The cars we loved.
The Ferrari 250 Berlinetta or Lusso was one of Ferrari’s most beautiful GT cars. It classic lines represents the height of Ferrari’s old world designs. The “Lussos” were a tough act to follow, so when it was announced that the replacement would be shown at the 1964 Paris Motor Show, it created quite the stir.
It’s long hood and short sloping rear deck were inspired by the Ferrari GTO race car and would be the start of a basic shape that would continue with Ferrari’s flagship GT cars today. Other race features like covered headlights like those in the 250 GTO race car contributed to the 275’s a sleek aerodynamic profile. Interestingly, after the first year, the noses of all 275 GTB’s got longer and more raked.
The 275 GTB would feature a race bred twin cam V12 with 280 hp (300 hp after 1966’s addition of a fourth carburetor). It was one of the final engines designed by Gioacchino Colombo for Ferrari. The car itself was designed by Pinninfarina and built by Scagietti. There was a convertible (275 GTS Spyder) that was a more conservative design despite sharing the 275 name. The convertible was designed with the American market in mind.
In a bit of confusion there were actually two types of 275 convertibles, the common GTS Spider and the 275 GTB/4S NART Spider. A total of 10 GTB/4S NARTS were produced. It had all the technology Ferrari could muster in a package that looked like a drop top of the GTB, making it extremely rare. So rare that one recently fetched 27 million dollars at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
As time went on the number of 275’s produced got smaller, even as the GTS Spyder and a four cam version was introduced. Only 200 275 GTS Spyders were sent to America all except 14 with left hand drive. Spyders were often marketed with the acronym N.A.R.T. (North American Racing Team) attached due to N.A.R.T. distributing Ferrari road cars in America.
Beyond it’s looks, the 275 GTB and GTS represented a major milestone in the development of modern Ferraris. The 275 series were Ferrari’s first road cars with a fully independent suspension. The cars 5 speed manual transmission was moved to the rear in an attempt to improve the cars balance. In addition to improving performance, the new suspension made the 275 GTB/GTS a more comfortable GT car, something very important to the American market that was opening up to expensive European exotics.
Another milestone that was less celebrated, but just as important in the evolution of the modern Ferrari was the switch from the traditional Borrani wire wheels to modern alloys in later cars. The design of these wheels would evolve in nearly every Ferrari afterwards to the classic five-star look.
The 275 GTB was replaced by the Daytona which refined its basic curves and improved straight line performance.
Today a Ferrari 275 GTB can easily go for more than a million, the GTS Spyder for much more.