When most people talk about Ferrari they think about and discuss either the single passenger pure race cars or the two passenger sports racing or the two passenger road cars. Very little is ever mentioned about the four passenger cars.
Ferrari decided to build a four passenger car so that the company could get into additional markets. However, one of the decisions he made was that it had to have two rather than four doors. To date, as far as I can tell, the factory has never produced a four door model for the general buyer.
The challenge faced by the company was to make a four passenger car on their current two seat chassis. In later years they were faced with the same problem, and they came up with the 308 GT / 4, not a particularly popular car.
In 1960 they solved the problem with the 250 GTE 2 + 2. Was it successful? Well about 950 of them were made, which makes it the top seller in the 250 series.
The designation of 250 GTE 2 + 2 as the model number was based on several factors. First the 250 represented in cubic centimeters the cylinder size of one of the V12 cylinders. The GT was for Grand Touring and the E was from the 508E, a new chassis design. The 2 + 2 meant that the front two passengers found a normal sized area up front, and the +2 meant that two could sit in the rear. For this car the two rear seat passengers had adequate but not spacious room. Many other brands have used the 2 + 2 designation, but in the majority of cases, the rear area had no leg room. It was more of a marketing ploy to satisfy some government regulations about the need for larger capacity cars.
The 250 GTE 2 + 2 was rated at 235bhp, slightly lower than the typical 250 series car. It had an unusual gear box with four speeds and an electric overdrive. Disc brakes were fitted all around. The top speed was listed as 136mph, again lower than other 250 series models. However, keep in mind that this particular car was designed as a road car and not a sports racing automobile. Other significant factors were a generous boot to hold luggage, and improved heating and ventilation for the passenger's comfort.
While an outstanding handling car and a great touring car, the 2 + 2 does not rival the other 250's when it comes to the used car marketplace. It has been typical of Ferrari 2 + 2's that the original prices are higher than the companion two seat versions, they depreciate much faster and are less sought after by collectors. A 1961 model with 34,000 miles was recently advertised in England for $ 134,000. Still a lot of money for a used car, but nothing like what other Ferrari collector cars would bring.