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The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

William Jason
March 5, 2011

William Jason

If one is to talk about the top classic cars, one could not, and should not, avoid talking about the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. The sleek Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa boasts a 3.0 liter V12 engine that dished out 300 horsepower and has a max speed of 168 miles per hour or 270 kilometers per hour. This shiny red car got its name from the color of its valves as Testa Rossa means "red head." Dominating various arenas in race car driving, this surely is one of the, fastest vehicles of its time. Sadly though, only 34 of these bad boys were built from the mid-50s 'till its end. For you to have an idea how much this car is valued, a 1957 250 Testa Rossa was sold for an astounding $12,100,000 back in 2009, which is a world record price for a single car.

The 250 Ferrari Testa Rossa had unconventional bodywork which was designed and built by one of Ferraris top designers, Carrozzeria Scaglietti and it is one of their most famous works. The car has a sleek aerodynamic design as it was primarily used for racing. What made the design very unique are the pontoon-like front fenders. From the words by Sergio Scaglietti himself, the 250 Ferrari Testa Rossa is in many ways a Formula 1 race car with fenders. The main similarity of the Testa Rossa to Formula 1 cars is the way it brings air to cool the brakes. A formula 1 car has pods on its sides and the idea to cool the brakes of the Testa Rossa was born from this.

Of course, the 50s is parent to many classic cars but the Testa Rossa sure made a niche for itself amidst the number of many muscle cars and super cars manufactured at the time. It won many races and events during its international race career. This was due to how the Testa Rossa was built. It's aerodynamic, super light, and it had a five-speed gearbox. For those unaware, cars back then only had four. Not only was the Testa Rossa extremely fast, it was also reliable as Ferrari had put a priority on reliability versus outright performance when conceptualizing this super car.

The 1950s was such a great time for automobiles as Aston Martin, Jaguar, Materasi along with Ferrari continued totop each other by designing and manufacturing faster and more powerful cars. Truly, the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa is but one of the many amazing and captivating classic cars ever built on that decade.

Wiliam Jason is a muscle car fanatic and has been collecting and restoring them for the last 15 years, You can visit his website at http://musclecarmonster.com/

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