1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale
As unveiled at the 1964 Paris Motor Show, the 275 GTB was a road car with race-inspired engineering and the Competizione Speciale took advantage of this more than any other version. Features such as an all-independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, a five speed, all-synchromesh transaxle and an optional alloy body distinguished the 275 from the much larger 330 GTC built beside it and the 250 Lusso built before it.
After the rear engine 250 LM was denied homologation, Ferrari had to modify the recently released 275 GTB into a more purposeful racecar, thus bridging the diverging requirements of road and race into one dual-purpose sports car.
Initially Ferrari prepared a trio of cars known as the Competizion Speciales. The first prototype was chassis #06021 and it had several new ideas such as a revamped nose, an aluminum body, rear wheel vents and a hood scoop. After some positive testing, Ferrari was motivated to finalize this specification with hopes of selling a series competition GTBs. Mauro Forghieri was ordered to redesign his road car into a race car which would be a true successor to the legendary 250 GTO.
Upon first glance, some of Forghieri’s body modifications are apparent: The front of the car lends traits from the 330 LMB including a small front intake and oversize fenders to accommodate wider wheels. What isn’t instantly apparent is the 10 percent reduction in overall size, or Plexiglas windows and the easily dented 21 gauge alloy body. This is the one car that you don’t lean on!
See full 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale Gallery here
Like the body, chassis arrangements focus on reduced weight. A smaller diameter chassis is used and, like the GTO, has a separate structure to support the roof and body. Furthermore much of the tubes and chassis details are drilled, the interior is completely stripped and magnesium is used for various engine and transaxle castings to reduce weight.
Powering the Speciale is a modified version of the 275 engine which is almost a six carb version of the 250 LM unit. In 1965, power was rated at 300 bhp, but it has been postulated that this engine can produce much more, since the figure was advertised for homologation purposes.
As a completed car, Ferrari had produced a 275 that was too reminiscent of the 250 GTO project. Even the FIA was convinced of this fact, and they refused to homologate the car as a GT condender because it was 500 lbs lighter than the road-going GTB. This angered Enzo Ferrari and after threats of abandoning GT motor sport, a middle ground was met. With some reluctance, the GTB was homologated mid-season, albeit with ballast weight that put it at 2156 lbs.
The highlight of the very brief racing career for these cars came at the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans. At this event, a yellow GTB/C Speciale chassis #6885 was driven by Mairesse and Blaton for Ecurie Francorchamps. While the Cobras and prototype entrants took the lead from the start, the 275 was more reliable and was in third place by the morning. During the very hot day, the car was overheating and leading the GT class in front of five Cobras. A quick decision was made to cut open a hole in the front of the car and, aside from hampering aerodynamics, the cooling problems were alleviated. After 24 hours, the car placed third overall and first in the GT class, marking the first racing victory for the 275 GTB, and its first race as a GT class contender.
Only three examples of the Speciale were produced. After these cars, 22 subsequent competition GTBs were made to more outwardly reflect the production version. These cars were very successful, taking many class victories and adapting refinements first used from the Speciales.
See full 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale Gallery here.
|submitted by||Richard Owen|
|built at||Maranello, Italy|
|engine||Tipo 213 V12 w/Dry Sump Lubrication|
|valvetrain||SOHC 2 Valves / Cyl|
|fuel feed||6 Modified Weber 40 DF13 Carbs|
|displacement||3285 cc / 200.5 in³|
|bore||77.0 mm / 3.03 in|
|stroke||58.8 mm / 2.31 in|
|power||223.7 kw / 300 bhp @ 7600 rpm|
|specific output||91.32 bhp per litre|
|bhp/weight||345.22 bhp per tonne|
|torque||255.0 nm / 188.1 ft lbs @ 5500 rpm|
|body / frame||Thin Gauge Aluminum over Tipo 563/Comp Tubular Frame|
|driven wheels||Front Engine / RWD|
|front brakes||Dunlop Discs|
|rear brakes||Dunlop Discs|
|front wheels||F 38.1 x 17.8 cm / 15 x 7 in|
|rear wheels||R 38.1 x 19.0 cm / 15 x 7.5 in|
|steering||ZF Worm & Roller|
|f suspension||Double Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Koni Shocks, Anti-Roll Bar|
|r suspension||Double Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Koni Shocks, Anti-Roll Bar|
|curb weight||869 kg / 1915 lbs|
|wheelbase||2400 mm / 94.5 in|
|front track||1377 mm / 54.2 in|
|rear track||1393 mm / 54.8 in|
|length||4369 mm / 172.0 in|
|width||1702 mm / 67.0 in|
|height||1232 mm / 48.5 in|
Further Reading and Sources
Bluemel, Keith. ‘The 275 GTB/C Speciale’. Cavallino, Vol 110. 1999
Jones, Gordon et. al. The FORD That Beat FERRARI, Kimberley’s, London: 1985.
Ridgley, Doug. ‘The 275 GTB/C’. Cavallino, Vol 48. 1989
Rogliatti, Gianni Ferrari: Ecurie Garage Francochamps, Nada: 1992.
Sonnery, Marc. ‘275 GTB S/N 6885’. Cavallino, Vol 81. 1994
Webb, Ian. Ferrari 275 GTB & GTS, Oprey Publishing Limited: 1981