Ferrari 250GTE Spotter’s Guide
There were basically three versions of the approximately 955 250GTEs made between 1960-1963 all fitted with a 3.0 liter V-12 engine. The last 50 cars of this production run were fitted with 4 liter V-12s and were designated “330 America.” I’m not exactly sure how the 7 preproduction GTEs fit into the total 955 GTEs built, but the information I have here is gathered from a number of sources, so please excuse the discrepancies. If you have any corrections or additions to the information, please feel free to e-mail me!
I hope this guide will help track these changes throughout the series.
Pre-Production 1287GT, 1895GT, 1903GT, 2031GT, 2043GT,
Series I Serial Numbers 2169-2999 (approx. 299 cars)
Series I cars have fog lights mounted inside the grille, and round turn signal lights below the headlights. The headlights have a chrome trim ring that fits inside the light opening.
Fog lights were mounted inside the grille with “bee-hive” directional lights centered under each headlight. The headlight trim rings are convex in shape and mounted inside the headlight opening.
*Note: #2831 shows a hood scoop that the owner added. It is not original to the car. Most GTEs were not fitted with a hood scoop, but rather a stainless steel ridge running down the center of the hood.
Tail lights on the Series I cars usually have three round tail light lenses mounted in a vertical fashion.
Although #2953 is in a partially disassembled state in this picture, we can see some of the gauge arrangement. The defroster slider switches are mounted on the dash panel, and the gauges, read left to right, are: Rev Counter, Oil Pressure, Speedometer, Oil Temperature, Water Temperature, Fuel Level, and Clock. This car has electric windows which was an option for the GTE.
Here’s another Series I dash. Notice the leather knee pad that runs along the bottom of the dash panel. The knob protruding out from under the dash panel is to adjust the clock. Some clocks were electro-mechanical, while some cars were fitted with full manual clocks that required regular winding.
Series II Serial Numbers 3083-4093 (approx. 356 cars)
The outward appearance of a Series II car is similar to a Series I car. Foglights are mounted inside the grille, and the headlights still have the inside trim rings.
Much like the Series I cars, the tail lights are arranged vertically with individual round lights.
The interior layout was very different between Series I and Series II cars. A fresh air vent was added along with an ammeter to the center gauge cluster. The top four holes were filled with oil temp, water temp, fuel level, and a fresh air vent. The second row was an ammeter and a clock. The heater slider controls were moved to the center console.
This car should be a Series II car, but has Series I attributes. The heater slider controls are still on the dash, but there is a bevel on the center console for the radio much like the Series II cars. There also seems to be a lot of space above the knobs in the center console where an ammeter was added. This space is normally used for the slider controls for the Series II car.
Here’s a shot of the center console before the leather was cut which shows the bevel in the console for the radio. These were in Series II, III and 330 Americas.
Many of us believe some changes between GTEs happened as a “rolling production change,” where there is not an exact delineation between Series I, II, III cars.
Series III Serial Numbers 4097-4961 (approx. 300 cars)
Although this is a rare Right Hand Drive car, it shows the changes in the front nose of the car. The fog lights were moved outside of the grille opening and flared into the bodywork moving the turn signal lights further out towards the edges of the car. The head light trim rings are now convex shaped, and cover the outside edge of the headlight bucket.
The Series III taillights were changed to one-piece units that are bullet shaped. Some lights (American Market?) are all red in color with clear back-up lights, but these show amber colored turn signals on top, red brake lights, and clear reverse lights.
Series III and later cars had ratcheting adjusters for the seat backs. Series I and II cars had simpler folding seat backs.
330 America Serial Numbers 4953-5125 (50 cars)
Cosmetically the 330 America was identical to the Series III GTE. The fitting of the Columbo Four liter Type 209 V-12 Engine was the main difference.
Externally 330 America look identical to her 250GTE sisters, except for a “330 America” badge mounted diagonally on the trunk lid. Not all cars came with this badge.
330 Americas had the same interior as the Series III cars.
The rear seats in all GTEs and 330 Americas is what separates it from all previous Ferrari models. Although other cars had small rear seating areas or a padded seating area behind the front seats, GTEs were the first production car to have real rear seats.