Today the words ‘Tour de France’ are usually associated with the highest-profile race in the cycling world. But from 1899 to 1986 it was also a car race, which just like its cycling counterpart, took place over several days and in a wide variety of conditions.
The race’s inclusion of circuit races, hill climbs and a drag race required a thoroughly well-rounded car, and Ferrari designed a machine so ideally suited for these conditions, that it not only went on to dominate the competition during the second half of the 1950s — but earned itself a nickname eponymous with the race itself.
Produced in four discrete series before being succeeded by the 250 GT short-wheelbase Berlinetta, the ‘Tour de France’ was built in a modest quantity of 72 examples that are prized by collectors today for their exquisite lightweight coachwork, advanced racing mechanicals and undeniable significance in Ferrari racing history.
The Berlinetta was prepared for racing use with unusual competition features such as a rally-style passenger seat with adjustable rake and a headrest, sliding lightweight Perspex windows, bare interior door panels with simple pull-cable releases, and cabin-cooling fender vents.
The Tech Spec:
- 2,953 CC Tipo 128D SOHC V-12 Engine
- Three Weber 40 DCL/3 Carburetors
- 260 BHP at 7,000 RPM
- 4-Speed Manual Gearbox
- 4-Wheel Hydraulic Finned-Aluminum Drum Brakes
- Front Independent Suspension with Coil Springs and Lever-Action Shock Absorbers
- Rear Live Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs, and Lever-Action Shock Absorbers
In the market for a show-stopper? Take a look at Steve McQueen’s classic Porsche…
1958 Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France Berlinetta