Ferrari built the 250P (prototype) to compete in the newly created prototype class of the World Sportscar Championship. The revolutionary design featured Ferrari’s first-ever 12-cylinder, mid-engine effort. The 250P would dominate early with victories at Sebring, Le Mans, and the Nürburgring – to name but a few. Ferrari only built four in total.
This car was created to go against the Americans, since their cars were getting more powerful each year and were a threat to beat the Ferraris’ long lasting competitor, the 250 GTO. The 250 P Started in 1962 with a remodeled 246 SP that had a longer wheelbase at 94.5” to fashion the new V12, 3 liter, Testa Rossa engine.
The final form of the 250 P was fashioned with a Pininfarina design body, where there were only four models constructed in time for the upcoming season in 1963. The initial testing of these cars was done at the Modena racetrack in November of 1962, though the official public presentation of the car wasn’t until March of the following year at the Monza circuit.
These cars raced at the 12 hours of Sebring, Targa Florio, Nurburgring, and of course Le Mans. Two 250 Ps were sent to the 1963 12 hours of Sebring, where they placed first and second. Before the Nürburgring race, these cars were modified with an overhung clutch behind the gearbox axle assembly instead of being directly behind the engine flywheel, which was inverted. The bulge you see in the rear panel is the result of this modification. Another 250 P was the winner of the Nurburgring in 1963 with a 250 GTO coming in second.
The car shown here was the overall winner at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans driven by Ludovico Scarfiotti and Lorenzo Bandini. They had an impressive victory as they were 16 laps ahead of the second place car. The next year, at the 1964 12 Hours at Sebring, it came in second overall. Sadly in 1966, this car caught fire, which ended its career.
This car is part of the world-renowned Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum.