In 1959 at the Paris Salon, Ferrari unveiled the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta - or "passo corto". It was designed by Pininfarina and built at the Scaglietti works in Modena. Built on a 2400mm chassis, the 250 GT Berlinetta passo corto was a natural continuation of the Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France.
This was the first Ferrari production road car to be fitted with disc brakes as standard and, unlike the preceding 250 GT Berlinetta series, was available in either left- or right-hand drive. It was also available in competition specification, with an aluminium body, lightweight interior trim, and the engine in a higher state of tune – or in ‘Lusso’ (luxury) road trim, when it was normally fitted with a steel body with aluminium opening panels.
Under the hood Ferrari placed a further development of the original Colombo-designed single overhead camshaft per bank V12 engine, with a capacity of 2953 cc, via a bore and stroke of 73 x 58.8 mm. The engine was delivering between 220 to 280 bhp, dependent upon specification. All versions were featuring four-speed transmission.
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In competition, the ‘passo corto’ berlinetta continued the success of the ’passo lungo’ model, with three consecutive wins in the Tour de France between 1960 and 1962. It also won the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood in 1960 and 1961, the GT category at Le Mans in 1960 and 1961, and the Nürburgring 1000 km in 1961 and 1962. These are just a few of the numerous class and overall wins achieved during its reign as queen of the GT category.
A 250 GT Berlinetta passo corto was recently auction at the RM Auctions for $1,450,000.