Due to its successful history in competition, rarity, and undeniable gorgeous design, the Ferrari 250 GTO has become the crown jewel in any car collection. Any car enthusiast will be thrilled to see one up close, and in this year’s Salon Privé Week, they will showcase two of these legendary machines at the Blenheim Palace.
In 1962, Ferrari introduced the GTO achieving the pinnacle of success in the development of the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta series which started back in 1956 and has laid down the foundation of what will become a Ferrari legend. The motorsport’s GT class was completely dominated by the 250 GT Berlinettas and they were quite successful in the very challenging Tour de France, claiming victory in the event for nine years in a row.
After the success of the 250 GT Short Wheelbase, Giotto Bizzarrini oversaw the development of the GTO in Ferrari’s Gestione Sportiva. after the infamous ‘Palace Coup’ in the latter parts of 1961, he left Maranello. The young Mauro Forghieri was then tasked to finish the gargantuan task. The chassis was still based on the Short Wheelbase, but they did have a lot of upgrades like the all-new Scaglietti bodywork, a dry-sump lubrication, five-speed gearbox, and six carburetors for the latest Giocchino Colombo-designed V12 engine.
They came out with a beautifully engineered car that dominated everything it entered be it road-rallies or hillclimbs, circuit racing or endurance events. In 1962, the International Championship for GT Manufacturers was considered to be the World Sportscar Championship, and in this the GTO dominated. It recorded a maximum score and easily swept aside its Aston Martin and Jaguar rivals. It repeated its performance in 1963, and despite the fierce fight that Carroll Shelby and his Daytona Cobra put up, the GTO still came out victorious.
The two GTOs that the Salon Privé Week will be featuring have exceptional histories. Chassis number 3767GT was owned by renowned British privateer David Piper. It was the first of two GTOs he would own, and it had a unique green finish. In August 1962, it made its debut at the Brands Hatch. A month after, Piper and his friend Dan Margulies brought it to Tour de France and won fourth place.
In November of the same year, Piper made his first trip to South Africa bringing the 3767GT where he claimed victory at the Kyalami Nine Hours. He also got third place in the Angola Grand Prix. In early 1963, the GTO was shipped to the US. He then drove it to Florida from New York and subsequently raced it at Daytona and Sebring.
It was acquired by Ed Cantrell who continued to use 3767GT from 1963 to 1964 then sold it to Tom Fleming and it was then that the GTO retired from its period competition career.
Chassis 4399GT will be joining 3767GT at Salon Privé. It was sold new to the renowned Maranello Concessionaires equipe of Colonel Ronnie Hoare in 1963. With Mike Parkes at the wheel, it claimed victory in its first two races at Goodwood and Silverstone. In August 1963 the reigning Formula One World Champion Graham Hill drove it to victory in the Tourist Trophy.
Before the 1964 season, 4399GT was one of only four existing GTOs that was able to get the revised bodywork that Ferrari developed. Three more GTOs were built new with the 1964 bodywork. Though its shaped changed, its form definitely did not. Graham Hill again drove the 4399GT to victory at Goodwood and Silverstone. Mike Parkes also claimed victory with it in the Spa 500km. At the Le Mans 24 Hours, Innes Ireland and Tony Maggs got sixth overall and second in class.
Salon Privé Director Andrew Bagley shared, “Values of GTOs mean that they rarely come. So, for us to be welcoming not one, but two of these amazing cars to Salon Privé is an honour and a privilege. Few cars have the charisma of a GTO, and it will be a special moment to see them lining up together in front of Blenheim Palace. It’ll be particularly exciting to have David Piper as our special guest on Wednesday 1 September – we’re looking forward to reuniting him with 3767GT and hearing all about his adventures.”
In the Salon Privé Week, there will also be more Italian greats on display, most notably the newest feature for 2021 which is The Red Collection which will be displayed on Blenheim Palace’s famous cricket pitch. The exclusive curated display is being kept under wraps until it is unveiled during the event. They did reveal that the collection will have last year’s Best of Show winner, 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza Zagato Spider and one of the greatest supercars, the Ferrari F40.
Everything is in place for another memorable Salon Privé Week as they have programs like the Ladies’ Day presented by Boodles on Friday, on Saturday they have the Salon Privé Club Trophy presented by Lockton, and the much awaited Classic and Supercar event will happen on Sunday.
Salon Privé Week 2021
September 1 – Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance presented by Aviva
September 2 – Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance presented by Aviva
September 3 – Salon Privé Ladies’ Day presented by Boodles
September 4 – Salon Privé Club Trophy presented by Lockton
September 5 – Salon Privé Classic & Supercar
Those who are interested to attend can purchase tickets at www.salonpriveconcours.com or call the Ticket Hotline at 0808 100 2205.