THE EX-DICK IRISH 275 GTB/4
1967 FERRARI 275 GTB/4
COACHWORK BY PININFARINA
Chassis No. 10525
Engine No. 10525
Red with blue leather interior
Engine: V12, 3,286cc, circa 330bhp at 8,000rpm; Gearbox: 5-speed manual; Suspension: double wishbones with coil springs front and rear; Brakes: four wheel disc. Left hand drive.
The 275 GTB/4 was unveiled at the Paris Salon in October 1966, being the first production Ferrari to boast the use of the quadruple camshaft V12 power unit. The earlier 275 GTB also introduced at the Paris Salon two years prior had broken new ground. This was Ferrari's first all independently suspensioned production car.
At Maranello, the development personnel had referred to the four-cam engine as Tipo 226 during its pre-production days. Its breeding was impeccable and could be directly traced back to the full-blooded unlimited capacity racing engines of the 1950s. The Ferrari V12 four-cam engines in 3.3 and 4 litre form had embodied the very spirit of endurance racing. Their throaty roar had thrilled the multitudes at Le Mans, Nurburgring and across the globe. They powered such machines as the 335S' and the rear engined 275P2S'.
The re-designed cylinder heads of the 275 GTB/4 supported twin overhead camshafts directly operating on the valves. A dry sump system, as previously used in the competition cars, was introduced in order to improve lubrication at prolonged high revs. Sump capacity was increased from 10 litres to over 16 litres. The impressive set of six twin choke Webers provided ample aspiration and the resulting power available afforded remarkable mid-range torque and flexibility. The engine, propellor shaft assembly and rear mounted gearbox/final drive are combined in a rigid sub-assembly which is mounted into the body shell at four points.
The spectacular Pininfarina-designed coachwork was reminiscent of the 250 GTO. One well known reporter summarized his road test by saying, ...the 275 GTB is superlatively vigorous, very agile and very fast, its comfort, quality of finish and original lines of the bodywork justify its high price, for it is an exceptional motor car, a thoroughbred with luxury devoid of excess and a fiery temperament.
The body of the GTB/4 is easily distinguishable from the GTB/2: the hood of the GTB/4 has a raised strip down the center section, the GTB/2 is flat. Well known French Ferrari historian Antoine Prunet quotes the comments after a road test of a 275 GTB/4 carried out by racing driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise, published in L'Auto Journal of January 1967, I covered, in complete safety and the greatest comfort, without having to once use the brakes hard and while carrying on a normal conversation with my passenger, the 46 miles which separate Pont d'Orleans from Nemours in a little less than 23 minutes, that is to say, at an average of more than 121mph. Which is remarkable enough without noting that I had to stop for the toll gates.
The introduction of the United States Federal Regulations Governing Emissions and other specification requirements foreshortened the production life of this model - the last car left the factory in the Spring of 1968, one of only approximately 280 built.
Dick Irish was an American gentleman's racing driver from Kansas City who actively campaigned his 375 Ferrari in SCCA type events against the likes of Bill Spear, Carroll Shelby and Jim Kimberly. Although he was no longer actively racing their cars, Mr. Irish had maintained a friendly relationship with the Ferrari factory and had arranged to stay in Maranello to personally oversee the work while his 275 GTB/4 was being completed. Mr. Irish ordered the car to be finished in an unusual (for this model) color scheme of traditional red with a blue hued leather -- the same livery in which the Scuderia race cars were completed. During an interview, Mr. Irish recalled that he was offered a number of different options to be fitted to the car at various stages of its construction. They included a chrome roll over bar, driving lamps, headrests, overrider, radio, and special headers finished in white -- once again like the Scuderia race cars. All of the options were the same price - $25 each - certainly a reflection of their appreciation for Mr. Irish's support of the marque through the years. There is extensive and rather fascinating photo documentation of Chassis 10525's original construction in the factory which accompanies this Ferrari, in addition to the written correspondances between Mr. Irish and the factory
This unusual 275 GTB/4 remained with Mr. Irish for a number of years and in the 1980s eventually passed into the hands of well known collector Mr. Said Marouf, who commissioned specialist Rob Shanahan to undertake a complete nut and bolt restoration. The engine was rebuilt by Bob Wallace who noted its distinguishing characteristics. These included different camshafts, revised carburettor jetting and the higher advance curves on the distributor. It is believed that these higher tuning options were installed when Mr. Irish brought the car back to the factory from Lebanon, where he resided at the time.
Following the extensive rebuild, the Dick Irish four-cam was shown at the Palo Alto Concours where it won first prize honors. Since then it has been carefully maintained. Widely regarded as one of the most desirable road cars from Maranello, the 275 GTB/4s are eligible for a growing number of touring events, including the Tour de France and Copperstate 1000.