Ferrari 250 GTO - 3943GT - 1963 Nürburgring 1000km Class Winner
- Scale guide
The ultimate expression of the 250 GT series, the Ferrari 250 GTO model was the car that encapsulated Ferrari’s philosophy best: achieving the highest level of performance and styling. Its famed charisma came not only from its innumerable racing victories but from the unique sum of its parts. A 2,953cc Columbo V12 engine coupled to a new 5-speed gearbox with a Sergio Scaglietti-designed body on top of a 250 GT chassis; the 250 GTO represented the pinnacle of 250 GT development in competition form, whilst remaining a legitimate road car. In recent years, original examples have repeatedly set price records. Chassis 3413 GT sold at auction in 2018 for $48.4 million and, later that same year, chassis 4153 GT was sold in a private sale for a reported $70 million.
The 250 GTO was built on a 2400mm wheelbase and, although the chassis was built along the same lines as the 250 GT SWB on which it was derived, it used smaller section tubing, with additional bracing for increased torsional rigidity. Four wheel disc brakes were fitted, with a cable-operated handbrake to the rear wheels. The 3-litre V12 power unit was essentially a 250 TR specification engine, producing a claimed power output of 300 bhp, which was paired with a new 5-speed, all synchromesh gearbox.
Early development of the new car was shrouded in secrecy, with Giotto Bizzarrini charged with developing a car to take on and beat the Jaguar E Type. On its first outing at Monza in September 1961, prior to the Italian Grand Prix, the 250 GTO earned the nickname ‘Il Mostro’ (The Monster), due to its rough-hewn and ill-fitting prototype body. During test sessions, Stirling Moss drove the car to record times far better than those ever achieved by a similar chassis. A ‘palace revolution’ followed later in the year, and Bizzarrini found himself on the outside, with the refinement of the GTO body now entrusted to Sergio Scaglietti, who created its definitive shape. The overall shape of the aluminium bodies designed and built by Scaglietti changed very little across the 36-car production run in 1962 and 1963, though the last three cars in the series, built in 1964, received Pininfarina-designed and Scaglietti-built bodies of a style very similar to that used on the mid-engine 250 LM sports racing car. Although the overall body shape didn’t alter to any great degree, the detail differences during the production run certainly did, as refinements were made across the car’s construction span.
Unveiled at the annual pre-season Ferrari press conference in January 1962, the 250 GTO was the sole front-engine model amongst a line-up of mid-engine racers. New owners needed to afford the $18,000 price tag, as well as be personally approved by Enzo Ferrari. On its maiden outing in the 12 Hours of Sebring Race, the 250 GTO, driven by Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien, finished second overall to a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. It also won the GT category easily by a six-lap margin, an impressive debut performance that hinted at the dominant period to come. Ferrari would go on to secure the International Championship for GT Manufacturers comfortably in 1962 and 1963. The 250 GTO would complete the hat-trick in 1964 by smaller margin of six points, having only been caught by Shelby’s competitive AC Cobras (with much larger V8 capacity engines) during its last competitive year.
Amongst the numerous international successes of the 250 GTO were victories in the Tour de France in 1963 and 1964, extending Ferrari’s win streak to nine straight years; GT class wins in the Targa Florio in 1962, 1963 and 1964; victories in the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood in 1962 and 1963; with GT category wins at Le Mans in 1962 and 1963, and in the Nürburgring 1000 km in 1963 and 1964.
Produced in late 1962, Ferrari 250GTO 3943GT was purchased by French steel industrialist and renowned racer Pierre Noblet. Finished in red with a French tricolore stripe, 3943GT contested with some success, at times partnered by close friend and future Le Mans winner Jean Guichet. 3943GT’s race debut occurred at the Paris 1000km towards the end of the year, where Noblet and Guichet took fourth position. The duo wouldn’t race 3943GT for another six months but would score a strong victory at the Dakar 6 Hours, finishing eight laps ahead of their closest rivals. A close battle at the 1963 Spa-Francorchamps 500km, in which the top four all finished within a lap of each other, saw Noblet take second spot racing solo. One week later, in the car’s first appearance at the Nürburgring 1000km, Noblet and Guichet drove the 250GTO to second overall, finishing on the same lap as the winning Ferrari 250 P and defeating their own class rivals by three laps. Noblet would continue to race 3943GT in 1964 with less success.
3943GT was sold on to fellow Frenchman and semi-professional rally driver Robert Neyret, who continued to race the Ferrari to more success. Neyret emerged best in class in the 1966 Paris 1000km, co-driven by compatriot Jacques Terramorsi, the 1967 Mont Ventoux Hill Climb and the 1967 Rallye Pétrole-Provence, with Jean-Claude Syda alongside him.
The car remained in French ownership after Neyret, until was acquired by American Tom Price in 1983. During the following years, Price regularly raced and exhibited the 250GTO until he sold it to the current owner Charles E. Nearburg for $26million in 2010. Nearburg had 3943GT completely restored and it has since been shown at events on both sides of the Atlantic, winning multiple awards.
This perfect 1:8 scale model of the Ferrari 250GTO 3943GT Chassis is modelled on the #46 car as raced at the 1963 Nürburgring 1000km with Noblet and Guichet at the wheel. It has been handcrafted and finished in our workshops with the co-operation and assistance of the manufacturer regarding original finishes, materials, archive imagery and drawings. The use of original CAD and supremely accurate digital scanning of the original car has allowed us to perfectly recreate every detail at scale. Furthermore, the prototype model has undergone detailed scrutiny by the manufacturer’s engineering and design teams to ensure complete accuracy of representation.
The Ferrari 250GTO #3943GT Chassis is limited to only 199 pieces.
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