The Norinder GTO

Ferrari, 250GTO, Norinder

The Swedish driver Ulf Norinder, was born in America and was a friend of the more famous Swedish Grand Prix driver, Joakim Bonnier. Being quite wealthy, Norinder acquired a Ferrari 250GTO from Count Giovanni Volpi whose Scuderia Serenissima had run the car during 1962. Norinder painted his GTO in the Swedish colors of a bright blue with a yellow longitudinal stripe which curved around the nose in a style created originally by the carrozzeria of Sergio Scaglietti for the Ferrari 500TRC of 1957. Norinder then continueld to race the car in these colors over the next two years. When Norinder was finished racing his GTO he decided to use it as a road car and arranged to have Piero Drogo’s Modena workshop rebody it for that purpose. Here is the Norinder GTO after the rebody in front of Drogo’s workshop with Drogo’s well-known checkered flag decoration around the entrance. The car’s original bare metal interior was now fully trimmed for road use.

Eventualy, Norinder’s Drogo GTO was acquired by a British amateur racer and collector but in the mid-1970s, while driving an American friend around British country lanes, he had a significant accident and the crashed GTO was placed in storage for a number of years. When the market values of the 250GTO began to climb sharply in the mid-1980s, the old wreck was taken out and rebodied once again in Modena with a not particularly good copy of its original 250GTO bodywork.

After joining a new American owner, this body was reprofiled in the 1990s to be closer to the original shape and was repainted in Norinder’s racing colors. Another road accident then intervened but the Norinder GTO is now back in superb condition and in its blue and yellow colors from 1963. All this says that old racing cars never die…

Photo by Peter Coltrin ©The Klemantaski Collection –

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  1. Jim sitz · · Reply

    That is a stunningly beautiful car–shame the normal GTO design not half as attractive.
    Seemed to me the GTO had one man design the front and another the rear of car !

    Pete Coltrin, who had been resident of my old home town in Pasadena, California
    had convinced his mother he wanted to live in Italy and ” Study Art “.

    She was a well known patron of local Museum and drove black Bentley with Rome plates.
    As for young Coltrin his introduction to racing in Europe was to tow the AK Miller special
    behind his hot Olds 88 to Bresica for the Mille Miglia. That got him hooked.

    Jim Sitz

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A good while before Ulf Norinder’s 250GTO of which you write came to be, he, Ulf, was part of the social swirl of Nassau races in December 1957, being there with his pal Jo Bonnier, who was piloting a Ferrari 290MM. Off track, Lance Reventlow, Jo and Ulf were hanging out with friends including Ruth Levy, who would flip Stirling’s DBR2 in head-to-head racing combat with Denise McCluggage. But before that very lucky, survivable drama, Ruth and Ulf had become an item of romance, and they all together made the best times of a lovely island stop in that largely American entry merry-go-round of off-shore sports car racing the late 1950s. What fun it was!


  3. anatoly arutunoff · · Reply

    I was blessed to actually drive in ’63 and ’64 at Nassau; I’ve beaten the phrase to pieces, but that was when sportscar racing was still a sport. Sherman ‘red’ crise, the promoter, resisted for years the Fia’s request that he list the races on the championship calendar…he wanted to keep it ‘just for fun.’


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