Considered the most beautiful car ever built, the Ferrari 250 Berlinetta “Passo Corto”, in English, Short Wheel Base or SWB, was built from 1959 to 1962 in 176 pieces.
The 250 SWB is the most perfect car ever designed, says Engineer Lorenzo Ramaciotti, from 1972 to 2005 in Pininfarina where from 1988 he was General Manager of Pininfarina Studi e Ricerche and since 2002 Managing Director and CEO of Pininfarina Ricerca and Sviluppo, because of the perfect balance of its volumes. During all my years in Pininfarina I did try to copy this amazing recipe but, with today rules and requirements it is impossible to achieve the same results.
250 SWB are equipped with the mythical V12 3.0 liters engine designed by Engineer Gioacchino Colombo, capable of about 240 to 280 HP depending on the specification and equipped with Weber carburetors. Road version were usually supplied with 3 Weber 36 DCZ carburetors, while for the racing versions there were several possible solutions, including three Weber 40 DCL/6 or 6 Weber 38 DCN.
The nickname SWB, officially never used by Ferrari, is linked with the chassis, now type 539, shortened to 2400 millimeters from the original 2600 millimeters equipping the 250.
The 250 SWB is officially launched at the 1959 Paris Motor Show. In May 1960, the second series is presented, with minimal modification to some details of the body. At the beginning of the production, all the cars are of the “Competizione” (racing) version, with aluminum alloy body. In July 1960, in England, is delivered the first “Lusso” specification SWB, with steel body, a slightly less powerful engine, descending side windows and bumpers.
The Ferrari Berlinetta SWB won the GT class of the 1961 Constructor's Championship and the 1960, 1961 and 1962 editions of the grueling Tour de France Automobile race, the 1960 and 1961 edition of the Goodwood Tourist Trophy and the GT Class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and, the 1961 and 1962 Nürburgring 1000 Kilometers.
After the 250 GTO is today considered the most collectable Berlinetta Ferrari.