Ferrari is a badge most car-lovers would be proud to wear on the grille, whatever the model. But even among the top Ferrari collectors, the 275 GTB – unveiled at the 1964 Paris Motor Show – is a very special, beautifully proportioned, race-inspired successor to the 250 GTO that commands huge interest (and prices) today. Especially the lightweight competition versions. But the competition versions were themselves based on the remarkable 275 GTB/C Speciale, of which only three were built by the Ferrari factory – specifically for FIA homologation and factory racing development.
All three Speciales could boast super-lightweight aluminium bodies that utilised smaller, lighter tubes, along with a race-style, 3.3-litre, dry-sump engine sitting low in the chassis, and topped by six Weber carburettors (as seen in the 250 LM).
What this meant in practical terms was an extra 70 horsepower over the standard 275 GTB road car, packaged in a much lighter chassis. It was a remarkable racing machine – as proved at Le Mans in 1965. Prepared by Ferrari for the Belgian team Ecurie Francorchamps, and painted in the team’s traditional yellow, chassis no. 06885 was driven by Willy Mairesse and Jean Blaton in the GT class of the famous 24-hour race. Not only did the car win its class with supreme confidence (gaining the first Le Mans victory for a 275 GTB), it was also placed third overall: an astounding result.