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250 SWB Berlinetta Recreation by Chris Lawrence
This stunning recreation of what is arguably Ferrari’s most iconic GT, the 250 SWB Berlinetta, is the work of the late Chris Lawrence, whose renowned workshop also produced the famous Favre GTOs, the 450s and the California Spider. In rare RHD form this car combines the best features of the 250 SWB series, uniting sensational styling with breath-taking performance, making it both a superb road and race car.
Launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1959 on a shorter (2400mm) chassis than its famous predecessor the Ferrari Tour de France, the apty named Short Wheel Base 250GT was available as either a steel bodied ‘street’ car with sumptuous ‘lusso’ interior, for road use, or as a lightweight all alloy bodied ‘Competizione’ race car, as favoured by the likes of Stirling Moss, with perspex side windows and spartan trim. In either guise the 250GT SWB was the ultimate Granturismo, and quickly established itself as the gentleman racer’s car of choice, being civilised enough to drive to and from the circuit yet powerful enough, with its legendary V12 3-litre Columbo engine, to be truly competitive on the track.
Towards the end of production Ferrari produced a limited number of all-alloy ‘Lusso’ cars, which combined the lightweight body and the leather interiors and painted dash, and these were extremely rare, particularly in RHD form. Today Ferrari devotee Eric Clapton has one in his collection.
Our car recreates one of these rare RHD aluminium ‘Lusso’ cars, and closely resembles the pale blue metallic model once owned by the millionaire landowner Lord Portman. Indeed our car was also once owned by Lord Portman, when it was in its former guise as a 1963 Ferrari GTE. In a curious quirk of fate Portman sold his beloved SWB to buy the GTE as this, with its 2+2 configuration, was a more appropriate car for his young family.
By 2005 the original car was beyond restoration and became the basis of our recreation. Chris Lawrence crafted the sublimely beautiful aluminium body and fabricated the authentic SWB chassis. However work stopped abruptly following Chris Lawrence’s untimely death and the car was assembled and completed by respected marque specialist GTO Engineering in 2008. Now run-in following a complete engine rebuild, which features GTO’s rocker arm conversion, which dramatically reduces valve guide wear, the car also benefits from the fitting of a limited slip differential and Kenlowe engine heater to reduce wear on start-up. In Azurro metalico and beige leather (with adaptable seats to accommodate a taller driver), this car is in mint condition and has been fastidiously maintained by its owner.
Nowadays considered one of the most desirable cars ever built, and with originals selling for over £2m, 250 SWB recreations are highly sought-after, and particularly scarce in RHD guise, so this is rare opportunity to acquire a very authentic recreation, which should be eligible for FIA (HTP) papers, subject to appropriate preparation.
This car is also due to appear in a forthcoming issue of Sportbilen, the leading Swedish classic car magazine. The pictures seen here of the car in action have been reproduced courtesy of Sportbilen and photographer Peter Gunnars.
There is a large VAT element in this price which could be reclaimed if the car is purchased through a business or outside the EU.
Please enquire for further details.