Mark Lyon, director of GTO Engineering, does not like the word ‘restored’. He likes ‘renaissance’. All we have here is the brand new 1960 Ferrari 250 Short Wheelbase Berlineta Competition or SWB, for short.
Instead of all the hassle of participating in auctions, battling millionaires and matching chassis numbers and matching the history of the actual competition, here you can specify a Spray Ferrari for your carrying tastes – if you get at least, say, 50 850,000, And happy to be able to wait a few years. Believe me, you will succeed.
What GTO Engineering does is take a donor car – usually an existing 250 chassis or perhaps a less desirable (really?) 330 GT, and it is thrown away in some parts. Each component is then either lovingly restored or 3D-modeled on the workshop computer where needed and using advanced techniques and ultimate patience to create even better quality than the dream of the sixties Ferrari factory. The result is very fit ‘healthy’ but not overly ‘new’ 250 SWB. It seems almost pathetic that all parts of that hard work are covered when that hand-beaten aluminum body is then spread out on top. Almost.
Meanwhile, the GTO asks you how you are going to use your new toy and the owner accordingly about your bidding. They’re good for engine mapping, gearing, suspension and handling, if you want to hit a Sunday morning country lane with an old-school turn, a more customized fast road design or perhaps a goodwood revival-ready competition-value set-up to annoy your neighbor’s 911. .
In a modern Ferrari steering wheel the mood changes depending on where you switch the Manetitino. GTO honors your 250 SWBs using engineering spanners and welding torches.
We have driven a road-spoke 250 SWB featuring the mid-range 3.5-liter V12. If you want, you can downsize a lighter 3.0-liter engine or upgrade to a Luster 4.0-liter. As well as having a gearbox of four or five speeds, this test car is the next feature. There’s even an electronic rear differential, so the way the car puts out its power can split into the contents of your rear.
It’s tempting to compare the GTO Engineering 250 SWB revival (its official name) to Singer’s famous 911s, but it’s not a backed up car that looks old-school while hiding very modern motorsport materials, if anything, it’s a work of art and its awesome. Close to e-types. It’s not a ‘series car’, according to Aston Martin’s DB4 or Jaguar’s XKSS – in any case they’re not legal, although this thing is too much. And there aren’t many more enjoyable ways to travel on public highways.