Shaun Stubley Black


I admit to being obsessed with this car, some say it is ungainly, ugly even, but I beg to differ. Enzo Ferrari famously and regularly fell out with his customers and employees and I for one am glad, otherwise such wonderful creations as this would not exist. The most dramatic of these fallouts occurred at the end of 1961, resulting in a number of staff seeking employment elsewhere. Two of them, Carlo Chiti and Giovanni Bizzarrini left and set up rival company ATS, along with former driver Phil Hill, to primarily compete in Formula 1. One of the fledgling ATS’s first customers was Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata. The count tried to order a new 250 GTO from Ferrari for his Scuderia Serenissimo (SSS) Republica di Venezia race team, but Enzo refused to supply him when he found out that the Count was supporting a rival company. This left the Count looking round for suitable cars for the 1962 season. The count already owned a “SEFAC” hotrod Ferrari 250 SWB, chassis number 2819, which was one of the few originally built to compete at Le Mans. This car had already shown its potential in the 1961 Tour de France in the hands of Olivier Gendebien, and as he was not able to add a GTO to his stable the Count handed this car to Bizzarrini to bring up to GTO specification. Bizzarrini relished this challenge, and I’m sure was more than happy to produce a vehicle that could beat those of his former employer. He went further than the original brief, fitting dry sump lubrication allowed him to lower the engine, and moving it further back in the chassis improved the centre of gravity. Fitting six Weber carburettors boosted power to around 300 bhp. His work vastly improved the cars performance, but this is not why it is famous. That is down to the unique bodywork Bizzarrini had designed for it by Piero Drogo. The front end and roofline were dramatically lowered, with the roof running in a continuous line to the abrupt Kamm tail. The bodywork was so low that the carburettors protruded through the bonnet and had to be were fitted with a perspex cover. The unusual extended roofline led to it quickly being nicknamed the “Camionette” or “Breadvan” in English. The finished car weighed 143kg less than the GTO, was equally powerful but far more aerodynamically efficient. The count entered it, along with a GTO which he had acquired from a friend and a Ferrari 250 TR/61, as part of a three car team to compete at Le Mans. Ferrari was not happy with this and persuaded the event’s organisers to reclassify the “Breadvan” as a prototype so it would not be competing directly with his GTOs in the GT class. All to no avail as it rapidly outpaced all the GTOs but unfortunately was forced to retire with a broken driveshaft. It was raced four more times during the season, with two class wins and a class lap record. The SSS team was disbanded in 1963, so the car was never developed to its full potential. Count Volpi used it on the road before selling it on in 1965. After going through various owners hands the car was finally restored and, in the capable hands of Claudia Huertgen and Max Werner, became a welcome and competitive addition at historic events such as the 2008 Goodwood Revival and Le Mans classic.

World’s Fastest Breadvan





Oil on canvas