Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan

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Keywords: Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan
Description: Built in 1962 from a 1961 250 SWB Ferrari for Count Giovanni Volpi’s race team Scuderia Serenissima, the plan was to race at Le Mans and other sportscar series against the new Ferrari GTO. The

Built in 1962 from a 1961 250 SWB Ferrari for Count Giovanni Volpi’s race team Scuderia Serenissima, the plan was to race at Le Mans and other sportscar series against the new Ferrari GTO.

The Breadvan. so called because of it’s van like appearance from the sides and back, was built by engineer Giotto Bizzarrini and Carlo Chitti whom had earlier left Ferrari’s employment due to a dispute at the factory and had setup up their own company, ATS. Count Volpi’s team was one of the financial backers to ATS and when Enzo Ferrari found this out he cancelled the Count’s order for the new Ferrari GTO. The Count’s team already had a very competitive 250 SWB (chassis 2819GT) and it was this car that was built to GTO specification. The engine was moved further back in the chassis than on the standard GTO with the engine being dry sumped which enabled the V12 engine to sit lower and gave the body stylist Piero Drogo the chance to create the aerodynamic body work, complete with it’s severe Kamm style back end. This body was smaller more aerodynamic and made the car lighter than the the factory GTO’s and was said to be faster down the long straights of Le Mans.

The car was completed within two weeks and was entered under the prototype class at Le Mans at the insistence of Ferrari, who also banned the use of any of its badging on the car’s bodywork. In the race, the car stayed ahead of the factory machines until four hour later when the car retired with a broken driveshaft.

The Breadvan won some GT classes in other events but was never as reliable as the factory cars, partly due to the limited resources and was eventually used as a road car by the Count. The car is now used once again as a competition car and I have been fortunate to see it race a few times at the Goodwood Revival and the Silverstone Classic. I personally prefer the shape of this car to the Ferrari GTO and it’s great that it still survives and is back battling against the GTOs in the historics.



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