Car Of The Day: 1963 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 Series III Coupé
In 1960, Ferrari introduced the 250 GTE 2+2, marking its foray into the four-seater market to compete with rivals like Aston Martin and Maserati. This model was born from the immensely successful 250 GT, launched in 1954, featuring a more compact 3.0-liter V12 engine designed by Colombo.
The 250 GTE retained Ferrari’s traditional multi-tubular chassis but introduced coil springs in the independent front suspension, replacing transverse-leaf springs. It used a four-speed, all-synchromesh gearbox that, in 1959, transitioned to disc brakes and added a four-speeds-plus-overdrive gearbox in 1960.
Designed by Pininfarina, this 2+2 model retained the 250’s elegance and sportiness while extending the chassis by 200mm to accommodate two rear seats. Its wheelbase measured 2,600mm, and the V12 engine’s 240bhp ensured high performance despite increased weight. With a top speed of nearly 140mph, the 250 GTE showcased its prowess by accelerating from 0 to 100mph and back to a stop in just 25 seconds, even with two passengers.
The 250 GTE became a resounding success for Ferrari, with three series and minor changes to the dashboard and lighting arrangements during its production run until 1963. With 950 units sold, it became Ferrari’s most popular and commercially triumphant model at the time.