The Ferrari 250 LM was one of Enzo Ferrari’s first dalliances with mid-engine configured cars – he had stubbornly persisted with front mounted V12 for years despite the staggering successes of men like John Cooper and their lightweight, mid-engined, race winning Grand Prix cars.
The new 250 LM would be fitted with a rear-mid mounted 3286cc aluminium-block V12 capable of 320hp, and fed by six synchronised Weber 38 DCN carburettors. Power was sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed transmission and it all rode on state-of-the-art independent suspension on all four corners.
Reading the technical specifications of the 250 LM it becomes quickly apparent that this is an exceedingly quick car – even by modern standards. When it was released in Paris in November, 1963 the LM (which stands for Le Mans, as a hint to the car’s intended destiny) was one of the fastest closed-wheel cars in the world.
Although it had been designed for racing a small number of them were fitted with some of the bare essentials required for road use – although it would never be a comfortable road car or particularly effective grand tourer, the 250 LM was obscenely fast. And if we’re honest, that’s always going to be the most important single factor when your car wears the prancing horse.
A couple of years after it was released the Ferrari 250 LM would go on to win at Le Mans under the banner of the North American Racing Team with drivers Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory. This would be Ferrari’s last win at Le Mans, although recent rumours about a long-awaited Ferrari return to the infamous Circuit de la Sarthe could see this dry spell come to an end in the not too distant future.
The surviving 250 LMs have been experiencing sky-rocketing values over recent years, the chassis that won the ’65 Le Mans sold in 2013 for a mouth-drying $14.3 million, and a similar car to the one you see here sold in January 2015 for $9.6 million. This all means that if you’d like to bid on this one when it comes up for sale at the Monterey Auction on the 13th of August 2015, you’ll need to raid the Swiss bank accounts.
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Photo Credit: Patrick Ernzen ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s