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Iconic beauty in the spirit of speed: The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta

The 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB Berlinetta for sale represents an unparalleled opportunity to own an iconic piece of automotive history. This example, chassis 2563GT, is the 78th of only 165 250 SWB Berlinettas produced. Distinguished by its shorter wheelbase and elegant yet muscular Pininfarina design, the 250 SWB was powered by a potent Colombo V12 producing around 280 horsepower.

This example was ordered with competition carburetors from the factory, hinting at its performance potential which the first owner fulfilled by campaigning the car in hillclimbs and circuit races in the early 1960s. Over the decades, the 250 SWB has passed through the hands of noteworthy collectors and specialists, receiving a Ferrari Classiche certification under current ownership to prove its authenticity. In excellent original condition, the Ferrari 250 SWB Berlinetta must be considered the Genesis car that started Ferrari’s legendary line of mid-engine GT masterpieces.

Year of manufacture5/1961
Mileage67 500 km / 41 943 mi
Car typeCoupé
Chassis number2563GT
Competition carYes
FIA PapersYes
Exterior brand colourRosso Chiaro
Interior colourBlack
Interior typeLeather
Number of doors2
Exterior colourRed
Performance242 BHP / 246 PS / 181 kW
Fuel typePetrol

The Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta by Scaglietti is renowned for its short-wheelbase design, measuring 2,400mm, which is 200mm shorter than the standard 250GT. Its bodywork, considered Pinin Farina’s masterpiece and constructed by Scaglietti, showcases its elegance. Under the hood, the 250GT SWB is powered by Ferrari’s lightweight and compact Colombo-designed 3.0-liter V12 engine. With three twin-choke Weber carburetors, this all-aluminum power unit produces 280bhp at 7,000rpm in competition tune, enabling the car to reach a top speed of 150mph and deliver impressive acceleration.

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The specifications of the 250 GT SWB could be tailored to meet the preferences of individual customers, whether for road or track use. The competition models were fitted with lightweight aluminum-alloy bodies, and it was this special version that paved the way for the iconic GTO of 1962. In total, only 165 SWB models were built, with 91 featuring steel-bodied Lusso street-car configuration and 74 sporting alloy coachwork specifically designed for racing.

This particular 250 GT SWB, with chassis number 2563GT, rolled off the factory production line in April 1961. It holds the distinction of being the 78th unit produced out of the limited production run. The car was originally sold to its first owner, A. Demetriadi of Italy, through the Fontanella dealership on May 15th. Notably, it was ordered with competition 40-DLC-6 carburetors, similar to those found on the ‘Competizione’ Aluminum models. According to the Ferrari Classiche certification, the car was originally finished in Grigio Conchiglia 16249M (Shell grey) with Pelle Connolly VM 3171 (dark red) interior.

After two years, the car made its way to Switzerland and was acquired by Daniel Siebenmann of Bern, who registered it as BE74827. Siebenmann raced the car under the banner of Écurie Biennoise, participating in the Auvergne 3 hrs in Clermont-Ferrand on July 7th, 1963. Despite fierce competition, including the likes of the 250 GTO and 250 TR/i, Siebenmann achieved an honorable 23rd overall finish. He also participated in the Ollon-Villars hillclimb, where he secured 7th place in the GT class. The same month, Siebenmann raced the car at the Sierre-Crans Montana hillclimb. In the following year, he sold 2563GT, and it eventually found its way to the United States.

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In 1970, the car was acquired by Roger Gaskin of Beverly Hills. Almost a decade later, in 1979, it returned to Switzerland through broker Charles Gnädinger and was sold to René Meister. During this period, the car received a different engine. It had three subsequent Swiss owners, primarily through Foitek, until it was finally purchased by renowned Swiss collector Jean Pierre Slavic of Mies. Slavic owned the car for 17 years, from 1984 to 2001, and participated in the 1998 Tour Auto with race number 154. In 2001, Slavic traded 2563GT for a 275 GTB/C 9027 from Anthony Bamford. The following year, the car underwent a complete engine check-up at GTO Engineering.

On May 2002, Swiss collector Stanislas de Sadeleer acquired 2563GT and registered it with license plates BE78506. De Sadeleer participated in various historic events from 2002 to 2006, including the Tour Auto and Le Mans Classic. During this time, the car underwent important maintenance at Ferrari specialist Traber in Bern. In 2006, the car was sold to Traber and then passed on to UK collector Mark Stolkin of Chelsea in 2007. In 2008, esteemed Swiss collector Pierre Mellinger acquired 2563GT, exchanging it for his Ferrari 250 GT Lusso 4509GT. Mellinger participated in the Tour Auto twice, in 2009 and 2010.

Today, chassis number 2563GT is part of a significant Ferrari collection and is presented in excellent condition. It comes with its Ferrari Classiche Certification and an extensivehistory file, making it a remarkable opportunity to acquire one of Ferrari and Pininfarina’s greatest achievements. The car’s period race history includes notable appearances at the Auvergne 3hrs, Ollon-Villars Hillclimb, and Sierre-Crans Montana Hillclimb, adding to its unique and storied past.

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