FERRARI’S „TOUR DE FRANCE“
The Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta is one of the most influential and impressive automobiles produced in the company’s illustrious history, as it helped to establish the marque’s dominance in racing in the GT class. With the 3.0-litre Colombo V-12 engine fitted to Ferrari’s 2,600-millimetre wheelbase chassis, numerous highly desirable Ferraris that followed in its footsteps, including the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta and the 250 GTO, can directly trace their roots to the 250 GT LWB Berlinetta. With incredible alloy coachwork that was designed by Pinin Farina and hand-built by Scaglietti, this was a car that was just as beautiful to look at as it was exciting to drive.
The 250 GT LWB Berlinetta proved its worth at the Tour de France in 1956, where an early example of the model (chassis 0557 GT) raced to victory with Alfonso de Portago behind the wheel. It is worth mentioning that this was not just a few laps on a closed course, but a multi-day event consisting of 3,600 miles of all-out racing, including six circuit races, two hill climbs, and a drag race. The fact that the 250 GT LWB Berlinetta came out on top of such a gruelling event spoke not only to the performance of the car but also to the level of craftsmanship behind it.
Nineteen fifty-six would not be the only year where a 250 GT LWB Berlinetta would take 1st overall at the Tour de France. Olivier Gendenbien went on to place 1st overall for the next three consecutive years, cementing the car’s reputation in not only motorsport but also automotive history and earning the nickname of “TdF” to commemorate its success over four years of racing throughout the French countryside. It is the most successful competition 250 GT Ferrari model, as it has garnered more victories than any other model, including the revered 250 GTO.