In the 1970s, Ferrari made the switch from front engine vehicles to mid-engined track cars. Some said the change was long overdue, others couldn’t help but shed a little tear for the legions of beautiful cars that had worn their engines proudly at the front. Even now, these iconic cars with their classic coupe shape hold a fond place in the hearts of Ferrari fanatics. But which of them is the best? Find out as we run through the 10 best front engine Ferrari models of all-time.
10. Ferrari 250 GT SWB "Breadvan"
If you like cars with a distinctive look, you’re going to love the Ferrari 250 GT SWB. Built as a one-off model from a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB, the car’s lightweight body, aerodynamic design, and dramatic roof line certainly turned heads when it debuted at the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans. All these years later, it’s continuing to do the same whenever it turn ups at historic racing events such as the Monterey Historic Automobile Races, the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and the Tour Auto.
9. Ferrari GG50
Built to commemorate the 50 years Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro had been designing cars, the Ferrari GG50 is a concept car that took inspiration from Formula 1 to enhance its performance and speed. With its superlative technology, sleek design, and powerful 5.7-liter 540 hp V12 engine, it’s a classic example of Ferrari at it’s best…just a pity that the only model ever produced is owned by Giugiaro himself.
8. Ferrari 500 Superfast
If you thought sporty cars couldn’t be luxurious, you’ve clearly never heard of the Ferrari 500 Superfast. With its front-mounted 5.0-liter, 400hp V12 engine, this was a powerful beast that lived up to its Superfast name with aplomb. Thanks to its soft leather upholstery, real wood trim, and spacious interior, it didn’t exactly let it's self down on comfort either.
7. Ferrari 550 Maranello
The Ferrari 550 Maranello may not have been designed as a racing car, but that didn’t stop a few die-hard racers testing out its abilities on the track. And it didn’t disappoint. With its massive 485 hp power plant and six-speed gear box, this was a car as powerful as it was beautiful. Produced between 1996 and 2001, the Maranello proved that front engine Ferrari’s had lost none of their charms in the thirty years since the first mid-engined vehicle (the Berlinetta Boxer) was introduced.
6. Ferrari 250 TR
Roadandtrack.com ranks the Ferrari 250 TR as one of the best front engine cars Ferrari’s ever produced. Clearly, they’re not the only ones to think so – in 2014, a 250 TR reached the staggering amount of $39 million at auction, making it one of the most expensive cars ever sold. Built between 1957 and 1961, it’s a sleek racing car that as Wiki notes, managed to win a whopping 10 World Sports Car Championship races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1958, 1960, and 1961, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1958, 1959 and 1961, the Targa Florio in 1958, the 1000 Km Buenos Aires in 1958 and 1960 and the Pescara 4 Hours in 1961.
5. Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
If you like a car that looks as good as it performs, the Ferrari 250 GT Lusso is likely to be right up your street. Designed by Pininfarina, it was one of the last ever Ferrari’s to be marked with the 250 name… and one of the most distinctive. Despite being a two-seater, it’s interior was more spacious than its predecessors, offering unparalleled comfort without comprising on elegance.
4. 250 GT SWB California Spider
If you grew up in the 1950s, you probably lusted after the 250 GT SWB California Spider at least a little bit. And why wouldn’t you? With a relatively long production run (for Ferrari at least) that spanned 1953 to 1964, this was the car that everyone dreamt of riding… although with only 37 models ever made, you’re chances of doing anything but drooling over it in the pages of the magazines were limited. And unless you’ve got a serious amount of cash stashed under your mattress, they’re even more limited now… the last model to go up for auction reached just short of $17 million.
3. Ferrari 365 Daytona
The Daytona is a two-seat grand tourer that joined the Ferrari catalog in 1968. Despite production coming to an end in 1973, it built up quite the fan club during its time, and an even bigger one in the intervening years. With its classic coupe silhouette, sharp-edged styling, and jaw-dropping power, it’s a regular fixture on best-of lists, even managing to come in at number two in Motor Trend Classic’s list of the ten "Greatest Ferraris of all time" in 2004.
2. Ferrari 275 GTB C Speciale
As bestlifeonline.com notes, the 275 GTB C Speciale was the first Ferrari to be equipped with a transaxle, making it something of a revolution at the time. Produced in limited numbers between 1964 and 1968, it’s gained a massive following in the years since for its masterful combination of beauty and functionality… so much so, in fact, that one model reached a staggering $26.4 million at auction in 2014.
1. Ferrari 599xx
The Ferrari 599xx is the kind of car that motorheads go weak at the knees over…. little wonder, then, that carthrottle.com ranks it as one of the very best front engine Ferrari models ever made. Granted, it’s not the kind of car you’d take the kids to school in, but if you’re on the racetrack, it’s unsurpassable. Combining exquisite aesthetics with masterful engineering, it’s a thing of beauty. It’s also the first-ever production-derived sports car to break the 7-minute barrier on the Nordschleife circuit, giving it the kind of legacy that’ll take a lot of beating.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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