A Look Back At The 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB

The Ferrari 275 GTB rally car is one of the most iconic Ferraris ever made, as it cemented the automotive […]


The Ferrari 275 GTB rally car is one of the most iconic Ferraris ever made, as it cemented the automotive giant’s stance in the world of rallying. 

Ferrari has dominated the world of motorsports and the exotic car territory by a large margin, and it is fair to guess that every automobile enthusiast has dreamed of owning a Ferrari at least once in their lifetime. However, there was a time that the Ferrari was a synonym for speed. Apart from the Formula 1 race course, there was a time when Ferrari was known for high-adrenaline rally racing. Back in 1964, the company debuted its 275 GTB rally car. The first ever Ferrari to go rallying. This was a big step in the company’s history, making the vehicle even more special. 

Birth Of A Legend 

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Despite being a masterpiece, the Ferrari GTB was always being re-considered since its launch. After the rear-engine 250 LM was denied homologation, Ferrari had to begin fitting the 275 with different engines and aluminum bodies for their races. The story of the 275 GTB dates back to nearly half a century ago when Giorgio Pintana raced the extremely difficult Monte Carlo rally in a beautiful, bright yellow Ferrari. This was none other than the 275 GTB. 

To see a Ferrari on a rally circuit was as good as seeing a Ballerina doing farm work; it was not ideally meant for it, but somehow Ferrari engineers decided to undertake this daunting task. The 275 GTB was introduced as a solid replacement for the 250, which seemed to have an aging engine. The 275 was also the first Ferrari to use a transaxle and featured the iconic V12 engine. 

Although the vehicle was officially made in 1966, as per reports, Ferrari made two prototypes of this model in 1965. The stellar bodywork of the vehicle was created as always by Pininfarina, and this was supposed to have been for the new Berlinetta. However, the founder of the company, Enzo Ferrari, rejected the proposal, and the cars already built were initially put into storage. They were later reworked and made lighter, which allowed them to be more suitable for racing, and they went on to take part in the Targa Florio, the 1000 km at the Nürburgring, and the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1965. 

The 24 hours of Le Mans was a truly tough race, and Ferrari came home third overall behind two 250 LMs and also took first in the GT class. In 1966, a small series was built for customers which featured the same bodywork as the production model.

A Potent Powertrain Underneath

The vehicle has a competent and mighty engine. A 3.2-liter front mid-engine V12 powered the 275 GTB. The engine produced close to 300 HP, making it one of the most potent V12s back then. In addition, it had a very high compression ratio of 9.5:1, allowing such a low displacement engine to produce such high power. A 91 HP per liter power ratio makes it faster than some modern-day sports cars. 

The vehicle had a 5-speed manual gearbox and a gigantic 140-liter fuel tank, as efficiency was not one of the most vital points of this vehicle. The vehicle’s chassis was crafted entirely out of a tubular frame to keep the weight in check. The vehicle’s overall weight was just under 2000 LBS, making it one of the lightest Ferraris of its time. With a length of 4300mm and a wheelbase of 2400mm. The company had got the proportions spot on as it had the right amount of track needed to be competitive in a rally stage. 

The top speed of this vehicle was close to 175 mph, but in the world of rallying, the top speed does not hold much significance, but the sheer acceleration and handling that the vehicle can provide are given priority. 

Ferrari had also made some street-legal models of the 275 GTB, but over 70 all aluminum race spec GTB cars were made. The price of each vehicle today is well over $3.2 million, and the sky’s certainly the limit for these vehicles. There are also some prototype models of this vehicle, which are to be auctioned off soon, and the prices for these are expected to be somewhere between $2 million to $8 million.