Few cars can compare to the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO. It was an icon of design, a champion of the track, and a blueprint for sports car engineering. In many ways, it’s a car that has no equal.
The first and most obvious parallel – pricing. Examples of the hallowed Ferrari 250 GTO have exchanged hands for up to $38 million in auctions, making it the most expensive car ever sold by gavel.
Allegedly some have even fetched more behind closed doors. A first-generation 1996 Porsche 993 GT2 recently sold for just short of $1 million at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale. Sure, there’s a disparity in price, but few other 19-year-old road cars can fetch those kinds of figures.
While value is important, bidding price is the least of the ties between the two legends. The real similarities begin with their birth – motorsport. Like the 250 GTO, the Porsche 911 GT2 was used to homologate entry into international GT racing. As such, a limited production run of road cars needed to occur.
In the case of the Ferrari, a scarce 39 GTOs were built (both Series I and II). Over at Stuttgart, a scant 57 993 GT2 chassis rolled off the production line in the 1990s. That makes running into either of these road racers quite the rarity, but also an absolute dream.
In its day, the 250 GTO was the premier racing machine in the GT category. With its 3.0-liter V12 and 300 horsepower, the GTO ran away with countless wins in the ’60s and campaigned alongside equally legendary drivers like Phil Hill and John Surtees.
The Porsche proved itself in GT racing as well, running right at the front of the pack during the mid-’90s BPR Global Endurance Championship, racing in the US, at Le Mans, and claiming three back-to-back French GT championships.
Then again, when you pull out over 450 horsepower from a 911 Turbo’s twin-boosted six and send it directly to the rear wheels… you’re bound to go very, very fast. No wonder it earned the nickname, the “Widowmaker.”
And that touches on the most crucial aspect of both the 993 GT2 and 250 GTO. They’re both pure, uncompromising, completely analog racers. They accept gasoline and they turn it into noise and speed. Neither has fancy electronic wizardry nor overly complex layout. Just fat tires, lots of torque, and a few gears to row on your own.
There have been and there will be more low-production, hardcore road racers that will grace the world’s circuits. But there’s something truly special and remarkable about these two. The Prancing Horse and the Widowmaker.
Photos: RM Auctions