In 1958, Enzo Ferrari wanted to improve the road racing performance of his already successful 250 GT (Gran Turismo) long-wheelbase Berlinetta (LWB). Although the 250 GT LWB was visually stunning, Ferrari and his engineers elected to shorten the wheelbase by seven inches to enhance cornering and maneuverability.
Pininfarina, Ferrari’s design firm, updated the coachwork, and Scaglietti in Modena hand-built the bodies. Pininfarina’s coachwork featured a rectangular “egg-crate” Ferrari grille, form-fitting fenders, a sharply raked windscreen, a snug cabin, and a low roofline that tapered gracefully rearward.
This example, an ultra-lightweight Berlinetta, was one of the most successful SWB competition cars. Its beautiful yet purposeful shape came to define the long-hood, short-deck style imitated by many rivals, including Ford’s Mustang fastback.