Ferrari 275 GTB, when the going gets tough...

The Ferrari 275 GTB, takes up the baton of the glorious 250 family, and is one of the most loved Reds in history thanks to a breathtaking line and, above all, to the introduction of important technical innovations.

Presented at the 1964 Paris Motor Show, its name embodies the Ferrari spirit: the figure 275 indicates the unit displacement, while the suffix GTB means Gran Turismo Berlinetta. For the first time in history, the letter B officially appears in the Ferrari nomenclature to identify the type of vehicle preferred by its founder, namely closed sports cars.

The Ferrari 275 GTB, in addition to dealing with the heavy legacy of the previous 250s, must face increasingly fierce competition, especially that of Lamborghini, which starting from 1963 began producing high-performance Gran Turismo, after an exchange of letters with Enzo Ferrari.

To improve the performance of the road car, the Maranello technicians draw directly from the world of racing: the light alloy wheels with rectangular windows and radial ribs take up solutions already seen on the Ferrari 156 from Formula One, the suspension scheme is completely similar to that of the Sport cars of the previous season, and at the rear there is the most important novelty, the gearbox, which is mounted in a block with the differential in order to optimize weight distribution.

Made from 1964 to 1966 in two series for about four hundred total units, the 275 GTB presents various and small differences in some technical and aesthetic details, aimed at satisfying customer requests.

The frame, type 563, is made of tubular steel tubes, with a tapered section at the rear to best accommodate the gearbox-differential unit. This is designed with a wheelbase of 2.400 millimeters, which is combined with overlapping trapezoid suspensions, adjustable shock absorbers and coaxial springs derived directly from the previous season's Sport models, thus forming the cycling package of this Ferrari.

In the first series, the engine is anchored to the frame in four points and is connected to the gearbox, the latter fixed at three points, through a thin transmission shaft supported in the center by a support with bearing. The solution makes the car uncomfortable due to vibrations and, consequently, frequent checks on the alignment of the transmission itself are necessary. The next series presents the reinterpretation of this assembly, connecting the end of the shaft through constant velocity joints.

However, for the definitive solution we will have to wait for the next 275 GTB/4.

The transition to the second series, only twelve specimens that serve as tests for the subsequent 275 GTB/4, involves a change to code 563/66, while the chassis always end with the odd number, as Ferrari tradition dictates.

Made by Scaglietti, based on a Pininfarina design, the Ferrari 275 GTB has a steel body as standard, even if the first model presented in Paris, chassis 6003 GT, Yellow Fly Italver 25.039, is made entirely of aluminum: the enthusiasm and the The interest generated by the car are such that the crowd, just to see it up close, pushes their way, bumping into the car and thus creating dents on the bodywork.

For this reason, the Maranello technicians will decide to discard this type of metal for mass production, reserving the option only for sports customers.

This always on a theoretical level, because the history of Ferrari is made up of many customizations, and therefore it is always necessary to verify how production has developed in reality.

Often aluminum and steel mix with hybrid configurations: sometimes the car body is made of steel with aluminum bonnets and doors, while other times the opposite happens, although it may be bizarre to configure an aluminum car with steel parts.

At first glance, admiring the Ferrari 275 GTB, one is enchanted by its line that does not hide its thoroughbred character. This stylistic choice stems from a desire and a request from Enzo Ferrari, who considers the previous 250 GTL too elegant to be a Ferrari.

The car is low and wide, high and muscular sides that tone the car body, a curved and very inclined windshield, and headlights with Plexiglas fairings.

All characteristics chosen following the stylistic trend of the 250 GTO.

But the whole visual scene is undoubtedly taken by the very long front bonnet, since it accommodates the 12-cylinder from Maranello, while in the side view it predominates over the rear part occupied by the passenger compartment.

Compared to the 250 GTO, the grille grows in size and is angled towards the rear, with an aluminum grille.

Four slits, or gills, are present behind the front wheel to let the mechanical parts breathe, while another three are placed on the pillar to ventilate the passenger compartment. The truncated and compact tail, the small circular headlights, and a hint of spoiler, accentuate the gritty character of this Ferrari.

Alloy wheels, with the option for the classic spoked Borrani.

Another distinctive aesthetic element is the clew, or the bulge in the central part of the bonnet necessary to make room for the carburetors, three or six depending on the version chosen. Also in this case, delving into the world of customization, there are six-carburetor competition-type specimens that have a totally smooth bonnet, probably not to attract attention.

The car will undergo continuous updates, as in the case of the rear trunk hinges: housed internally in the very first specimens, the hinges will go outside as early as the beginning of 1965, to obtain a greater volume of the hood and a wider rear window.

The main modification of this evolutionary version of the first series, also presented in Paris in 1965, is located at the front where the nose lengthens because the very first examples, at high speed, are a bit unstable. This variation creates a clear distinction within the 275 GTB world to the point that one of the main classifications is precisely that between the short nose and the long nose.

The production of the short snout is about 240 specimens, against 202 long snouts.

Internally, the environment, while remaining a small and sports car, is like a true Gran Tursimo, making Ferrari take a leap forward compared to previous cars which, while using quality and luxury materials, showed all their racing essence with interiors. bordering on the Spartan.

The seats, covered in leather in the more touristic configurations, are well sunken and also suitable for tall people, while the classic three-spoke wooden steering wheel where the Prancing Horse dominates the scene in the center on a yellow background, and the clear instrumentation, they are always clearly visible.

Behind the steering, which improves its accuracy when the driving pace is raised, we find two large dials: on the left the speedometer with full scale that marks 300 km/h, while on the right we find the tachometer. In the middle, two smaller instruments indicate oil pressure and temperature.

In the center of the dashboard, in the upper part, there is a panel designed for the secondary instruments: there are four and circular in shape. These indicate the water thermometer, ammeter, fuel gauge and the clock.

In front of the passenger seat, on the floor there is a footrest while the curious position of the handbrake is worth noting, which, in this two dry seats, is located in front of the five-speed gearbox.

The latter is an absolute novelty for road Ferraris, and performs very well following the driver's maneuvers.

Visibility, especially when maneuvering, is poor, to say almost nothing at the rear, and it doesn't go much better in front, where the very long bonnet dominates the scene.

Scene in turn stolen and dominated by the engine as soon as the key is turned, with the angry roar that invades the passenger compartment.

The V12 type 213, which is located inside the car, is a 3,286 cm³ evolution of the block designed by Colombo, but which has seen a modification as regards the bore and the stroke, which is now equal to 77 by 58.8 millimeters. Fuel is provided by three 40 DCZ/6 or 40 DFI/1 double Weber carburettors, but it is possible to configure a sportier version with as many as six 40 DCN three carburettors, also of the same brand.

The power discharged on the rear axle is 280 hp, which rises to 300 if we are talking about the twelve specimens of the second series.

Despite the power involved and an initial awe given by poor visibility, the car can immediately put the driver at ease. This result is due to the innovative suspension scheme adopted and the positioning of the gearbox-differential unit in the rear, which make the car basically neutral and sincere. More experienced gentleman drivers will notice a slight understeer when entering corners, nothing sensational, and oversteer behavior when exiting only if you decide to play with the accelerator.

The only drawback of this car is the braking, despite the four Dunlop disc brakes, the car suffers from fading, not facilitated by the total weight that reaches 1.200 kg in running order.

Some examples have made history in themselves, such as the Competizione and the 275 GTS, or the spider.

The 275 GTB/C, where C stands for Competizione, was built in 1965 in just three examples. Power of 320 hp, light weight up to 1.000 kg, dry sump, standard Borrani rims the main features of the 6701 GT, 6885 GT, 7107 GT chassis, set up to allow gentleman drivers to race in endurance races with a palmares important and several category victories.

The 275 GTS deserves a separate chapter, designed and built in Turin by Pininfarina after receiving the chassis from Maranello. Once the work is finished at the Turin atelier, the cars return to Emilia for final assembly. The style is more classic, inspired by the Ferrari 250 California and identical to that of the future 330 GTS. Performance is also revised in a more touristic perspective, with the 12-cylinder losing about twenty horsepower to favor flexibility and the pleasure of relaxed driving in the open.

The 275 GTB was, and still is, one of the most successful Ferraris both in terms of style and technology. A worthy representative of the Gran Turismo of the 60s that manages to collect the heavy legacy of the 250 family, and indeed in comparison it proves to be a superior car thanks to the technical innovations that make it a perfect combination of performance, style and driving pleasure.

It is not surprising to know that, even today, it is one of the most desired and coveted Ferraris in the world of car collecting.


Two seats

Front engine position

Rear-wheel Drive

Size and Weights

Length 4325 mm

Width 1725 mm

Height 1245 mm

Front track 1377 mm

Rear track 1393 mm

Wheelbase 2400 mm

Unladen mass 1100 Kg


Displacement 3285 cm³

Type 213, V12 60°, with aluminum cylinder block, front, longitudinal

Bore and stroke 77x58.8 mm

Compression ratio 9.2:1

Unit displacement 273.81 cm³

Single shaft distribution, two valves per cylinder

Three or, on request, six Weber 40 DCN/three carburettors


Power 206 kW / 280 hp at 7,600 rpm

Specific Power 85 hp/liter (63 Kw/liter) and 90 nm/liter

Torque 295 Nm at 7,500 rpm

Mono ignition, two distributors

Wet sump lubrication

Bosch 12 V electrical system

Single plate clutch

Transaxle gearbox, manual, five-speed + RM


Tubular steel car body

Front independent suspension, wishbones, coaxial coil springs with telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar

Independent rear suspension, wishbones, coil springs, gas telescopic shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Screw steering and tapered roller

Front disc brakes Ø 228 mm

Rear disc brakes Ø 297 mm

Front tires 195/80/14, 6.50x14, rear 195/80/14, 6.50x14

14" or 15" rims on request (in case 5.50x15 - 7.00x15 tires)

Performance declared

Speed ​​over 258 Km/h

Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds, and from 0 to 1000 meters in 25.2 seconds

Luca Saitta