Italian Flag Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 ~ 1960-63

Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2The story of Enzo Ferrari’s first 2+2 production four seater sports car is one tumultuous affair going from denial of the prancing horse badge by car collectors, to an epiphany moment of what an understated and classy Grand Tourer the 1960 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 really is.Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2

The longer wheelbase tubular ladder frame chassis of 2600 mm (102.4 in) was chosen to accommodate the rear seats, and the steel body with aluminum doors, hood and trunk lid was penned by Enzo’s favorite designer, PininFarina. The lines were very conservative for a Ferrari, but the GTE’s intent was to travel comfortably at great pace with four adults on board without waving flags all around you.Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2

The exposed upright round headlights were slightly set inside the fenders with a metal strip running along the middle of the hood. The egg-crate grill had driving lights at each corner of it, and a side front fender 12 louvers air vent helped keep the engine bay cool. The fender lines run straight from front to rear with little finned out rear fenders, the taillights were composed of two vertical round lights with reflective units on top. All these light components were set inside a cat-pupil like chrome casting. To allow for plenty of light and visibility, large three quarter rear side windows could be opened to vent the cockpit. As usual the quad-tail pipes could be seen under a chrome bumper with over-riders also found at the front. To complete our 250 GTE, a set of beautiful chromed Borrani wire wheels set this diva apart from the ordinary two-door coupe.

Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2The interior was as usual fitted with Veglia dials including four small gauges placed linearly on the right side of the leather padded top dashboard. Overseeing this array of dials was a wooden Nardi steering wheel (some right hand drive models were also built), while the center console and transmission tunnel were also covered with leather. The four-speed gearbox received a Laycock de Normanville electric overdrive, as used in Jaguars, to give the 250 GTE longer transcontinental legs. The GTE had a genuine rear seat for two adults, these leather seats were slightly bucketed with an armrest in the middle making long trips more pleasant with a second ashtray for the rear occupants. To allow for more interior space, the 3 liter (180 cu in) V12 Colombo engine was moved 8 in (20 cm) forward giving the 250 GTE some “understeering” behavior if you pushed it into corners a little too hard, but top handling capability wasn’t the GTE’s card, Grand Touring was.Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2

In 1962 the 250 GTE series II was introduced, don’t wait for a long list of updates on this second series because there just aren’t any. The only update was done on the dashboard now fitted with five small gauges above the center console, with three on top and two just underneath.

Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2The real changes will come a year later in 1963 with the 250 GTE series III. The series III saw its front extra driving lamps going from the grill to below the headlights offsetting the turning signals outward. The dashboard again received tiny changes and the taillights became one long vertical unit making more sense visually. With this taillight update, you could now say that the 1962 Peugeot 404 Coupé, also designed by PininFarina, was the 250 GTE’s semi-twin brother.

Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2The front independent suspension stayed the same with double wishbones and coil springs, but the rear leaf springs on the rear axle were happily replaced by coil springs making the rear more stable on poor road surfaces. With 240 hp at 7000 rpm, the 0-60 mph was accomplished in 7.5 seconds with a 137 mph (220 km/h) top speed…not too bad for a 1960 four seater.Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2

After 955 Ferrari 250 GTEs were produced, a very small batch of 50 Ferrari 330 America 2+2s were assembled in 1963 alone. This evolution of the 250 GTE was essentially the same car aside from the V12 now stretched to 4 liter (242 cu in) and developing 300 hp at a lower 6600 rpm giving the rare 330 America a new top speed of 146 mph (235 km/h) and a 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds.Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 Sadly when prices of any two seater Ferraris went stratospheric in the late 80’s early 90’s, many 250 GTE 2+2s were chopped to produce batches of fake GTOs and SWBs. These days, collectors have finally recognized the true value and the historical importance of the first production Ferrari four seater, which also by its high sales volume of 1005 cars, might have saved Ferrari from bankruptcy in the early 60’s. Today nobody is denying its simple classic beauty, elegance, performance and practicality… and that takes a not so “average” Ferrari to accomplish this.

JJP.

Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 Specifications
Model/Year Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 / 1960-63 Ferrari 330 America 2+2 / 1963
Designer Pinin Farina  
Engine Type All alloy V12 @ 60˚, SOHC. 2V All alloy V12 @ 60˚, SOHC. 2V
Capacity 2953 cc / 180 cu in 3967 cc / 242 cu in
Fuel Feed 3 Weber 40 DCL/6 carb. 3 Weber 40 DCZ or DCL/6 carb.
Power 240 hp @ 7000 rpm 300 hp @ 6600 rpm
Torque 195 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm  
Transmission 4 speed + OD - RWD  
Top Speed 137 mph - 220 km/h 146 mph - 235 km/h
"0-60" mph - 0-100 km/h 7.5 sec 6.5
Chassis Oval Steel Tubular  
Weelbase 2600 mm / 102.4 in  
Front Suspension 2 Wishbones, Coil Springs, Tube Shocks. Anti-roll Bar  
Rear Suspension Live Axle - Semi-elliptic Leave Springs  
Brakes Disc all Around  
Front Tires    
Rear Tires    
Steering    
Weight 2932 lb / 1330 kg (depending on coachwork)  
Country of Origin Italy  
Production Num. 299 SI, 356 SII, 300 SIII (955 Total) 50
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Ferrari 330 America 2+2 - Same very practical &
Intercontinental rear amenities as the 250 GTE .
Ferrari 330 America 2+2 - Same interior as the 250 GTE Series III.
Ferrari 330 America 2+2 - Same front-end as the 250 GTE Series III.
Ferrari 330 America 2+2 -V12 Colombo engine enlarged from 3 L
(180 cu in) in the 250 GTE to 4L (242 cu in) in the 330 America.
Ferrari 330 America 2+2 - The rare America had
the same exact chassis & body as the 250 GTE.
Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 - Plenty of leg & headroom
for two adults... ashtray for the kids only!
Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 - PininFarina got inspired by the GTE for his next
Peugeot project... the 1961 Peugeot 404 Cabriolet/1962 Coupe.
Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 - Beautiful Borani chrome wire wheels &
bumper (overriders missing) giving an instant classic look (SIII).
Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 - Long rear quarter windows with
thin pillars gives a great all around visibility (SIII).
Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 -Long profile for the first Ferrari 4 seater (SIII).
Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 - Series III 12 louvers air-vent.
Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 - Series II "Cat pupil eyes" tail light (overriders missing).
Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 - Series II Pure Italian 60's small & clean straight fins .
Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 - Series III with extra driving
lamps below the headlights, while the long chrome
trim remained on the hood (overriders missing).
Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 - Series II with extra driving lamps
inside the egg-crate grill & long chrome trim on the hood.