Ferrari 250 GT Competition TDF ~ 1956-59
After introducing their first “Ferrari to the masses”, the 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Boano/Ellena, Ferrari also offered alongside it a GT racer for privateers and racing teams wanting a little fun on the racing circuits. This car was the 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competition.
The 250 GT Competition was so successful during the “Tour de France” race between 1956 and 1962, that it got unofficially renamed the 250 GT “TDF” after the French race. Ferrari won a total of seven times during this grueling 10 day event with the 250 TDF, and twice later on with the 250 GTO before the race got canceled.
Almost all 250 TDFs bodies were hand-built by master coachbuilder Sergio Scaglietti in Modena with aluminium panels after Pinin Farina’s design, but a small batch have also been built by Zagato with its dual bubble roof trademark.
The interiors varied depending on request and body style, but the usual three branche Nardi wooden steering wheel, and large Veglia dials placed on a body color coded metal dashboard were traditional. Facing the dashboard were two deep bucket seats, which were the only creature comforts in this race purpose built sports car.
The tubular ladder frame chassis used was the 2600 mm (102.4 in) wheelbase unit, and it was fitted with the 3 liter (180 cu in), V12 Colombo engine developing between 240 and 260 hp at 7000 rpm depending on the specification. It was then matted to an all synchronized four speed gearbox. Performance varied from one TDF to the next but an average 6.5 seconds to get to 60 mph from a standstill was possible, while a 155 mph (250 km/h) top speed was achievable with the most aerodynamic TDF’s design.
The second series dubbed the “14 louver”, had covered headlights with 14 louvered air-vents on the rear pillars, and small rear fender fins with vertical taillights and quad-exhaust pipes.
The third series arrived in 1957 and was basically a second series with now 3 large louvers instead of 14.
The fifth series cars for 1959 had exposed headlights due to a new Italian regulation, but foremost the 2400 mm (94.5 in) short wheelbase chassis was used instead of the 2600 mm (102.4 in) unit making the last Ferrari 250 TDF more nimble on the small and curvy European roads.
The sixth series was a little different in the sense that it was a precursor to the 250 GT SWB. It was offered on a 2600 mm (102.4 in) wheelbase chassis, and received the 250 TDF engine, but it featured all the good looks of a 250 SWB… not that any TDFs are ugly, au contraire mon frere. Having a chassis 20 cm (8 in) longer, the sixth series TDF had a rear quarter window not seen on any SWB cars that would follow and is sometimes referred to as a 250 GT LWB Interim.
Eighty-four Ferrari 250 GT Competition TDFs were produced between 1956 and 1959, all of them more or less unique to one another, with beautiful elongated lines and most of them with very elegant covered headlights, small rear fins, rear pillar louvers and side front fender air vents. This artwork made Scaglietti one of the most refined and harmonious coachbuilders of its time. The Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France was the beginning of a long and successful series of Ferrari 250 GTs fitted with the 3 liter V12 Colombo engine that would reign over racetracks for a decade, and helped create the Ferrari mystique that we know today.
|Model/Year||Ferrari 250 GT TDF / 1956-59|
|Designer||Pinin Farina / Zagato|
|Engine Type||All alloy V12 @ 60˚, SOHC. 2V|
|Capacity||2953 cc / 180 cu in|
|Fuel Feed||3 Weber 36 DCL carb.|
|Power||240-260 hp @ 7000 rpm|
|Torque||195 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm|
|Transmission||4-5 speed - RWD|
|Top Speed||155 mph - 250 km/h|
|"0-60" mph - 0-100 km/h||6,5 sec|
|Chassis||Oval Steel Tubular|
|Weelbase||2600 mm / 102.4 in|
|Front Suspension||2 Wishbones, Coil Springs, Houdaille dampers. Anti-roll Bar|
|Rear Suspension||Live axle, Semi-elliptic leave springs, Houdaille dampers|
|Front Tires||16 x 5 in|
|Rear Tires||16 x 5 in|
|Weight||2315 lb / 1050 kg (depending on coachwork)|
|Country of Origin||Italy|