The Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta
Years produced: 1959-1962
Number built: 165 (75 with aluminum body)
If the golden age of the sports car is defined as the era in which a performance machine could be driven to the track, raced with a chance of winning, then driven home, the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta is the crown jewel of that luminous age.
Here was a taught coupe packing Ferrari's classic 3.0-liter V-12 and dressed in exquisite Pininfarina bodywork. With up to 280 horsepower and just 2,350 pounds of curb weight, the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta was a tiger on the road and, with little more than taped-up headlights, could be a terror on the track. Those fitted with aluminum instead of steel body panels, slightly stiffer suspensions, and a bit of engine tuning, were still roadable, but were also winners in storied races at such places as Le Mans and Sebring and Monza.
That something so beautiful to the eye could also be so brutal to the competition, and yet function as everyday transportation, was a remarkable achievement, one that defines the dual-purpose sports car and places the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta solidly among of the five most collectible Ferraris.