The Ferrari 250 LM made its debut at the Paris Auto Show in 1963 and was in essence a 250 P with a roof. Pininfarina did the design, using a small wooden model in the wind tunnel to hone the shape.
As he had done with the Ferrari 250 GTO, Ferrari attempted to have the 250 LM homologated for the 3.0-liter GT class. In his mind, it was another Ferrari “250.” In fact, its roof design was similar to that of the Ferrari Series II 250 GTO. But this time, the FIA was not fooled, and it refused to homologate the LM as a GT car. Thus, it raced as a prototype.
Ironically, even the name “250 LM” was a misnomer. Only the development example of the LM had a proper 3.0-liter V-12 that went with the 250 nomenclature. Every other LM had a 3.3-liter V-12, effectively making them “275” LMs. Ready for the 1964 race season, Ferrari 250 LMs were entered in 35 races and won 10.
This Ferrari 250 LM (chassis 6025 GT) is the only 250 LM designed as a road car.
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Then, in 1965, when it was arguably old technology outgunned by true, more-cutting-edge prototypes, the Ferrari 250 LM finished 1-2 at Le Mans. Both cars were run by private teams. First overall was the entry by Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team, driven by Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt. Second was a French entry driven by Pierre Dumay and Taf Gosselin.
Throughout its career, the LM was the warrior that wouldn’t die. It often proved more reliable than Ferrari’s faster but more delicate P cars. It beat Ps in 1965 at Le Mans, and also out-performed them by winning in 1964 at Reims. The LM recorded five top-10 finishes in 1966, and it was still winning as late as 1967.
And while it never did justify Enzo’s insistence that it was a Grand Touring car, a version did make it to the street ... after a fashion. In 1965, Pininfarina created the one-off Ferrari 250 LM Berlinetta Speciale (chassis 6025 GT) as a road car. Unveiled at the New York Auto Show, this lovely machine featured fastback rear glass and cowling and boasted a comfortable interior with proper upholstery and carpets. It was painted in NART’s racing livery of white with blue stripes.
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