Police cars come in all shapes and sizes. While the quintessential US cop car is the Ford Crown Victoria, police departments have used a variety of vehicles to fulfill their duties. Pickup trucks, Jeep Cherokees, and BMW M5s have all been brought in to protect and serve. The Dubai police’s fleet, though, includes high-end supercars like a Bugatti Veyron. However, there’s one classic Ferrari police car that even the Dubai PD doesn’t own. That’s the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 modified for Roman service.
The 250 series
The Ferrari 250 series of cars includes some of the most valuable and collectible vehicles in the world. Of the top 25 most expensive cars sold at auction, 7 are Ferrari 250 models.
The most famous is the Ferrari 250 GTO. It’s the most expensive car ever sold at auction—a 1962 example sold for $48.4 million in 2018. To put that in perspective, you could’ve bought 40% of the entire Bugatti Chiron Super Sport+ production run for that much. The 250 GTO is well-thought-of, it’s actually legally considered a work of art.
But the GTO isn’t the only Ferrari 250. The series included convertibles, grand-touring cars, and other sports cars. A 250 GT was the ‘hero car’ in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Steve McQueen owned a 250 GT Lusso Berlinetta. In 1965, a Ferrari 250 LM won Le Mans outright.
And, although the 308 GT4 was the first ‘Dino’ 2+2, the Ferrari 250 GTE was actually the brand’s first 2+2. Though, having a rear seat wasn’t necessarily why Rome’s police department bought 2 of them.
The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE police car
As Petrolicious explains, in the 1960s, high-speed chases were relatively new. Driver training was lacking, and rather like UK cops experienced with the Lotus Carlton, the Italian police cars simply weren’t fast enough. So, in 1962, Car and Driver reports, Rome’s police chief asked his staff what they would need to catch the crooks. Senior officer Armando ‘Armandino’ Spatafora, said, “It would take a Ferrari.” So, he got one.
Actually, the Rome squad got 2 1962 Ferrari 250 GTEs. Under the hood is a 3.0-liter V12, which puts out 237 hp, and gives a 155-mph top speed. Although that doesn’t seem fast, most modern BMWs, Mercedes, and Audis are actually limited to 155 mph. In 1962, doing 155 in a Ferrari must have been like doing ‘the ton’ on a café racer.
Unfortunately, one of the 2 cars crashed not too long after delivery. The remaining one, under Spatafora’s care, served for 6 more years on night patrols. After its retirement in 1969, it passed through into Alberto Cappelli’s hands. He kept it for 40 years, displaying it, and also letting Spatafora (by then retired) race it in the 1984 Coppa delle Dolomiti race. Remarkably, he finished 2nd. It then went to another owner in 2015, who displayed it at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance.
The police Ferrari 250 GTE is now offered for sale by Girardo & Co. Price, inevitably, is in the ‘if you have to ask’ range. But the car’s history isn’t the only selling point. For one, it was actually the inspiration for a short film.
Also, because of its service, this Ferrari has a unique feature. According to Girardo & Co., this is the only former police car that is still legally allowed to flash its lights and blow its siren.
Dubai’s and Italy’s other police Ferraris
While Dubai’s police fleet doesn’t include the 250 GTE, there is a Ferrari on patrol there. Specifically, the FF, the first all-wheel-drive car the Italian automaker’s produced. It too, has a V12, albeit a 6.3-liter one. And its top speed is also higher: 208 mph.
But there is still a Ferrari in service with Italian police, Motor1 reports. Sort of. The Italian government confiscated a 458 Spyder that belonged to a Mafia member. After seizing it, officials gave it to the city of Milan. Although it’s not technically a patrol car—there’s no back seat—it is used during special events. The Milan police also reportedly plan on selling it at some point in the future and donate the proceeds to a charity for victims of Mafia violence.
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