Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Berlinetta

In October 1964, following the end of the 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, the 275 GTB debuted at the Paris Auto Salon. The size of the 12-cylinder engine increased from three liters to 3,286 cc, with each cylinder displacing roughly 275 cc, hence the new model designation.

The 275 GTB signaled an important evolution with a fully independent suspension, which had been tested, developed and proven in Ferrari’s sports racing cars beginning with the Testa Rossa in the early 1960s. Bodied by Scaglietti and designed by Pininfarina, the 275 GTB echoed the aggressive, purposeful appearance of the 250 GT Tour de France and GTO, and today, it remains one of the most sought-after and collectible Ferraris ever produced, particularly in 275 GTB/4 four-cam guise.

In October 1966 at Paris, Ferrari introduced the next evolution of the 275 GTB, the 275 GTB/4. Other than an increase in track by 24 mm, the chassis was unchanged. Pininfarina’s body, enhanced during 275 GTB production with an elongated nose to reduce front-end lift at speed, remained the same as well, with the exception of a small hood bulge for engine clearance.

Underhood, the 275 GTB/4’s V-12 engine was fitted with four overhead camshafts, two per cylinder bank, and this revised Tipo 226 powerplant developed as much power as Ferrari’s racing two-cam engine. In addition, the Tipo 226 featured a number of other race-proven modifications, including a dry-sump oiling system and a set of six twin-choke Weber carburetors. All told, this formidable powerplant was capable of propelling the new 275 GTB/4 to a top speed of over 160 mph. With the four-cam V-12, competition power levels had been made available to Ferrari’s clients right off the showroom floor.

The engine, driveshaft and rear-mounted transaxle were combined in one sub-assembly, mounted to the chassis at four points, producing a rigid car with superb and neutral handling and a near-perfect 50/50 weight distribution. In a 1967 road test published in L’Auto Journal, former Grand Prix driver Jean-Paul Beltoise commented, “I covered in complete safety and the greatest comfort … and while carrying on a normal conversation with my passenger, the 46 miles which separate the Pont d’Orléans from Nemours in a little less than 23 minutes … at an average speed of more than 121 miles per hour – which is remarkable enough without noting that I had to stop for the toll gates.”

Although the 275 GTB/4 was a trendsetting sports car in many regards, it was also the last true combination road/race Berlinetta in the great Ferrari tradition. Accordingly, many examples led a dual life, winning at road courses and hillclimbs on weekends while being utilized for stylish and sporty transportation during the week.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

300 bhp, 3,286 cc V-12 engine with dual overhead cams per cylinder bank, six Weber dual-choke carburetors, five-speed manual gearbox in rear transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with upper and lower wishbones, coil springs and tubular shocks, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Ned Jackson 

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