The ‘SWB’ (short-wheelbase) designation arose from a chassis that, at 2,400mm in that respect, was 200mm shorter than that of the standard 250GT. Dressed with a bodywork that is widely considered Pinin Farina’s greatest masterpiece (constructed by Scaglietti), the 250GT SWB’s engine was Ferrari’s light and compact Colombo-designed 3.0-litre V12. Breathing through three twin-choke Weber carburettors, this two-cam, all-aluminium power unit produced 280bhp at 7,000rpm in competition tune, giving the car a top speed of 150mph with acceleration to match.
Specifications could be varied to suit individual customers’ requirements for either road or track, models supplied for competition-use fitted with lightweight aluminium-alloy bodies, and it was this special aluminium-bodied version of the 250GT SWB that led directly to the immortal GTO of 1962. Through early 1962, the SWB was ultimately built in a modest quantity of 165 examples, 91 of which were finished in the steel-bodied Lusso street-car configuration, 74 examples wore alloy coachwork and were specified for racing use.
The 250 SWB we are offering here is chassis 2563GT. It left the factory production line on April 1961 and is the 78th of just 165 units built. The car was sold new on May 15th to first owner A. Demetriadi of Italy via Fontanella dealership. The car was originally ordered with competition 40-DLC-6 carburetors (instead of the regular 36-DLC-3 type), as commonly seen on the ‘Competizione’ Aluminium models. According to the car’s Ferrari Classiche certification the original Factory colour combination was Grigio Conchiglia 16249M (Shell grey) with Pelle Connolly VM 3171 (dark red).
2563GT made its way to Switzerland two years later and was acquired by Daniel Siebenmann of Bern. The car was then registered BE74827.
Siebenmann entered the car at the Auvergne 3 hrs in Clermont-Ferrand on July 7th 1963 for Écurie Biennoise. He honorably finished 23rd OA with race #9, wheel to wheel against Carlo Maria Abate’s 250 GTO and Lorenzo Bandini’s 250 TR/i. The next month Siebenmann raced 2563GT at the Ollon-Villars hillclimb and finished 7th in the GT class. Later that month the car was again raced at the Sierre-Crans Montana hillclimb, still with Siebenmann behind the wheel. The next year Siebenmann sold 2563GT at which stage it was eventually exported to the US. Roger Gaskin of Beverly Hills acquired the car in 1970. Nearly ten years later the car went back to Switzerland in 1979 via Swiss broker Charles Gnädinger and was sold to René Meister. 2653GT received a different engine during those years.
The car went through three further Swiss owner, mainly via Foitek, before it was eventually acquired by famous Swiss collector Jean Pierre Slavic of Mies, also from Switzerland. The car was at this stage registered VD 40201. Slavic owned the car for the next 17 years, from 1984 until 2001. He entered the 1998 Tour Auto with race #154. In 2001 Slavic traded 2563GT for 275 GTB/C 9027 from Anthony Bamford. The next year the car was sent to GTO Engineering for a complete engine check-up. Swiss collector Stanislas de Sadeleer acquired 2563GT on May 2002 and registered the car with license plates BE78506. De Sadeleer did enter the car in multiple historic events from 2002 until 2006, including the Tour Auto and Le Mans Classic. An important maintenance program was carried out at that time by Ferrari specialist Traber in Bern. In 2006 the car was sold to Traber and went the next year to the UK to collector Mark Stolkin of Chelsey. The following year famous Swiss collector Pierre Mellinger acquired 2563GT trading in his Ferrari 250 GT Lusso 4509GT. Mellinger entered the Tour Auto twice in 2009 and 2010.
2563GT belongs today to an important Ferrari collection and is offered in very good condition throughout. Accompanied with its Ferrari Classiche Certification along with an extensive history file, this true legend is a great opportunity to acquire what is considered to be one Ferrari and Pininfarina’s greatest common achievement.
Period race history:
Auvergne 3hrs – 7th July 1963 – D. Siebenmann (#9) – 23rd OA (3rd in class)
Ollon-Villars Hillclimb – 25th August 1963 – D. Siebenmann – 43rd OA (7th in GT)
Sierre-Crans Montana Hillclimb – 30th August 1963 – D. Siebenmann
Photos: Stephan Bauer for A & S