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1957 250 California

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250 California
250 CA
Ferrari
Ferrari logo
3,000,000 CR
Model year: 1957
Performance Index: D 302
Drive Type: RWD
Engine Placement: Front
Basic Performance
SPEED
4.9
HANDLING
3.9
ACCELERATION
6.6
LAUNCH
5.3
BRAKING
3.9
Advanced Performance
Power: 262 HP (195 kW)
Torque: 188 lb ft (254 N·m)
Weight: 2315 lbs (1050 Kg)
Front: 52%
Displ: 3.0 L
Power/weight: 249 HP per ton

186 kW per ton


It’s easy to see why the 250 California is a favorite among Ferrari aficionados, as well as being one of the most valuable of the classic Ferraris. It’s the perfect blend of Ferrari’s 250-series racing technology in a package that not only is suitable for touring and cruising, it also lets you take in the raucous sounds of the wonderful Tipo 128F Colombo V12 through the open top. The “California” moniker is quite intentional—this Ferrari was specifically aimed at that growing US market, and was the brainstorm of two of Ferrari’s influential American distributors (Luigi Chinetti and John von Neumann), who wanted a car that translated the raw power of the “Tour de France” (TdF) racers into a stunning roadcar. To accomplish this, Ferrari turned to Scaglietti, the famed coachworks that primarily crafted bodies for Ferrari’s racers. The steel body was fitted on top of a chassis remarkably similar to the TdF, and buyers could option either a road-spec’d engine or special, competition-prepared V12s. All of this meant that the California, despite being a comfortable and relatively luxurious car, didn’t require a lot to be a very competitive racer—Ferrari even created some competizione racers with special aluminum bodies. Nonetheless, even the steel California is very lightweight, at under 2,400 lbs., so the 250 horsepower engine under the hoodscoop makes this Ferrari a sprightly performer even by modern standards.

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