The 275 was Ferrari’s first road car with a fully independent suspension and it was more powerful, better balanced and lavishly appointed than the successful line of Ferrari 250s that came before it. It also featured a rear-mounted gearbox.
The first prototypes were built right after 250 GTO ’64 production ended and some of the first examples were bodied in aluminum for racing. “The first prototype of the GTB was studied during the year 1963, at the same time as the 250 LM. The first berlinetta was conceived with a 250 engine on chassis number 5161GT.”
As unveiled at the 1964 Paris Motor Show, the 275 GTB was instantly recognizable by its Pininfarina-designed fastback body, long nose, cut-off tail, flowing curves and signature Ferrari grill. Underneath, motor sport features such as all-independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, a five speed transaxle distinguished the 275 from the much larger and heavier 330 GTC shown beside it.
Despite its road-going intent, Ferrari was forced to reconsider the 275 almost from the day it was launched. After the rear-engine 250 LM was denied homologation, Ferrari had to begin fitting the 275 with competition engines and aluminum bodies for their race clientele. The most potent of these were three Competizione Speciales. These aggressive 275s were much faster than the coveted 250 GTO and lent their developments to the next series of 275s.
After being raced, lessons learnt with the competition cars were introduced in the 275. By 1965, an extended nose was used to help reduce front end lift. This was followed up in 1966 with torque tube that fixed the engine and transaxle in place to reduce unwanted cabin vibration.
The 275 GTB was much more aggressive in appearance than its predecessor, with a larger radiator opening, featuring an egg crate pattern aluminum grille, angled rearward at the lower edge, bounded by quarter bumpers, with above them deeply recessed headlights under Plexiglass covers.
The body featured powerful curves with overall lines that had echoes of the 250 GTO, with a long forward section and a set back cabin falling sharply into the short Kamm tail, carrying circular combination tail/turn light units on a lightly recessed panel similar to that of its predecessor. The body was designed by Pininfarina, and constructed by Scaglietti, normally in steel with aluminum doors, bonnet, and boot lid, although some examples received full aluminum bodies. The cabin was a three window design with a large deeply curved windscreen and an almost flat rear screen bounded by sail panels that featured triple cabin exhaust air slots that matched the quadruple arrangement on the front wings.
The engine was an increased capacity derivation of the single overhead camshaft per bank V12 Colombo designed “short” block unit, with factory type reference 213, of 3286cc capacity, with a bore and stroke of 77mm x 58.8mm. It was fitted with a bank of either three twin choke Weber 40 DCZ/6 or 40 DFI/1 carburetors, or the optional six Weber 40 DCN3 assembly, with a twin coil and rear of engine mounted distributors ignition system, to produce a claimed 280bhp.
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB 08603 – sold for $2,750,000 One of approximately 58 long-nose, torque-tube, triple-carburetor, steel-bodied examples. Finished in its correct Rosso Rubino over Nero. Offered from long-term ownership. Incredibly well maintained restoration. Auction Source: Arizona 2015 by RM Auctions
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB 08933 – sold for $3,850,000 Superb restoration by marque experts Patrick Ottis and Brian Hoyt completed in 2014. Presented in the rare factory-delivered livery of Verde Scuro over beige. Matching numbers example with well-documented ownership history. Desirable long-nose, torque tube late production example. Offered with manuals, history file, SEFAC documentation and Ferrari Certificate of Authenticity. Auction Source: 2014 Quail Lodge Auction by Bonhams
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB 8349 – sold for $1,815,000 Matching-numbers example in Briggs Cunningham Blue. Wonderfully preserved, with excellent patina. One of 450 long-nose, torque tube examples. Ferrari Classiche certified. Auction Source: 2014 Arizona by RM Auctions
Argento Metallizzato 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose 08729 – did not sell for $1,815,000 Late-Production 275 GTB with Torque-Tube Driveshaft. European-Specification Example Originally Delivered to Milan. Cosmetic Restoration by Ferrari Expert Bob Smith Coachworks. Sensational Presentation and Color Scheme. Eye for Style Award Winner at the 2008 Quail Motorsports Gathering. Ideal for Tours, Concours, and FCA Events. Complete with Handbooks, Tool Roll, and Borrani Wire Wheels. Documented by Ferrari Historian Marcel Massini. Auction Source: The Scottsdale Auctions by Gooding & Company
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB 07797 – sold for $1,485,000 Rare UK-Delivery Right-Hand-Drive 275 GTB. Delivered New to Colonel Ronnie Hoare’s Maranello Concessionaires. Recently Discovered Af ter 30 Years of Single Ownership. Unrestored Matching- Numbers Example. Approximately 57,500 Miles from New. Accompanied by Important Original Documentation. Ideal Candidate for a Concours Quality Restoration. Documented by Ferrari Historian Marcel Massini. Auction Source: Gooding & Company’s 10th Anniversary 2013 Pebble Beach Auction
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB 07523 – sold for $1,540,000 One of Approximately 250 Short-Nose Examples Built. Correct, Matching-Numbers Example. One of the Most Revered Ferrari Road Cars of All Time. Incredible Performance with Timeless Pininfarina Styling. Documented by Noted Ferrari Historian Marcel Massini. Offered with Tool Roll and Copies of Build Records. Early-Series Example Offering Renowned Driving Dynamics. Auction Source: Gooding & Company’s 10th Anniversary 2013 Pebble Beach Auction
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB 07743 – sold for €1,120,000 The 1965 Frankfurt International Motor Show car. Original short-nose, left-hand drive configuration. Matching numbers, with Ferrari Classiche certification. Completely restored and in exceptional condition. Auction Source: 2013 Villa d’Erba Auction by RM
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB 07751 – sold for $1,375,000 Low-mileage, numbers-matching example. Single ownership for the last 37 years; time-capsule originality. Unique competition-style driveshaft features. One of very few short-nose cars constructed with an “interim” driveline. One of only approximately 250 short-nose examples produced. FCA National Concours winner. Ferrari Classiche certified. Auction Source: 2013 Amelia Island by Rm Auctions
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB 08697 – sold for $1,320,000 Equipped with original engine as per the factory Award-winning restoration; superbly maintained. Ferrari Classiche certification. One of 450 built; ultimate spec, long-nose, torque tube example. Auction Source: 2013 Arizona Auction by RM
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB 06681 – sold for $1,182,500 One of only about 250 short-nose examples produced. Ferrari Classiche certification; matching-numbers. Platinum Award winner at Cavallino Classic. Comprehensive restoration and well-maintained since. Auction Source: Monterey 2012 by RM Auctions
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB 07637 – sold for $946,000 A Significant Automotive Discovery. Early Long-Nose 275 with Transitional Features. Fascinating Period Competition History. One Owner for the Past 43 Years. Stored in an Illinois Garage for Several Decades. Wonderful Barn-Find Condition. Genuine Matching-Numbers Example. Documented by Ferrari Historian Marcel Massini and Factory.Build Sheets. Auction Source: 2012 Pebble Beach Auctions by Gooding & Company
Sources & Further Reading: 1. Pourret, Jess. Ferrari 275 GTB 275GTS 275 GTB-4A. Publi-Inter, 1984.