In 1953 at the Paris Salon, Ferrari unveiled their first attempt in building a series production Grand Touring car. The new model called 250 Europa was offered in two versions of the model: the first 20 units were simply called 250 Europe, while the other 44 were being called 250 GT Europa. The difference between the two version was firstly made by the wheelbase: 2800mm for Europa and 2600mm for Europa GT; and secondly by the engine: first one was using a 3-liter Lampredi V12 engine and the second one a 3-liter Colombo V12 engine.
The GT version was revealed in 1954 at the Paris Salon, initially using the same 250 Europa name, but the GT suffix was soon added, to help differentiate it from its predecessor, and then it became known simply as the 250 GT. The overall shape of the majority of the series was virtually identical to that of the 250 Europa Pininfarina three window coupé that preceded it. In fact, unless you had a keen eye for dimensions, you would need a tape measure to tell them apart, the main difference being in the distance between the front wheel arch and the A-pillar.
As previously saying, the GT model was featuring a 2600 mm wheelbase, but without compromising cabin space, whilst concurrently the front and rear track were each increased by 29 mm. The chassis, with factory type reference 508, were numbered in the odd number road car sequence carrying a GT suffix, and comprised two main longitudinal tubes, with cross bracing, and outriggers to support the body, with the main chassis tubes now passing above the rear axle, as opposed to under it on the 250 Europa/375 America series.
The suspension was independent at the front, initially with twin wishbones, lever type hydraulic shock absorbers, and a transverse leaf spring, which was superseded by individual coil springs during the production run, whilst the rigid rear axle was supported on semi-elliptic leaf springs, and fitted with lever type hydraulic shock absorbers. Hydraulically operated drum brakes were fitted all round, and the handbrake was cable operated on the rear wheels. Apart from one car, all examples were left-hand drive.
The Colombo-designed short block V12 unit, with a capacity of 2953 cc, and a bore and stroke of 73 mm x 58.8 mm was delivering 220 bhp. It was coupled with a four-speed manual gearbox, driving through a propeller shaft to the rigid rear axle, for which a range of ratios were available. The GT version could sprint from 0 to 60 mph in under 7 seconds and was capable of a top speed of 140 mph.