British firm GTO Engineering has revealed its handmade recreation of one of the greatest Ferraris ever.
How do you improve upon perfection? It's an age-old question, and one we finally have an answer to thanks to British Ferrari specialists GTO Engineering.
GTO Engineering has been working on for a while. In fact, its staff have a combined experience over 200 years, and have covered more than half a million miles behind the wheel of some of Maranello's most magnificent machines.
The firm's latest creation is the 250 GT SWB Revival, based on the legendary Ferrari 250 GT SWB of the 1960s – a car that took wins at Le Mans, the Tourist Trophy, and Spa-Francorchamps and was described back then as "the greatest GT car in the world."
Nowadays though, the Italian originals are worth frightening amounts of money – values with many zeros on the end – as such, they're rarely ever seen.
The 250 SWB Revival is the perfect alternative. Produced using original drawings and measurements, the car is built to 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione specifications, meaning that it's roughly 20 centimeters (7.8 inches) shorter than the regular 250 GT. It is built in true period style, too, with hand-beaten aluminum panels draped over a tubular frame chassis. That body can be painted in a range of period-correct colors as well.
"The 1960 Competition car is the one to have – not only is it the shorter chassis, improving drivability and handling, it has disc brakes [the 250 SWB was the first to have them on a Ferrari GT car], and an aluminum body rather than steel," said GTO Engineering managing director Mark Lyon. "But it has one major drawback. Because it was made in so few numbers, it’s not really a car you can take to the shops or drive on the lock-stops without fearing damaging the body or destroying originality.
"The 250 SWB Revival is a 'best of' based on original drawings and knowledge, with an added usability, driveability, and the option to make it as road or race-focused as you’d like."
The engine is also a handmade work of art. Available as a 3.0-liter, 3.5-lirer, or a 4.0-liter, each Columbo V12 takes the GTO Engineering team more than 300 man-hours to produce. There's no modern enhancements either, with each engine specification paired with triple carburetors to ensure a smooth power delivery.
As well as a choice of engine specifications, there's also a choice of a four- or five-speed manual gearbox, and not a single flappy paddle in sight.
"It’s hard to beat perfection [the 250 SWB], but you can make it more driveable, liveable, and easier to use on a daily basis," added Lyon. "You can also provide drivers the option for different V12 engines and gearboxes, which you can’t with an original.
"We wanted to give flexibility to owners who either want a grand tourer, a faster set-up road car or full race car that you can drive to and from events. The 250 SWB Revival was designed to be versatile, usable but also completely customizable."
Back in the 1960s, the original 250 GT was the first Ferrari GT car to be fitted with brake discs as standard and the 250 GT SWB Revival utilizes that very same traditional brake design. Lighter and more heat efficient aluminum brake calipers are also available as an optional extra, while a choice of 15-inch or 16-inch, polished or standard finish wheels is available.
Inside there's a fully-trimmed leather interior as standard, with a choice of full racing harnesses or lap belts. Air conditioning is available as an option, as well as a subtly-incorporated USB charger. A full race-spec roll cage can also be specified.
So far more than 30 250 SWB Revivals have been sold, with each taking up to 18 months to complete at GTO Engineering's base in Twyford in the UK. The finished cars can be handed over either there, or at the company's Los Angeles premises in the US.
The price? Many, many dollars ounds, but not as much as the money that you'd fork out for the original. A bargain! Relatively...
Gallery: Ferrari 250 SWB Revival by GTO Engineering
250 SWB REVIVAL – GTO ENGINEERING REVEALS FULL SPECIFICATION OF ITS MODERN REVIVAL OF A LEGEND
With over half a million miles under their belt driving some of the most special Ferraris of all time, and over 200 years’ combined experience working on Ferraris, the team at GTO Engineering has created what they believe to be the ultimate interpretation of a legendary Sixties Ferrari. Named the 250 SWB Revival, based upon the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, GTO Engineering has revived a legend with its modern experience and given it ultimate road and track customisation opportunities.
From the chassis to the cockpit, every element of the 250 SWB Revival has been strictly enhanced, improved or rebuilt at the GTO Engineering UK headquarters, using the team’s extensive knowledge, know-how, historical technical drawings and industry insight. The result is a visceral experience of a high-revving Columbo V12, enjoyable chassis, lightweight aluminium body with a classic exterior and interior design, plus some modern touches to make it a pleasure to drive daily, on track or save for Sunday best.
Inspired by the legendary 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, which is one of the most successful Ferrari race cars of the period, the GTO Engineering team offers the 250 SWB Revival as a more usable, customisable and bespoke variant of the highly collectable original Competition car. Driven in period by the likes of Sir Stirling Moss who hailed it as “the greatest GT car in the world” as it took wins at Le Mans (1960 class win), Tourist Trophy (1960) and Spa GP (1960), today it’s regarded one of the most notable, collectable and appreciating cars of its type, thus is rarely seen on the road and occasionally at historic race meetings.
“The 1960 Competition car is the one to have – not only is it the shorter chassis, improving drivability and handling, it has disc brakes [the 250 SWB was the first to have them on a Ferrari GT car], and an aluminium body rather than steel. But it has one major drawback. Because it was made in so few numbers, it’s not really a car you can take to the shops or drive on the lock-stops without fearing damaging the body or destroying originality. The 250 SWB Revival is a ‘best of’, based on original drawings and knowledge, with an added usability, driveability and the option to make it as road or race-focused as you’d like,” explains GTO Engineering Managing Director Mark Lyon.
Utilising original drawings, measurements and knowledge, the GTO Engineering 250 SWB Revival uses a hand-built tubular frame underneath a hand-beaten aluminium body. It’s based on the shorter format of the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione specifications, which is eight inches shorter than the 250 GT. Each GTO Engineering 250 SWB Revival is created as a bespoke build, with a plethora of options designed for enjoying the car on the road, used for rallying, touring, sprinting and racing.
“It’s hard to beat perfection [the 250 SWB], but you can make it more drivable, liveable and easier to use on a daily basis. You can also provide drivers the option for different V12 engines and gearboxes, which you can’t with an original. We wanted to give flexibility to owners who either want a grand tourer, a faster set-up road car or full race car that you can drive to and from events. The 250 SWB Revival was designed to be versatile, usable but also completely customisable,” further comments GTO Engineering Managing Director Mark Lyon.
Built in house, each Columbo V12 engine takes over 300-man hours to produce. The GTO Engineering team can build to 3.0-litre, 3.5-litre and 4.0-litre specification and can offer bespoke cc capacity depending on customer desire. Each Columbo V12 engine is paired with triple carburettors, giving the driver a smooth power delivery.
Available with a four- or optional five-speed gearbox, the team created their own internal design package for the gearbox. Designed to be a precise gearchange that works in traffic and at high-speed, for enhanced usability. For owners looking for uprated clutches, GTO Engineering can fit bespoke clutch set-ups, too.
Available as a revival of the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, of which the 250 SWB Revival takes inspiration, each client can build a car without bumpers (as standard on the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione) or GTO Engineering offers bespoke chrome bumpers for a more road-inspired look should the customer desire.
Wheels and brakes:
Incorporating the disc brake design from period, of which the 250 SWB was the first Ferrari GT car to include disc brakes, the GTO Engineering team uses traditional disc brakes and offers customers optional lighter and more heat efficient aluminium brake callipers.
Wheels are available in 16” or optional smaller 15” in polished or standard finish. The set-up is square with optional 6J or 6.5J width wheels.
Suspension and handling:
With the team’s extensive road and racing knowledge they can offer a bespoke suspension and alignment set-up for increased grip, stability, comfort and usability. For driver experience, a smaller steering wheel is available as a cost option alongside a quicker 17:1 steering ratio.
Available as standard with a fully leather-trimmed seats and optional leather-trimmed headrests, owners can specify their cars with lap belts or harnesses (with optional harness bar). The headlining is trimmed in the original perforated material that would have been on the original 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione.
Air-conditioning is also available as an optional extra, with the fans fitted behind the driver to ensure the originality of the dashboard set-up. Customers can also specify a carefully-designed under dash USB charger to be fitted, too. This is not visible from the exterior of the car but increases usability for mobile GPS, for example.
Available as a road car or in a racing specification the GTO Engineering team can assist with securing HTP papers, fitting with a full cage inc. door bars, half cage or rear harness bar. The team can also provide a competition-inspired gearbox, too, as a bespoke build, as well as bug screens. Bug screens were used heavily in period at endurance races and rallies to stop bugs smearing on the windscreen and decreasing visibility.
Each customer is invited to the specification room at GTO Engineering to hand pick their bespoke colour options for interior and exterior. Available in a range of traditional exterior colours as campaigned in period, the team has built cars in iconic liveries, paint schemes and bespoke non-period colours. GTO Engineering has done variations of painted stripes, liveries and race roundels, too. Likewise, the leather can be coloured in a range of hues to match customers’ specification desires.
Optional extras include a spare wheel in the same specification of the car, a period tool roll including jack, fitted car cover, a heated windscreen and even the option to fit a sat-nav and integrated stereo.
GTO Engineering has sold over 30 250 SWB Revivals to-date, with each build taking between 12-18 months depending on specification. Each example is built in-house at GTO Engineering’s premises in Twyford, UK and can be sold and handed over at its UK HQ or Los Angeles, USA premises. All interested drivers should contact Ferrari@gtoengineering.com or call +44 (0) 118 940 1101 to discuss the build process, including sourcing or providing a similar aged donor vehicle, as well as option sheets and UK and overseas registration.