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History of the 1954-1955 Ferrari 250 Europa
The Ferrari 250 was the company’s bread and butter model during the 1950s. It took on many forms for both road and track, and helped establish Ferrari’s reputation as the maker of some of the best, fastest and prettiest cars in the world. The Ferrari 250 Europa was the first production car to carry the 250 name, which referred to the displacement of each of the car’s 12 cylinders.
Introduced at the Paris Auto Salon in 1953 alongside the 375 America, the 250 Europa was also the only car in the series to feature the Aurelio Lampredi-designed V-12 engine that had originally been designed for racing. Later 250s, including the 250 Europa GT introduced in 1954, used the Colombo-designed engine. Coupled to an all-synchromesh 4-speed, it enabled a top speed of about 135 mph, making the 250 Europa an excellent gran turismo.
In addition to establishing the 250 series and sparking Ferrari’s tradition of excellent GT cars for the road, the 250 Europa also helped solidify Pinin Farina’s status as Ferrari’s preferred coachbuilder. While some 250 Europas wore Vignale bodies, but most of the production examples wore Pinin Farina bodywork that more or less set the template for the 250’s basic shape in the years to come. In 1954, the Ferrari 250 Europa GT was introduced. While visually similar, the Europa GT had the Colombo short block V-12 engine, which allowed Ferrari to shorten the wheelbase slightly.
Any 1950s Ferrari is of course collectible. While the 250 Europa was technically a series production model, its historical significance for the company is huge and Ferrari’s production capacity in those early years was quite small, so only a few dozen were built. It is therefore quite rare for 250 Europas to come to market, but they always cause a stir when they do.
1955 Ferrari 250 Europa Info
12-cyl. 2953cc/220hp 3 Weber Carbs
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