In a 1967 road test of the 275
GTB/4 for the French magazine l’Auto-Journal, French Grand Prix driver
Jean-Pierre Beltoise covered 46 miles in 23 minutes in Sunday traffic. This
feat included time to stop at tollbooths and it was accomplished “in
complete safety and comfort, without once having to use the brakes hard, and
while carrying on a normal conversation with my passenger…”
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 produced a far better
looking car with race-bred credentials. It was the logical progression of early
1960s street and competition Ferraris that included Le Mans-winning prototypes
and the iconic 250 GTO.
Just 330 were built, mainly in 1967, and for bragging rights, not much
beats a 275 GTB/4.
The Ferrari 275 GTB/4
The Ferrari 275 GTB launched in 1964 at the Paris Show was built by
Scaglietti and for all the world looked like a road-going version of the 250
GTO. It was sinuously aggressive, with a small spoiler incorporated into the
bootlid, and wonderfully smooth, aerodynamic lines.
Far lighter and simply more overtly sporting than the 250 GT Lusso, its
3,286cc version of Colombo’s classic V12 was both tractable and free-revving.
With three Weber carburettors – the most frequent specification – it generated
280bhp at 7,600rpm. As an option, Ferrari offered six Webers, enough to boost
output to 300bhp.
Power was transmitted to the five-speed transaxle by a propshaft turning
at engine speed, a mechanical solution not without its problems and Ferrari
subsequently updated the car with a fixed tunnel bridging the rear of the
engine-mounted clutch and the rear axle: the ‘torque tube’. Around 450
single-cam 275 GTBs were built between 1964 and 1966, in two series. The first
250 cars had the ‘short nose’, later cars had a longer nose and much smaller
air intake. Both steel and alloy bodies were offered.
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.
The new four-cam V12 produced 300bhp at 8,000rpm. Six Weber 40 DCN 17
carburettors came as standard and top speed was increased to 165mph. It took
just 15 seconds to be travelling at 100mph from standstill. Small revisions
were made to the two-cam’s chassis, and Borrani alloy wheels were standard,
although some cars had Borrani wires from new or as a period replacement.
The four-cam looked much as the later 275 GTB ‘long-nose’ cars, except that
there was now a power bulge in the bonnet. All but a handful were steel, and
the car was an occasional racer on events such as the Tour Auto.
This Motor Car
This car was delivered new to an American living in Rome in October 1967 via
official dealer Motor s.a.s of Bologna. The car was delivered new in Argento
(Salchi 106-E-1) with a Pelle Nero interior (Connolly Vaumol VM
8500). It was likely that the original wheels – since replaced by factory
correct 7in x 14in Borrani wires – were alloys.
Its first service was carried
out at Ferrari's Assistenza Clienti at Viale Trento
Trieste 31 in Modena on 9 November that year. Documents confirm an odometer
reading of 1,190km and Italian temporary license plates ‘84239 L4’.
By the 1980s ‘10447’ was in the US, recent research confirming ownership
by Patrick Tighe of New Jersey, who sold it to by Samuel John Reed IV of
Atlanta, GA. The car was listed by Reed in the 1982-1988 FOCUSA Rosters.
In 2007 ‘10447’ was purchased from Reed by fellow American J. Tucker
Morse of Charleston, South Carolina. Morse commissioned a restoration by
Andy Greene Sports and Vintage Race Cars (Savannah, GA) and in March 2008 it
was shown – silver with black – at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.
10447 GT returned to Europe, was granted Ferrari Classiche certification in
June 2014 and has recently benefitted from a comprehensive respray by
award-winning Italian specialist Carrozzeria Cremonini. Further work totalling
€19,500 by Autofficina Bonini attended to various areas including the exhaust.
The car comes with leather pouch, user and parts manuals, and charming period
correspondence on ‘Maranello’ post cards from Samuel Reed’s son while visiting
Ferrari in July 1984.
Presented in one
of the best colours for a 275 GTB, with matching numbers and ready for serious
motoring, this four-cam ticks all the boxes.