Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Berlinetta

Ferrari’s new berlinetta, the 275 GTB, was an evolution of the preceding 250 GT cars such as the 250 GT “Lusso.” The 275 GTB was launched alongside its sister car the 275 GTS, which shared the same chassis and engine.

The aggressive styling of the 275 GTB is often regarded as being among the purest and most beautiful of any Ferrari built. Certainly Pininfarina had created a true and timeless classic of sports car design, which was beautifully executed by Scaglietti. In October 1966 at the Paris Salon, Ferrari introduced the next evolution of the 275 GTB, the 275 GTB/4. Other than an increase in track by 24mm, the chassis was unchanged. Outwardly the new car was the same other than a full-length bulge down the bonnet to clear the six downdraft Weber carburetors.

The change in model designation simply reflected the single substantial difference between the GTB/4 and its predecessor: the V-12 engine fitted with four overhead camshafts, two per cylinder bank. This revised powerplant, known as Tipo 226, was directly derived from the 3.3- and 4.0-liter engines, which powered the 275 and 330 P2 prototypes of the 1965 racing season. With remarkable mid-range torque and flexibility, this formidable powerplant was capable of propelling the new 275 GTB/4 to a top speed of 160 mph. Competition power levels had been made available to Ferrari’s clients right off the showroom floor.

Ferrari had produced a car with perfect weight distribution that handled superbly. Perhaps one of the best summations of the GTB/4’s driving manners and performance abilities came from Grand Prix-winning, French racing driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise. In a road test published in 1967 in L’Auto Journal he said, “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 mph – which is remarkable enough without noting that I had to stop for the toll gates.”

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2009 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona, in March of 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida, in May of 2010 at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco, in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California, in May of 2011 at the Spazio Villa Erba, Cernobbio, Como, in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California and in March of 2012 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

300 bhp at 8,000 rpm, 3,286 cc four overhead cam 60° V-12 engine, six Weber 40DCN17 carburetors, five-speed manual rear-mounted transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with upper and lower wishbones, coil springs and tubular shocks, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5" (2,400 mm)

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Don Heiny, Simon Clay, Darin Schnabel and Glenn Zanotti

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