With Ferrari intent of phasing out the  250 Europa, the wraps were prematurely taken off the 250 Europa Gran Turismo (GT) at the Paris Salon of 1955.

Premature was the word, as the first 250 GT to make its public debut was just a  bare chassis, leaving much to the motoring media's mind's eye,

With the public's imagination titillated, Ferrari finally took the covers off the Europa GT  at the Brussels Motor Show the following January to display a  breathtakingly aggressive and sleek Pinin Farina designed three window coupé bearing a strong resemblance to the original Europa.

Initially, Ferrari planned to launch their new model  250 Europa as an updated version of its predecessor.

Confusion soon reigned, which to counteract, Ferrari added a GT suffix to the Europa.

This solution turned out to be short-term, and it was only a matter of time before this significant vehicle in Ferrari's history became known simply as the 250 GT.

To industry onlookers, the launch of the 250 GT Coupe was a declaration of intent from Ferrari to produce a car that would be identified firstly as a road car and not a derivation from one initially destined for the race track.

The one common denominator that ran between all of the 250 GTs was no matter their exterior appearance no hints were given of what lay under the bonnet.

The 250GT was fitted with a version of the Colombo Type 125 2693 cc engine fed by three classic Weber 36 DCZ carburettors and linked to a  four-speed gearbox equipped with patent synchronisation developed by Porsche.

It soon became apparent to industry observers that replacing the long block Lampredi engine fitted in the Europa with the Colombo short-block V12 engine was nothing less than a masterstroke.

By doing so, Ferrari was able to reduce the 250GTs wheelbase by 200 mm to 2600 mm and to do so without compromising cabin space.

At the same time, the vehicle's front and rear track were increased by 30m.

This goal could not be fully achieved, however, until Ferrari standardised their coachwork options. Some of the early GTs came with coachwork from a variety of design workshops, in particular, Vignale and Pinin Farina.

The whole issue of custom coachbuilding took an increasing back seat as demand for the 250 GT began to reach levels previously unknown at the Ferrari plant in  Maranello.

Having established that the 250 GT was a winning formula for a medium-sized sports coupe for the Fifties, Ferrari set about designing a two-seater cabriolet to capture some of this demand, particularly for the North American market.

The first 250 GT soft top was produced for Ferrari by the recently established Carrozzeria Boano coach-building concern at the Geneva Motor Show of 1956.

Unfortunately for Boano, the model failed to inspire, and interest was vapid. The following year, Pinin Farina eventually sorted out their relentless production problems caused by unrelenting demands for the GT coupe, found the time to produce a two-seater spider presented to an eager public at Geneva Motor in 1957.

Once again, the people at Pinin Farina proved that they had what it takes when interpreting Ferrari design concepts and the Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet went on to become a welcome addition to the 250 GT range and a steady seller.

As the Sixties approached, the move towards total standardising was gaining momentum, although Ferrari sometimes found it difficult to withstand client pressure to make some modifications to fulfil a buyer’s particular specifications.

The development of the Ferrari 250 GT undoubtedly marks a notable turning point in the history of the Ferrari production car division.

Not only was the 250 GT exquisitely designed and producing outstanding levels of performance, but it also confirmed Ferrari's long-term intentions to create cars in commercial quantities and for extended production runs.

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