose theme, which truly set it apart from its rivals.

Mounted inside the two 'nostrils', at the edge of the typical egg-crate grille were the two prominent, round headlights. Compared to Pininfarina's 250 GT SWB design, Bertone's take on the Ferrari boasted an airier glasshouse with a more elegant rear-end, which featured recessed taillights. Showcasing the car's competition origins, Bertone equipped the 250 GT SWB with a bug-deflector, engine intake scoop and several (non functional) vents.

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