|Ferrari 250 MM|
|Body and chassis|
|Engine||3.0 L (2953.21 cc) Colombo V12|
|Power output||240 PS|
|Wheelbase||2,400 mm (94.5 in)|
|Predecessor||Ferrari 250 S|
The Ferrari 250 MM was a sports racing car produced by Ferrari in 1953. After the initial racing succeses of the 3.0-litre Colombo V12 engine, introduced in the 250 S one-off, Ferrari produced a serial racing model. It is best recognisable for the distinctive closed berlinetta bodywork by Pinin Farina. The "MM" in its name stood for the Mille Miglia race.
The 250 MM was the second of the ubiquitous 3.0-litre, Colombo-engined Ferraris. The engine was derived from the 250 S with increased power, due to a different carburettors setup. The whole car could be seen as an incremental evolution over its predecessor. Chassis numbers for the first time had "MM" in their suffix, and used an even, race car sequence.
Two body syles were available, each from a different coachbuilder. Pinin Farina designed an innovative closed berlinetta, which ushered in a whole new era in automotive design. It also served as a basis for future competition berlinetta models produced by Ferrari. Pinin Farina had created eighteen 250 MMs with berlinetta body. An open barchetta body was offered by Vignale and introduced in three series. Every example differed in slight detail from each other. An early series cars had open headlights and a small air vent in the middle of the bonnet. Later cars differed by having recessed and covered headlamps, a closed bonnet bulge, a triangular cutaways in the rear fenders and a lower door line. In total, tvelve open spyders were made. Chief designer at Vignale was Giovanni Michelotti who penned all those designs.
A single berlinetta by Vignale, created in 1954, was owned at one point by Peter Monteverdi. In 1956 he had paid 10,000 Swiss francs for it and also traded in his Porsche 356. Its distinctive feature were the triple portholes on the bottom of the front fenders.
One particular example, initially s/n 0352MM, was restamped as 0239EU after a crashed 212 Inter, that was entered in the 1952 Carrera Panamericana. His owner, Efrain Ruiz Echeverria, traded it in for a new car that was renumbered in the factory to avoid import duty. By 1953 Ruiz Echeverria could enter another edition of the Mexican marathon. The car was for sale in 2011. Offered by Talacrest it was bought by Nick Mason.
Some examples, like the s/n 0266MM and 0356MM, used "166MM/53" type chassis but with a 3.0-litre, 250 MM-sourced engine. A single example of the Ferrari 340 MM Pinin Farina Berlinetta, that was raced by "Pagnibon", was downgraded to a 250 MM-specification for Andre Vanoni.
The engine, mounted longitudinally in the front, was a 60° Colombo V12. The total capacity of 2,953.21 cc (3.0 L; 180.2 cu in) was achieved thanks to 73 by 58.8 mm (2.9 by 2.3 in) of bore and stroke. A 9:1 compression ratio with three Weber 36IF/4C carburettors helped produce 240 PS (177 kW; 237 hp) at 7200 rpm. The engine had single overhead camshaft per cylinder bank, actuating two valves per cylinder. It also used a single spark plug per cylinder with two coils. The 250 MM had a new multi-plate clutch (the 250 S had only a single plate). A wet sump lubrication system was also inherited.
A chassis type ‘’250MM53’’ was made out of a welded steel tubes and featured a 2,400 mm (94.5 in) short wheelbase. The whole car weighed 900 kg (1,984 lb) with its berlinetta body, when unladden (The 250 S was 850 kg (1,874 lb)). The spyder was lighter at 850 kg (1,874 lb). The fuel tank had 150-litres capacity.
Some significant advancements had been made also to the suspension setup. Mainly with the addition of Houdaille-type shock absorbers. The front suspension was independent with unequal-length wishbones, and transverse leaf-springs with Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers. On the rear a live axle with semi-elliptic springs and Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers were mounted.
The Ferrari 250 MM was used extensively in racing. Scoring many victories in Europe. The 250 MM was also successful in the United States with Phil Hill and in South America as well.
The 250 MM had its first outing at the 1953 Giro di Sicilia. Three cars were entered, but non of them finished the race. Paolo Marzotto had led the race until Enna, but then broke down. The first victory came from the North American race track. At the Pebble Beach round of the SCCA National Sports Car Championship. In the category for Sports over 1500 cc, Phil Hill drove his spyder to the first place. At the Mille Miglia race, the same year, the race the car was destined for, a total of eight cars were entered. Only one managed to finish at all. Giulio Cabianca and Gianfranco Roghi drove their spyder s/n 0282MM, to the ninth place overall and eighth in-class. Paolo Marzotto and Marino Marini held a third place before their Berlinetta burst into flames a few kilometers before the finish.
At the 1953 edition of the Targa Florio, three 250 MMs were entered. Only one finished at the sixth place. Giulio Cabianca took it, driving for Scuderia Ferrari and using the same spyder as in the Mille Miglia. The Portuguese Grand Prix of 1953 brought 1-2 victory by José A. Nogueira Pinto and Casimiro de Oliveira. Both were driving Vignale-bodied cars. Out of four total cars that entered, otheres scored a fourth place and a DNF. At the GP Monza, the same year, Luigi Villoresi won in a Pinin Farina Berlinetta. Giuseppe Farina in a Vignale Spyder was third. He drove the same car as Cabianca before. A total of seven cars were entered on Monza. Others scored a fifth, sixth and ninth places and two DNFs.
Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti in 1953 also, saw Paolo Marzotto winning at the wheel of the Cabianca's spyder. Out of five entered cars, all have finished the race. At an endurance race called 10 Hours of Messina, five 250 MMs have been entered. Eugenio Castellotti / Giulio Musitelli duo won the race. Franco Cornacchia with Giovanni Bracco came second. Others arrived at fifth, sixth and eighth places.
Following the early success in the States, Phil Hill won the Santa Barbara Trophy in 1953. He was still driving his spyder from the Pebble Beach. And at the 3rd Annual Madera Road Race, Hill chose a brand new Pinin Farina Berlinetta, that he shared with Bill Devin. Their car was painted white with a large blue stripe through the middle of the car. In a Modified +1.5 class he came first.
Coppa d'Oro di Sicilia in 1953 was won by Casimiro de Oliveira. Two other cars arrived at the fifth place or did not qualify at all. The last major race of that year was the 1953 Carrera Panamericana where Ruiz Echeverría and Villegas Becerril finished eleventh overall and seventh in-class. They drove a Pinin Farina Berlinetta that was renumbered for import purposes.
An involvement of the 250 MM on the racing scene continued throughout the 1954. The 1000 km Buenos Aires was organised on an Autódromo Municipal-Avenida Paz in Argentina. The 250 MM Vignale Spyder, driven by Harry Schell and Alfonso de Portago, arrived at the fnish line on second place, also scoring a class win. Overall winner was much more powerful Ferrari 375 MM. At the Giro di Sicilia, the same year, Vittorio Colocci and Gaetano Spata finished seventh overall and fifth in-class, ironically just behind the 250 S, the predecessor of their model.
The last two major races of the 1954 were the Mille Miglia and the Targa Florio. Five cars were entered for the Mille Miglia. Three arrived at the finish line and two did not. The best result was by a veteran Clemente Biondetti. He scored a fourth place overall and second place in-class. He drove a 250 MM barchetta that was rebodied in 1953 by Carrozzeria Morelli of Ferrara. The same year at the Targa Florio, the same 250 MM Morelli finished fifth overall and third in Sport +2.0 class also driven by Biondetti.
A very limited production combined with an undisputed racing pedigree, makes for a highly sought after collector's car. Its estimated value will also increase thanks to the innovative design of the berlinetta model. Over past years only a few examples were offered for sale and their value generally tend to rise. The Carrera Panamericana entrant, s/n 0352MM, was offered via Talacrest, a classic Ferrari dealer. The car was put on 2011 RM Sotheby's auction with an estimate of €2.5 - €3 million. It did not sell for a high bid of €2.15 million, but was later purchased by Nick Mason. Another example, an ex-Phil Hill white berlinetta, was sold for US$7.26 million at the Bonhams, Quail Lodge Auction in 2014. In 2018, the Swedish International Motor Show car was estimated at US$7.5 - US$9 million, but did not sell on auction. Gooding managed to sell a Vignale Spyder for US$5.395 million at the Scottsdale auction in 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ferrari 250 MM.|
|Sports||340 MM||375 Plus||410 S|
|275 S||340 Mexico||375 MM||290 S|
|125 S||166 S/166 MM||195 S||212 Export||225 S||250 MM||250 Monza||315 S||250 Testa Rossa||250 LM|
|159 S||250 S||290 MM||335 S||250 GTO|
|Berlinetta||250 GT "Tour de France"||250 GT "SWB"||250 GT Lusso||275 GTB||275 GTB/4||365 GTB/4|
|Coupé||166 Inter||195 Inter||212 Inter||250 Europa||250 Europa GT||250 GT
|250 GT Coupé Pinin Farina||330 GTC||365 GTC|
|2+2||250 GT/E||330 America||330 GT 2+2||365 GT 2+2|
|Spider||250 GT Cabriolet||275 GTS||330 GTS||365 GTS|
|250 GT California Spyder|
|America||340 America||342 America||375 America||410 Superamerica||400 Superamerica||500 Superfast||365 California|