The 1954 Paris Motor Show marked a turning point for Maranello’s road car production. The City of Light – and no other setting could have been more appropriate – saw the unveiling of the 250 Europa GT, then called the 250 GT, designed by Pinin Farina. It was the successor to the 250 Europa, introduced in Paris in 1953. It caught the eye with its sportier lines, along with different engine and chassis options. It was the template for Ferrari’s entire production over the next 10 years, and was the model that summed up Enzo Ferrari’s car concept, all packaged with the typical elegance of the Turin body shop.
The 250 GT marked a change in Ferrari’s assembly process, from hand crafted to production line, with a boom in volumes that doubled in just three years. In fact, a few months before the Paris exhibition, Ferrari had expanded the factory, creating a new light alloy foundry, with the aim of increasing production and improving the company’s profitability to finance its racing activities. Just three years after the historic meeting between Enzo Ferrari and Battista “Pinin” Farina in a restaurant in Tortona in 1951, the agreement between two heavyweights of Italian motoring reached its zenith, with the creation of an icon of automotive history. Until then, Ferrari usually let its customers choose a body shop to complete and customise a car.
Often the same model was aesthetically very diverse, with many different details, even in the choice of materials, like aluminium rather than steel for the body. However, Ferrari understood that to make a quantum leap and place his own imprint on his “creations”, to give them a unique character, he needed a single partner: Pinin Farina shared his vision.
Grace and power had to go hand in hand in the development of new products, with mechanics and style merged into a single body. Ferrari forged his “trademark” with the 250 GT, defining his product standards for road cars, which would instantly stand out from those of rival companies. The 250 GT was Maranello’s first real GT: successful on the track, in terms of performance, as well as on public roads too.