1952 Ferrari 250 Sport

Ferrari prepared the 250 Sport as a factory race car for the 1952 Season. The sole car debuted at the 1952 Mille Miglia where Giovanni Bracco and Alfonso Rolfo piloted it to outright victory.

During the Mille Miglia, Ferrari was up against the recently-released 300 SL from Mercedes-Benz. One driven by Karl Kling dominated nearly the entire race, but was passed on the Futa Pass by Braco near the end of the race. Braco was a regular hill-climb racer and could use the 250 Sport to its full potential.

Their car was a small sports coupe developed by Vignale for outright performance. Like other Berlinettas, it had a very low-set roof and canted front windscreen. Having a roof was particularly advantageous for the wet edition of the 1952 Mille Miglia.

The 250 Sport was largely based on the 225 Sport and both models were an evolution of the 212 Export racing models with slightly larger engines. The engine was enlarged from a bore of 70 to 73mm and this model became the first in a successful series of Ferrari 250s.

After the Mille Miglia, Ferrari used the car for Alberto Ascari and Villoresi to drive. Ascari said it was “the best car I have driven since I started racing!.”2 He beat the lap record at an average speed of 107.59 mph, but failed just three hours into the race with clutch problems. For Le Mans the car was fitted with rear fender scoops to cool the differential and small rear wheel flares to satisfy the regulations.

Photos & Image Gallery

See full 1952 Ferrari 250 Sport Gallery here

1952 Ferrari 250 Sport

Specs & Performance

typeRacing Car
built atMaranello, Italy
engine60° V12
positionFront, Longitudinal
valvetrainSOHC, 2 Valves per CYl
displacement2953 cc / 180.20 in³
bore73 mm / 2.9 in
stroke58.8 mm / 2.3 in
power171.5 kw / 230 bhp @ 7500 rpm
specific output77.89 bhp per litre
bhp/weight270.59 bhp per tonne
body / frameAluminum Body over Steel Tube Frame
driven wheelsRWD
f suspensionDouble Wishbones w/Transverse Leaf Spring, Coil Springs
r suspensionLive Axle w/Leaf Springs
curb weight850 kg / 1874 lbs
wheelbase2250 mm / 88.6 in
front track1278 mm / 50.3 in
rear track1250 mm / 49.2 in
transmission5-Speed Manual
tran clutchDry, Single-Plate
top speed~250 kph / 155.25 mph
fuel capacity150 litres or 39.60 gal.

Sources & Further Reading.

1. Marzotto, Giannino.Red Arrows Ferraris at the Mille Miglia. Giorgio Nada Editore: 2001.
2. Ludvigsen, Karl. Ferrari by Mailander. Dalton Watson: 2005.