The introduction of the 250 Europa marked a pivotal shift in Ferrari’s preferred coachbuilder. While Vignale had previously been the favored carrozzeria among Maranello’s clientele, Pinin Farina (later Pininfarina) took the lead from that point forward. Pinin Farina’s design experiments culminated in a new Ferrari 250 GT road car, which made its public debut at the Geneva Salon in March 1956.
The styling of the Geneva show car, chassis number ‘0429GT,’ drew inspiration from Pinin Farina’s Superamerica. Ferrari adopted a shorter 2,600mm wheelbase, a departure from the 2,800mm wheelbase used in the Series 2 variant of the 410 Superamerica. This shorter wheelbase was employed for all 250 GT models, except for the competition-oriented SWB and GTO models. Alongside the handling advantages of the shorter wheelbase, the 250 GT featured the more compact Colombo-designed 3.0-liter V12 engine, replacing the bulkier Lampredi unit used in the Superamerica. However, due to Pinin Farina’s limited capacity at the time (as construction of their new factory in Grugliasco had just begun), the initial production was entrusted to Carrozzeria Boano, following Pinin Farina’s completion of a few prototypes.
The 250 GT marked a significant departure for Ferrari, prioritizing driver and passenger comfort for the first time. The interior was more luxurious, with broader seats and reduced noise intrusion. Additionally, synchromesh was introduced in the gearbox, catering to the demands of the increasingly important North American market, which expected a softer ride and lighter steering.