Car Of The Day: 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta ‘Tour de France’
As a predecessor of the 250 GT SWB and the 250 GTO, the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France is still one of the most desirable and collectible models today. To this day, rare competition examples of the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France with decorated provenance, detailed documentation, as well as exciting historic contexts remain profoundly sought after.
This is due to the combination of stunning Scaglietti coachwork, excellent performance qualities, mechanical artistry, as well as iconic historic presence during the most historical years of motorsport racing.
The 250 GT Tour de France is widely considered the premier entrant for almost every important vintage event including the Colorado Grand, California Mile, and the Mille Storico (Mille Miglia) in Italy. Though the exact number is still contested, it is generally believed that Ferrari built around 90 of the 250 GT Tour de France models between the years 1956 and 1959.
In this four year period, Ferrari won this event all four years in a row, and three of those wins were by legendary driver Oliver Gendebien; who also drove the Ferrari 250 TdF to the top podium finish in the GT class and third overall at the final Mille Miglia, now known as Mille Storico.
Despite the huge impression that the Ferrari had made at the Tour de France race, Ferrari had yet to receive the “Tour de France” designation until well after their multiple wins at the event. It was during this period that Ferrari really made a mark, sealing their prowess as they collected victory after victory at race tracks worldwide. The 250 GT Tour de France repeatedly demonstrated that they were not only building a reputation as a European racing phenomenon but that they were also a force to be reckoned with in terms of sportscar development.