While Ferrari has a big history in building "berlinetta" model, the 250GT is the first one to be built. This car was perfect for both track and racing, and quickly after their unveiling they have become a the racer of choice amongst top drivers. The 250GT Berlinetta made its first appearance at Nassau in 1956. Only one year after, at the 1957 Tour de France, Ferrari took the top three places and proved the versatility of the car.
The "Tour de France" series of cars were the competition orientated berlinetta versions of the 250 GT road cars, designed for racing in the GT category. The car was designed by PininFarina and constructed in aluminum by Scaglietti.
The Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta was powered by the original Colombo-designed V12 engine now tuned by Ferrari to produce 240-280 horsepower using three downdraft Weber carburetors.
At the Le Mans 24 Hour Race, in June 1959, a completely new Pinin Farina body style for the berlinetta appeared, this has subsequently be given the unofficial nickname "Interim" to differentiate it from the more regular bodied 2600mm wheelbase berlinettas, and the subsequent 2400mm wheelbase berlinetta which it closely resembles, that replaced this series at the end of the year. The main identifying feature of the "Interim" berlinetta, relative to its successor, is the small quarter light behind the door glass in the sail panel.
From 1958 a revised gearbox with central lever became a standard fitment, driving through a prop shaft to the rigid rear axle, for which a range of ratios were available.
These competition berlinettas were enormously successful, including four consecutive wins in the Tour de France between 1956-59, winning the Targa Florio in 1957, and winning the GT category at Le Mans in 1959. These were just a few of the many class and overall victories scored in the hands of amateur and professional drivers during the four years in which it was the GT car to beat.