THE 250 GT BERLINETTA COMPETIZIONE ‘TOUR DE FRANCE’
The impact that Ferrari’s 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione left on motorsport, let alone Ferrari itself, is something that is difficult to quantify. Similarly, stating that this new model saw consistent success on race tracks around the globe would be an understatement.
The new model fared quite well in its earliest outings in 1956, but it truly came into its own at the 1956 Tour de France. At that event, a notoriously grueling six-day rally that included circuit competitions, hill climbs, and even drag races, Alfonso de Portago and his trusted co-driver Edmund Nelson finished 1st Overall, marking the start of what would become a three-year winning streak for the 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione at that event, earning the model the nickname of “Tour de France,” or, more commonly, “TdF.” Success was not limited to the namesake event, however; a TdF won the Targa Florio overall in 1957, another conquered the GT class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959, and a variety of others had class or overall wins at over 250 other international and local races between 1956 and 1965, making the model one of the most successful racing cars in Ferrari history.
Simply put, few competition Ferraris of the company’s first full decade saw as wide-ranging success, or were as all-conquering, as the 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione. It was the car that cemented Ferrari’s brand and left a legacy of victory that would carry the company’s reputation for years to come. It is no surprise, then, that the surviving TdFs – particularly those with well-known racing histories – rank among the most desirable sports cars of the period, and among the most sought-after of all Ferraris.