“It is, first and foremost, a serious gran turismo, but it retains the lineage of a race car in the response of the engine and the quality of the handling. The 275 GTB/4 is one of the greatest automobiles created in our time” – Grand Prix driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise writing for l’Auto-Journal in January 1967.
Enzo Ferrari might have lost out to arch-rival Ferruccio Lamborghini in the race to build a four-cam V12, but in the 275 GTB/4 he unquestionably produced a classic. It was the logical progression of early 1960s road and racing Ferraris that included Le Mans-winning prototypes and the iconic 250 GTO.
The Ferrari 275 GTB/4 was launched at the Paris Salon in October 1966 and it introduced the first-ever double-overhead-camshaft engine in a Ferrari road car. It was also dry-sumped – standard racing practice, as used in the ‘Hot Rod’ 275 GTB Competizione Speciales. Topped by six Weber carburettors à la 250 GTO, the smooth and flexible motor produced a reliable 300bhp, more than enough for 165mph. It took just 15 seconds to be travelling at 100mph from standstill.
The four-cam looked much as the later 275 GTB ‘long-nose’ cars, except that there was now a power bulge in the bonnet. The mechanical specification was standardised and almost all cars were bodied in steel.
Just 330 were built, from 1966 to 1968, and for bragging rights, not much beats a 275 GTB/4. It will always be the definitive road-going 275 GTB.
One of ten delivered in Nocciola.