The Ferrari 250 LM is a model that rarely needs much of an introduction. Presented at the 1963 Geneva Motor show, the 250 LM was the Berlinetta version of the Ferrari 250 P prototype. Intended for production as GT Berlinetta road car, the 250 LM shared much of its design with the 250 P including the rear-mounted, dry-sumped, all-alloy 3.0l V12 engine (later cars would feature a 3.3l V12), with Testa Rossa ’heads, and with a five-speed close-ratio transmission, the LM’s front and rear ends were suspended by double wishbones and coils. The beautiful and aerodynamic Pininfarina-designed bodywork instantly drew great admiration from the general public. Road & Track’s Henry Manney III reporting: ‘Casting a sidewise look over his shoulder at the ATS coupé, [Ferrari] got Pininfarina to clap a dish-cover body on the 250P Le Mans winner and ecco! A 250LM for Le Mans. This is to replace the normally disposed 250GTO of sainted memory… Performance figures are, of course, shattering, but there is no reason that they shouldn’t be.’ However, the 250 LM also caught the attention of the FIA. It would not prove possible for Enzo Ferrari to convince the FIA that Ferrari would indeed produce the minimum 100 road cars in order to homologate the model for the 1965 Word Sports Car Championship.
Ferrari was a past master when it came to homologation chicanery, having already hoodwinked the CSI over the 250GTO’s eligibility. So certain was Il Commendatore that his new car would be rubberstamped that 250LMs bore odd numbered chassis tags – in Ferrari-speak, that meant road cars; even numbers being allocated to racers. Except this time the CSI saw through the smoke-and-mirrors act and refused to sanction it: the 250LM would have to race as a sports prototype. The homologation saga raged into 1964, during which time Enzo had one of his customary hissy fits and withdrew the factory team from the US and Mexican Grands Prix which rounded out that year’s Formula 1 season. It would prove a hollow gesture, as the firm’s close ally NART (North American Racing Team) fielded cars by proxy. Most famously, the 250 LM did claim the outright win at the 1965 Le Mans 24-hours and eventually the FIA would relent and recertify the car.
The car shown here, chassis 6045, is the 19th of 32 examples completed by Ferrari. DK Engineering would complete a thorough rebuild including reuniting 6045 with its original engine in 2011. DK would then prepare the car for its long-awaited return to the racetrack. This began with a rigours testing program and entry for the 2011 Goodwood Revival. Competing in the Whitsun Trophy, James Cottingham would achieve a strong result against far more powerful machinery, crossing the finish line as the fastest Ferrari. Later 2011 upon completion of the rebuild, 6045 would be entered in the Le Mans Legend Race, then a support race for the Le Mans 24 hours raced competitively by James and Jeremy Cottingham. After the privilege of returning 6045 to the same track one of its sister cars had dominated in 1965, DK Engineering would continue to maintain the car for a number of years before eventually selling at auction in 2014.