Forza Friday! The Perfect 10 Ferrari 250 GT California

James Walker May 10, 2019
Ferrari 250 GT California SWB||||||

Picture this: it’s 1961 and you’re a wealthy Californian. The sun is shining as you round another stunning corner on the Pacific Coast Highway in your corsa red 250 GT California. The fresh ocean air surrounds you, filling the cabin and your lungs. Dropping a gear, you hear the 3.0 litre V12 in front of you sing as you power through the bend. You’ve got 280 horsepower under your right foot and miles of twisty roads ahead. Does life get any better?

That’s exactly the scene Ferrari’s American dealers had in mind when they asked Enzo to chop the roof off his 250 GT Berlinetta. They believed that California was the market for a beautiful, comfortable, fast convertible, and they were absolutely right.

The 250 GT California SWB came with the same race-derived Colombo V12 as the rest of Ferrari’s 250 Series. Handling was improved over its LWB older brother thanks to smaller dimensions. It featured aluminium body panels and four-wheel disc brakes courtesy of Dunlop.

Although designed to be an elegant convertible the California still demonstrated Ferrari’s racing prowess. Privateers would cruise to the racetrack in comfort, go out and embarrass purpose built race cars, and then cruise home again in the evening. Enzo may not have cared much about road cars or the customers who bought them but you can’t help but imagine the old man was pleased with this one. Happy Friday one and all!

James Walker

James Walker is a freelance writer with a passion for four-wheeled things and twisty roads.

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