We’ve all heard of Ferrari. It’s arguably the most famous luxury car brand on the planet. But, that couldn’t have always been the case. At one point, Ferrari was just a new manufacturer. Let’s revisit Ferrari’s most iconic cars throughout their history:
Ferrari 250 GTO
One of the most valuable and sought-after cars in the world, the 250 GTO was produced from 1962 to 1964. The “GTO” stands for Gran Turismo Omologato, which means “homologated for grand touring”. The 250 GTO was designed to compete in the FIA’s Group 3 Grand Touring Car category. The 250 GTO was based on the Ferrari 250 platform, which included the short wheelbase Ferrari 250 SWB and long wheelbase Ferrari 250 LWB. The body of the car was designed by Giotto Bizzarrini, while Sergio Scaglietti designed and built the steel bodywork. The engine of the 250 GTO was a 3.0-litre V12 that could produce up to 300 horsepower. The suspension consisted of independent front suspension with coil springs and live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs. The brakes were disc brakes all around. A total of 36 examples of the Ferrari 250 GTO were built, including 33 cars for competition and three cars for development purposes/testing. All of the cars were hand-built by a small team of workers at Scaglietti’s workshop in Modena, Italy. In 2012, one example of the Ferrari 250 GTO sold at auction for $38 million, making it the most expensive car ever sold at auction at that time.
Ferrari Dino 246 GTS
Named after Enzo Ferrari’s son Alfredo (Dino), this gorgeous mid-engine sports car was produced from 1972 to 1974. Just 1,274 were made and today they remain highly coveted by collectors. The Dino 246 GTS was a sports car produced by Italian automaker Ferrari from 1968 to 1974. The Dino 246 GTS was the successor to the Dino 206 GT and featured a 2.4-litre V6 engine that produced 195 hp. The 246 GTS was also significantly lighter than its predecessor, weighing in at just 1,100 kg. The Dino 246 GTS quickly became a favorite among collectors and enthusiasts thanks to its sleek design and impressive performance. In fact, many consider the Dino 246 GTS to be one of the best Ferraris ever made. It’s certainly one of the most iconic cars to come out of Maranello, and it’s easy to see why it remains such a popular choice among classic car fans today.
The Testarossa is a mid-engine sports car that was produced by Ferrari from 1984 to 1991. The Testarossa name paid homage to the famed World Sportscar Championship Ferrari race car of the 1950s and 1960s, which had been known as the “Red Head” for its red paint job. The Testarossa can trace its roots back to March 1981, when Maurizio Baldissera drew up plans for a successor to the then-current 512 BBi. The new model would be positioned as an upscale alternative to cars like the Lamborghini Countach and Porsche 911 Turbo; it was also intended as a replacement for Ferrari’s own Daytona, which had ceased production in 1974. Baldissera’s initial design concepts were unveiled to the public at the 1982 Geneva Motor Show, but they received mixed reviews. Many observers felt that Baldissera had incorporated too many styling cues from other contemporary Ferraris, resulting in a hodgepodge appearance. In response, Pininfarina was brought on board to refine Baldissera’s ideas into a more cohesive design. After several months of development work, the first prototype of the Testarossa made its debut at the 1984 Paris Motor Show. Its most distinctive feature was its “side strakes”, which were functional vents intended to cool the car’s rear-mounted radiators (the Testarossa did away with conventional front-mounted radiators altogether). The strakes also served another purpose: they helped distinguish the Testarossa from its predecessor, which did not have them. Initial customer reaction to the Testarossa was very positive, and orders began rolling in immediately. Production officially commenced in March 1985, with deliveries following shortly thereafter (European customers got their cars first; North American buyers had to wait until 1986). From a performance standpoint, there was little difference between the European-spec and US-spec Testarossas; both were powered by a 4.9 liter flat-12 engine that produced 380 horsepower and 361 lb.-ft of torque (North American cars were slightly detuned due to stricter emissions regulations). This gave the Testarossa impressive straightline performance: 0-60 mph took just 5 seconds flat, while top speed was an electronically limited 156 mph (Ferrari later increased this limit to 180 mph). Despite its high price tag (it cost roughly $200,000 when new), demand for the Testarossa remained strong throughout its production run. By 1991 though, it was starting to show its age; newer rivals like Lamborghini’s Diablo and Porsche’s 959 had eclipsed it in terms of performance and prestige. As such, Ferrari decided to discontinue the model after just over 7500 examples had been built – making it one of the rarer Ferraris on today’s market.
Ferrari 512 TR
The Ferrari 512 TR was a sports car produced by Ferrari from 1991 to 1996. It was the successor to the Ferrari Testarossa, and was replaced by the Ferrari F512M in 1996. The 512 TR features a 5.0 L Tipo F113 flat-12 engine that produces 428 hp at 7,000 rpm and 361 lb·ft of torque at 5500 rpm. The 512 TR saw several changes over its predecessor, the Testarossa. These included enlarged side intakes, new five-spoke wheels, a revised suspension setup, and a more powerful engine with dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) rather than the single overhead camshaft (SOHC) used on the Testarossa. The interior also saw some changes, with new seats and revised switchgear. Despite these changes, the 512 TR remained largely similar to the Testarossa in terms of performance. It could accelerate from 0–60 mph in 4.8 seconds and had a top speed of 188 mph. In addition to being faster than its predecessor, the 512 TR also handled better thanks to its revised suspension setup. Although it was only produced for a few years, the Ferrari 512TR remains an iconic sports car thanks to its aggressive styling and impressive performance figures.
Ferrari continues to amaze with its innovations throughout history. If you’re considering investing in Ferrari, know that you’re considering investing in history.