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Car Review

Ferrari 250 SWB GTO review

Published: 01 Sep 2020


What is it like on the inside?

The lightweight door swings open to reveal... well, firstly, make sure you take note of the quality of the door shuts and the tidy hinges. Then see about getting inside. The trick is to aim one knee under the steering wheel as your backside heads for the bucket seat. The steering wheel dictates the driving position in here: reclined, and wide-kneed.

The seat itself doesn’t slide to adjust, since each car is built exclusively to order, so the driving position can be tailored to your liking, or as close as possible with the limitations of 60 year-old Italian ergonomics. You sit with your knees high and your backside low, peering up and over the voluptuous bonnet and sitting almost directly over the back axle. The gear lever rises loftily out of the floor to chest height. Got a larger shoe size? You might end up driving in your socks, thanks to the slim pedalbox.

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Still, if you want a perfect driving position, get a McLaren. The 250 shows how overwrought and overdone car interiors have become. The simple line of dials – with all units in Italian, the big rev counter and speedo (with surprisingly accurate needles) and impossibly slim dashboard - show how simplicity never goes out of fashion.

You can choose whether or not to have air-con – the vents blow from the rear bulkhead instead of sullying the fascia, and the system is refreshingly effective. The mirrors, on the other hand, are useless. Still, as this one’s left-hand drive, I’m being a bit cautious with my overtakes. You can of course have the steering wheel on the correct side of the car. The tightly-sewn upholstery is all new cow, but designed to ape the look exactly of an original 1960 SWB’s interior trim.

Elsewhere on the options list, there’s a concealed USB port for plugging in your smartphone. Handy for sat-nav on cross-country jaunts, that. This car had the heater, but you can deselect that, if it’s a summer toy. GTO will fit a fire extinguisher, if you’re nervous, or a tool kit, if you’re feeling handy with the spanners.

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