Chevy-Swapped Ferrari 250 GTE

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Can a Ferrari be a muscle car? Is this Chevy swap sacrilege or swaptastic?

When you hear the word “muscle car,” Ferrari seldom crosses your mind. So why does this episode of MotorTrend’s “The House of Muscle” feature 1962 Ferrari 250 GTE? Because under the Prancing Horse’s hood dwells a 383 cubic-inch small-block Chevy V8. Despite being turned out as a clean early ‘60s 2+2 grand tourer, this 250 has real American grit, known colloquially as “torque.” In the video above, MotorTrend‘s Mike Musto tells the tale of the Chevy-powered Ferrari.

Ferrari began using the “250” nameplate in the mid-1950s. They built small batches of tin-top GT cars during that production run. However, the GTE was the company’s first mass-produced four-seater. As such, it also represented the company’s first attempt at mass-producing cars. They had previously hand-built small batches of cars for specialty and/or racing purposes. The 250 GTE still included Ferrari’s 3.0-liter Colombo V12. However, that made the less-desirable GTE a frequent engine donor for higher-end two-seaters.

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That’s how Gary Briggs found his classifieds-section 250 GTE. Aside from the long-gone V12, the GTE was complete and the V8 conversion had been installed, though the car was still a project. Gary’s father took it on and soon turned the car into a living, breathing Ferrari again. The engine is a 383 Chevy small-block V8 with custom Ferrari valve covers and a Tremec 5-speed transmission. The rear end comes from Chrysler, an 8-¾” unit, which the Briggs modified to take the original knock-off (as in “remove the hubs with a hammer” not “replica”) wire wheels. They left in place much of the original exhaust, which gives the 383 a unique sound.

So what’s something like a V8-swapped Ferrari 250 worth? Hagerty says an all-original GTE should be worth somewhere north of $400,000, but Briggs doesn’t sound too interested in selling. He’s hoping the 250 GTE that his father worked on gets passed down through generations in his family.

Eric Rood is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and LS1Tech, among other auto sites.

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