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SLIDER: 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan Picture 1 – delivering emergency Panettone

This is the first of two pictures provided by Peter McFadyen, taken at the Donington Historic Festival in 2018.  As we can see, there has clearly been a disaster in the catering tent, and the call has gone out for immediate replenishments to be delivered in a suitable vehicle.  At over 150 mph, all will be well very soon.

Seriously though, the Breadvan is a one-off Ferrari built in 1962 from a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB, chassis number 2819 GT.  It was designed to compete against the new 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other FIA World Sportscar Championship races.

Enzo Ferrari had refused to sell any GTOs to Count Giovanni Volpi, owner of the Scuderia Serenissima racing team, after Volpi’s hiring of former Ferrari employees at ATS.  So Giotto Bizzarrini was hired by him to upgrade a Ferrari 250 GT SWB in attempt to make it competitive with these new cars.

2819 GT had already competed in the 1961 Tour de France, taking second place overall driven by Olivier Gendebien and Lucien Bianchi  As a competition-spec SWB, it had a lightweight body and chassis, minimal trim, and a more powerful 286 bhp Tipo 168 engine with Testarossa-type heads.

Bizzarrini had already developed the GTO – and therefore applied all the same ideas to this unique car, working with the body specialist Piero Drogo on an aerodynamic form, even lower than the GTO’s, with the roof line strikingly extended to the rear in line with Kamm aerodynamic theory. The resulting appearance led to the French press nicknaming it “La Camionnette” (little truck), while the English-speaking journalists called it the “Breadvan.”  The car was also lower and lighter than the GTO, and had the engine further back in the chassis.

The rebodied Breadvan made its competition debut at the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it passed all the GTOs and was 7th overall during the 4th hour when a driveshaft failed.  It then won the GT class in two races during the 1962 season – thus amply proving the effectiveness of the design.

Photo courtesy of Peter McFadyen. See his website:

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