1965 Ferrari 250 LM Berlinetta

Cars that were once wild girlfriends have become trophy wives, with all the cattiness that accompanies competitive collecting

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By 1962, it was becoming clear that the 250 GTO was no longer competitive, and something completely new was required. So starting in 1961, Ferrari began experimenting with a rear-engine design.

A series of V6 and V8 prototypes named “Dino,” after Ferrari’s late son, were developed, and their early success seemed to show that Ferrari was on the right track. The new layout provided better balance and improved traction with the engine over the driving wheels. The result was the 250 P.
Completely new in appearance, it incorporated a rear-mounted transaxle and a dry-sump version of the venerable V12 engine. The 250 P enjoyed considerable success, including the ultimate sports car racing achievement-victory at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans.

With a replacement for the 250 GTO now due, the easiest solution was to put a roof on the 250 P. Pininfarina accepted the assignment, and the result was the unconventional but undeniably pretty 250 Le Mans Berlinetta, or 250 LM. The only hurdle remaining was homologation in the GT class. Enzo Ferrari told the FIA that the new 250 LM was a variant of the 250 GTO. Even the car’s name was part of the strategy. Given that all but the first prototype were fitted with the 3.3-liter version of the Columbo V12, the car should have been called the 275 LM. Unfortunately, it was all in vain, as even the FIA could not be convinced that the radically new sports car, with its rear engine, transaxle, and all new bodywork, was in any way related to the GTO.

The 1965 Ferrari Berlinetta presented here, 250 LM s/n 6173, was sold in April 1965 to the Italian Scuderia Sant Ambroeus Racing Team. Driver Edoardo Lualdi Gabardi scored fine placings in Italian club races, while in international events, drivers Tarainazzo/Signala teamed up for several successful events, including a first in class at the 1965 Targa Florio. The Scuderia then sold 6173 to Swiss Ferrari dealer Peter Monteverdi, who registered the car for street use for its subsequent owner.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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