GTO Engineering Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival: Better Than Original?

Even if you discount the GTO, the Ferrari 250 GT cars aren’t just some of the Prancing Horse’s most collectible vehicles. They’re also some of the most valuable classic cars, if not cars period, on the planet. However, that value works against them—or at least, against people being able to truly experience them. But as it turns out, the GTO Engineering Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival doesn’t simply recreate that hallowed experience. As the team behind the YouTube channel Carfection recently discovered, the Revival might honestly improve on it.

No mere restomod, GTO Engineering makes the closest thing to a brand-new classic Ferrari 250 GT SWB

A red GTO Engineering Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival driving down a country road
GTO Engineering Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival | GTO Engineering
SpecGTO Engineering Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione
Engine3.0-liter, 3.5-liter, or 4.0-liter V12 with three dual-barrel Weber carburetors3.0-liter V12 with three dual-barrel Weber carburetors
Power3.0-liter: 280 hp
3.5-liter: 315 hp
4.0-liter: 350 hp
280 hp
Torque3.0-liter: 200 lb-ft
3.5-liter: 255 lb-ft
4.0-liter: 300 lb-ft
Not available
TransmissionFour- or five-speed manualFour-speed manual
Curb weight2315 lbs (Road & Track)2116 lbs (dry)
0-60 mph time6.0 seconds6.0 seconds (estimated)

Although several high-end automakers like Jaguar and Aston Martin have introduced continuation versions of their iconic classics, GTO Engineering’s car isn’t one of them. It’s also not an homage like the 250 GTO-inspired Moderna. And it’s not a restomod, because while the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival does require a donor car, said car isn’t a 250, R&T explains. Instead, the UK-based shop uses “basket-case Ferraris from the same period,” Car and Driver says.

So, what is the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival? Technically, it’s a replica in the truest sense. As in, GTO Engineering recreated the original alloy-bodied 250 GT SWB Competizione using old-school craftsmanship and modern tools and materials. True, the shop rolls the aluminum body panels rather than hammers them, Car and Driver notes. But you’ll just as soon see employees wield blowtorches as CAD-linked drill presses.

It takes 12-18 months for GTO Engineering to turn a donor car into a Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival, R&T says. That includes building and installing the new body panels, chassis, and either a 3.0-, 3.5-, or 4.0-liter V12. Putting the engine alone takes 300 hours, and it’s available with either a four- or five-speed manual. And, like the original, GTO Engineering’s car has independent front suspension and four-wheel disc brakes.

It’s not an original, but the GTO Engineering Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival might be even better

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Something, or rather some things that the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival lacks, like the original, are electronics. GTO Engineering does offer buyers a few comforts such as A/C, audio systems, and a USB charging port. However, as with the original Ferrari 250 GT cars, the Revival has no power steering or power-assisted brakes, no ABS, and no electronic safety features of any kind. It even has a live rear axle, again, as in the original.

But the Revival has a major advantage over the original besides its optional engines. Namely, it’s a brand-new car, Carfection explains, not an actual 1960s machine. That means you aren’t afraid of touching anything for fear that it might break off. It also means that no part of the driving experience feels tired or worn. And driving the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival is indeed an experience.

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The wood-rimmed steering wheel might be unassisted, but it delivers “glorious” levels of feedback and “an overwhelming sense of control,” R&T reports. The shifter is slightly heavy but smooth, while the clutch is lighter than you might expect. But the sound and response of that V12 are “utterly compelling,” Car and Driver gushes. It responds instantly to the accelerator with an angry burble and plenty of grunt everywhere in the rev range. “It’s just phenomenal,” Carfection says.

Plus, while the steering is heavy at low speeds, it’s relatively quick, and it lightens up wonderfully as you speed up. And while it has a live rear axle, the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival rides and handles surprisingly well. No, it’s not as sharp as a modern sports car, in part due to the classic-style (but new) tires. Also, you really have to step on the brake pedal to get solid stopping power.

“It’s so gorgeous!”

Alex goy, carfection

But the harder you drive the Revival, the better it gets, Car and Driver says. And those tires may slide easily but controlling that slide with the accelerator is ridiculously easy. Not to mention fun—and all without losing a precious investment.

GTO’s Revival is way cheaper than the real thing

A silver-and-yellow 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione racing on the track at the 2018 Goodwood Revival
1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione at the 2018 Goodwood Revival | Michael Cole/Getty Images

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That last bit is perhaps the biggest benefit to GTO Engineering making the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival.

It’s worth remembering that the UK shop has been the go-to supplier for classic Ferrari parts, including entire engines. Those vintage Ferraris you see in photos sliding around at Goodwood or similar festivals? Many of them have GTO Engineering engines so the owners don’t risk damaging the valuable, numbers-matching originals, Car and Driver notes. By making a brand-new version of a 250 GT SWB, people can experience the fun without losing as much money.

Admittedly, the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Revival isn’t exactly cheap. Prices start at about $1.1 million, including the price of the donor car, R&T reports. But that’s still significantly cheaper than an original 250 GT SWB, especially a Competizione. While these cars don’t cost 250 GTO money, they’re not terribly far off. Even a fair-condition 250 GT SWB costs $7.6 million, while a fair-condition Competizione costs $13.25 million, Hagerty says.

Some might cry foul at the thought of anyone, including GTO Engineering, recreating the Ferrari 250 GT SWB. But this way, Ferraris destined for the scrapyard can have a second life. And you know what’s better than a classic Ferrari that just sits in a climate-controlled garage and quietly rots? A classic Ferrari roaring down the country road with the driver having the time of their lives.

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