In honour of the 250 S’s first-place finish at the 1952 Mille Miglia, Ferrari named its next 250 model the 250 MM. This model marked the second racing model in the 250 line, a series of vehicles that would spawn such famous cars as the 250 Testa Rossa and 250 GTO. Unfortunately, the model named for the prestigious endurance race wouldn’t enjoy the same success in the Mille Miglia as the car that preceded it.
More Conventional Underpinnings for the Ferrari 250 MM
Ferrari employed a more traditional chassis setup in the 250 MM. The wheelbase had been stretched by 150 millimetres to 2,400mm total. The engine saw an increase in power as well. The 3.0-litre V12 still used three Weber carburettors, but now it developed a total of 240bhp, for 10 horsepower more than in the 250 S. Instead of the 5-speed unit used in the S, the 250 MM was fitted with a 4-speed gearbox.
Great Design, Two Ways
Two versions of the Ferrari 250 MM were made: a Pininfarina-designed Berlinetta, and a Vignale-designed barchetta. While many models with different designs by different coachbuilders end up with one distinct winner, that’s not the case with the Ferrari 250 MM. Suffice it to say, I wouldn’t kick either design out of my garage – they are both equally gorgeous. The panoramic rear window on the Berlinetta is a particularly nice aspect of that vehicle.
Off to the Races
The new model’s first test would come in the 1953 Giro di Sicilia. While a Ferrari would take first place in that race, it wasn’t the 250 MM. It was the vastly more powerful 340 MM that took top honours at that race, while all three 250 MMs entered in the race failed to finish. Two were caught up in accidents, while the other experienced a gearbox failure.
The next year, the car would finally get to take part in the race it was named after. Two Ferrari 250 MMs were entered in the 1954 Mille Miglia. One would end up with a DNF, but the Clemente Biondetti-driven car would take 4th place. Not bad, but probably not quite as well as Ferrari had hoped.