The Breadvan and Sterling Moss's SWB


There are certain cars that, because of their rarity and the role they’ve played in automotive history, simply must be preserved for posterity. 2012 marks the 60th anniversary of the Ferrari 250 GT and to celebrate that milestone, the Ferrari Museum has organised a series of exhibitions of the most famous cars to bear the 250 moniker. These are the road-going and racing models which, between 1952 and 1963, sported the famous 3000 cc V12 engine designed by Gioachino Colombo.

From today, in fact, visitors can admire two fascinating examples: the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB (competition version) in which the great Stirling Moss won four races in 1961 (Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Goodwood and Nassau), and the so-called Breadvan. The 250 GT SWB, which is finished in the classic blue and white livery of Scot, Rob Walker, was recently restored by the Ferrari Classiche department. It was originally built as part of a chapter in motor racing history that sadly went unwritten: Enzo Ferrari had reached an agreement to supply the highly efficient British team with one of his Formula 1 single-seaters for Moss. Unfortunately, just before the project was to debut, Moss was involved in a terrible accident in a Lotus at Goodwood which ended his racing career. This was the untimely end to a budding relationship between the two teams that might well have changed the path of motor sport history and given Moss the world title he was chasing.

The Breadvan’s story is no less interesting. This is a berlinetta that is extreme both in terms of its forms and its technical content. It was commissioned by Count Volpi di Misurata to compete against the 250 GTO. Developed by Piero Drogo and Giotto Bizzarrini on the same running gear as the 250 SWB, the car looked more like a racing van than a racing car as its square shape was the result of experimental aerodynamic styling. The result was that it was quickly dubbed the Breadvan by the British. Fast but unblessed by fortune, it raced several times, including at Le Mans. However, Enzo Ferrari was opposed to it because he would brook no rivals for his unbeatable 250 GTO.

In 2010, Ferrari awarded the Breadvan the Attestation for Vehicles of Historic Interest, a document issued for Ferraris which, although they do not comply with the strict Ferrari Authenticity Certification criteria, are deemed to be of historic interest because of their competition and/or recognised international show history. The Breadvan is probably the most iconic example of this kind of car.

The Ferrari Museum in Maranello is open every day between 9.30 and 19.00 and plays host to many other high profile historic cars in addition to our most successful Formula 1s and our newest and contemporary road-going GTs.

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