The 250 SWB Revival is a brand-new classic Ferrari

07th September 2020
Bob Murray

What for many, including the late Sir Stirling Moss, was the greatest Ferrari of all – no, not the 250 GTO but the 250 SWB – is back in production. Not at Maranello in Emilia-Romagna but in Twyford, Berkshire. It’s said 30 have been sold to date, with each taking up to 18 months to build.


In what is proving a busy year for re-imagined classics, the new 250 SWB Revival model is, like the real thing, definitely on the special side. Think of it as the top person’s replica and a viable alternative to a real 250 GT Berlinetta SWB whose rarity and value (often £10m-ish) make their owners think twice about driving them.

Few companies are as qualified to hand-craft a homage to this all-time great as GTO Engineering, the UK firm that can claim 200 years’ combined experience working on the cream of the Ferrari crop. It describes its 250 SWB Revival as the “ultimate interpretation” of the legendary 1960s GT in its most illustrious 1960 short-wheelbase Berlinetta Competizione form.


It might not cost you £10m but don’t get your hopes up that everyone can now drive around in one. No price is quoted, as you might expect at this level and because so much depends on what exactly you want in your British-built, Italian-inspired masterpiece.

Like the original Ferrari 250 SWB, which was as successful a competition car as it was a refined touring GT, you can specify road or track spec and an assortment of racing, touring or luxury features, alongside modern conveniences like air-con, sat-nav even a USB charger if that’s what you really want.

You can also have a radio… but then these cars had that in period as Stirling Moss once famously proved at Goodwood by listening to live race commentary on his SWB’s radio just as he cruised home for another victory…


GTO Engineering builds each car afresh to order and says every aspect of it has been enhanced in some way. “It’s hard to beat perfection but you can make it more drivable, liveable and easier to use on a daily basis,” GTO Engineering managing director Mark Lyon says.

“We wanted to give flexibility to owners who either want a grand tourer, a faster set-up road car or full race car that you can drive to and from events. The 250 SWB Revival is a ‘best of’ with an added usability, driveability and the option to make it as road or race-focused as you’d like.”

Using original technical drawings and all that top-drawer Ferrari experience, GTO hand-crafts every bit of the SWB Revival from its tubular frame and hand-beaten aluminium body to its Columbo V12. Each triple-carb engine, available in 3.0-, 3.5- or 4.0-litre capacities, takes more than 300-man hours to produce.


As well as staying true to the wonderfully balanced and understated body design, the interior is also re-created in all its leather-trimmed ‘60s glory, with even the same perforated roof lining as used in period. Options facing the potential 250 SWB Revival customer are four- or five-speed gearbox, belts or racing harnesses, 15- or 16-inch wheels, standard or quicker steering and racing or touring suspension.

250 SWB aficionados have further choices to make, such as chrome bumpers or, as true to the Competizione original, no bumpers at all? A Perspex bug screen on the bonnet – so handy in keeping the windscreen clear on the Mulsanne Straight – is surely a must, but what about body colour? An original Ferrari hue, stripes and roundels, or period team livery? Or, for the brave, GTO says it offers any bespoke non-period colour the customer wants.


Whatever its colour, this latter-day homage to one of the most acclaimed Ferraris – hailed by Moss as “the greatest GT car in the world” – promises to bring joy not just to those able to drive it but all those who merely see it driving by. Only one problem: will we ever know it’s not the real thing?

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