Some of the most fun car arguments are over “what’s the best car [insert car company name] have made.” Most enthusiasts have opinions on the best and worst cars in the range, and aren’t scared to voice them. Ferrari’s long and varied back-catalogue inevitably suffers from the problem that everything it builds is meant to be the ultimate and the best. It’s not allowed to do normal, but this hasn’t prevented some of its cars being thought of as the runts. Weirdly this seems to have gone away in recent years, the upswing in values meaning that previously mocked models now get to be feature cars in the glossier car mags. So the 400i and GT4 are now OK, and the Mondial is, well, erm…

 

Thinking about which Ferraris are the best is more interesting though, especially those that fall into the road-racer category. The amazing 250GTOs of the 1960s set a naming trend for road cars built to homologate racing versions that was repeated with the 288GTO of the 80s. Delorean spoilt the purity of the name a little, then Ferrari bit the bullet and used in inappropriately themselves recently, so it’s a bit ruined now. However, before the 250GTO came the 250GT SWB, also a car made to be driven to the track, defeat all-comers, then drive home. If anything it’s a better example of Ferrari’s original racing thinking than the GTO, the later car was designed to compete with cars that were a genuine challenge, it’s more technical – like a modern Ferrari. The SWB was just built to win, with very little regard to what anyone else was doing. It’s a personification of what the company wanted to build for itself in terms of road-race cars. It’s a no-compromise beautiful, yet thuggish car. It swaggers, and doesn’t try at all, let alone try hard. Look at the exhausts, brutal show-off bits of kit!

So when I was asked to draw some Ferraris for an advert, with particular regard to the quicker ones, and the best models, what did I choose? The SWB, it’s the best, no arguments. Oh, and a 1980s GTO too, ‘cos that was cool when I was a kid đŸ™‚