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GTO Engineering 250 TR Revival

A stunning tribute to the 1958 Ferrari Testa Rossa

Ferrari 250 TR (Testa Rossa)

If you’re truly looking for one of the most iconic sports car racers of the 1950s, look no further than the 3.0 litre Ferrari 250 “Testa Rossa.” Within just a few short years, it became one of the most iconic and successful racing cars in automotive history. Born out of Ferrari’s ambition to dominate the World Sportscar Championship, the 250 TR is still hailed as a masterpiece of design. Its origins trace back to Ferrari’s need to comply with new regulations introduced by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), which required sports cars to use production-based engines. Enzo Ferrari and his team took the already potent 3.0-liter V12 engine from the 250 GT and optimized it for racing, resulting in a powerplant capable of producing around 300 horsepower.

The 250 TR’s development was marked by meticulous attention to aerodynamics and weight reduction. The car featured a distinctive “pontoon” fender design, created by Scaglietti, which not only gave it a unique and aggressive look but also improved airflow and cooling. The lightweight tubular steel chassis and aluminum bodywork yielded impressive performance.

Race Proven

Ferrari 250 TRs were extremely competitive during its time, winning 10 World Sportscar Championship races including the 1958, 1960, and 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the 1958, 1959 and 1961 12 Hours of Sebring. Top-shelf drivers included Phil Hill, Olivier Gendebien, Luigi Musso, Peter Collins, Dan Gurney, Wolfgang von Trips and Mike Hawthorn. These results earned Ferrari the 1958, 1960 and 1961 Constructor’s World Sportscar Championship titles.

Period reviews

Road tests and reviews from the era were glowing. “Road & Track” lauded the 250 TR’s performance and handling, stating, “The Ferrari 250 TR is a marvel of engineering and a joy to drive. Its V12 engine delivers immense power smoothly and reliably, making it a formidable competitor on any track.” “Car and Driver” echoed these sentiments, highlighting the car’s balance and agility: “The 250 TR is not just about raw power; it’s about the finesse and precision with which it handles. Ferrari has created a car that is both beautiful and brutally effective.”

The quest to recreate the past

GTO Engineering was founded in 1983 by Mark Lyon as an independent specialist in classic Ferraris. The business flourished, attracting a steady stream of cars. In 1996, Mark was joined by his friend and colleague Kevin Jones, and together they started manufacturing their own parts. In the early 2000s, the business became a family affair with the involvement of Mark and Kevin’s sons, including Lee Jones. They also acquired Tony Merrick’s workshop near Twyford, Berkshire, which remains the company’s home base today. In 2011, James Crossland joined the team, and together they expanded GTO into the world’s largest classic Ferrari specialist, with international operations in Twyford, UK; Atlanta, Georgia; Los Angeles, California; and Maranello, Italy.

Enter the 250 TR Revival

Because of extremely limited production, not to mention eye-watering values, the ability to own a “real” Ferrari 250 TR is simply not within the reach of most. However, GTO Engineering has carefully recreated Ferrari’s milestone racer with exacting standards such that the average enthusiast wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. This example is one such masterpiece, and is currently available through Pagani of Beverly Hills.

Above content © 2024 GTO Engineering LTD reviewed and edited by Rex McAfee

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