The Ferrari TR, or 250 Testa Rossa, was a race car model built by Ferrari. These cars dominated their arenas, with variations winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1958, 1960, and 1961. They were closely related to the rest of the Ferrari 250 line, especially the legendary 250 GTO.
In all just thirty-four 250 Testa Rossas were built, from 1956 through 1961. The most well known, the 250TR, was produced from 1957 to 1958; only 2 factory cars and 19 customer cars were built. After the 250 GTO, the 250 Testa Rossa is the one of the most valuable Ferrari models; a 1957 250 Testa Rossa sold at auction on the 20th August 2011 for $16,390,000, at the time a new world record auction price for a car.
Named for the red valve covers (‘red head’), the original 250 TR had unorthodox bodywork by Scaglietti. The front fenders are visually separated from the central “nacelle” body, a design inspired Formula One racers, with air ducting across the front brakes and out through the open area behind the wheels, this model is often called the “Pontoon” TR. Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the pontoon bodywork replaced by more orthodox bodywork in 1958.
The 250 TR’s aerodynamic design was successful in racing but nonetheless controversial. Other, more conventional bodies were designed by Ferrari stalwarts, Pininfarina and Carrozzeria Touring. The engine had the same displacement as the rest of the 250 series but was tuned to produce far more power. The front styling of the 250 TR61 pictured served as inspiration to the current Ferrari F430 road car.
The 250 TR lines of 1960 and 1961 were dominant racers – Olivier Gendebien took Le Mans again those two years, with Paul Frère in 1960 and Phil Hill in 1961.
The wonderful evocation offered here was commissioned by Russell Cowles of Minneapolis who was the owner of car No. 22 (‘#0732TR’) which he raced in North America in the 1959-1960 season. He asked his mechanics to build him a tool room copy of his beloved 250 TR but with the added benefits of additional safety features so he could race the car with more conviction. He insisted that these features were not to interrupt the beautiful lines of the car and should be hidden as much as possible. In order to create this superb replica, his mechanics shortened the chassis of a 250 GTE (‘#4257’) and fitted a 330 engine (‘#6533’) under the bonnet.
Driven through a four speed gearbox with electronic overdrive, the wonderful V12 features 6 twin-choke Weber 40 DCN carburettors and the evocative red valve covers. The additional safety features include a removable roll-bar, ATL safety fuel cell, engine cut off and Halon fire extinguishing system. The iconic body of the car is made from fibreglass and complimented with comfortable leather seats with 5-point harnesses. This incredible racing machine is made all the more desirable due to its potential to be road legal thanks to indicators being tastefully incorporated into the bodywork of the car.
With just 19 of the original cars having been produced this exceptional recreation offers the chance to own one of Ferrari’s greatest ‘red heads’ at a fraction of the price of the genuine article. Truly exhilarating in both looks and performance, this is an opportunity not to be missed.