THE EX-TULLIO MARCHESI TARGA FLORIO CLASS WINNING 1967 AND 1968 ITALIAN NATIONAL GT CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING
1966 FERRARI 275 GTB/C COMPETITION BERLINETTA
COACHWORK DESIGNED BY PININFARINA, BUILT BY SCAGLIETTI
Chassis No. 9007
Engine No. 9007
Silver with black interior
Engine: V12, single overhead camshaft, dry sump, two valves per cylinder, three Weber 2-throat carburetors, 3286cc, 320hp at 7700rpm; Gearbox: five speed manual transaxle; Suspension: front, independent by unequal A-arms and coil springs; rear, independent by unequal A-arms and coil springs; Brakes: four wheel discs. Left hand drive.
A perhaps apocryphal story ascribes Ferrari's motivation in replacing the 250GT Lusso with the 275 GTB to his belief that the Lusso was too beautiful to convey properly the image of Ferrari. Like many Enzo Ferrari stories, it is perhaps less than fully accurate, but contributes to the myth that surrounds the marque. Its logic, however, is supported by the judgement of history: the aggressive 275 GTB is today more coveted by collectors than the Lusso, even though the Lusso's design has endured the test of time to be generally agreed as among the most pure and beautiful products of the collaboration between Ferrari and Pininfarina.
The 275 GTB has other distinctive attributes, not least its place as the first fully independent suspension Ferrari road car and the power and tractability of its 3.3 liter 600 V12 engine developed from the 1 = liter Colombo 'short block' originally designed in 1947.
During the mid-sixties Ferrari was in a constant adversarial position with the FIA over production homologation of the marque's racing cars. Ferrari had taken advantage of interpretation and loopholes in the FIA's regulations for years, not least with the all-conquering 250 GTO, and was frustrated when in 1964 his firm's optimistic attempt to homologate the mid-engined 250 LM as an evolution of the front-engined 250 GT was (understandably) rejected by the FIA. Ferrari's stance was not strengthened by the fact that all 250 LMs, after the first example, in fact had 275-series 3.3 liter engines. It took Ferrari until 1966 to produce enough 250 LMs to convince the FIA they were sufficiently within the 'production' parameter to compete against in the same classes as the overwhelming mid-engined competition.
During this time, series production of road Ferraris continued with the 275 GTB, first with 2-cam engines and later with 4-cam versions, as the mainstay of the marque. The 275 GTB proved itself competent on the race track as well as on the street and was offered from its inception with a choice of steel or alloy coachwork. Obviously Ferrari knew this highly evolved berlinetta with its improved rear suspension and the balance permitted by its rear-mounted transaxle would, like all good Ferraris, be driven from showroom floor to race track paddock.
Ferrari racers, in common with competitors using other marques, always want 'more' and Ferrari had built a successful business meeting these desires. Thus, in addition to lightweight alloy coachwork, Ferrari created 275 GTBs more closely adapted to the requirements of racing, the 275 GTB/C (for 'Competizione'), one of the least known, but most important and successful, Ferrari subtypes. The first iteration of this variant were Le Mans specials raced by the factory and then sold on to privateers. One of these cars, looking like a cross between a 275 GTB and a 250 GTO, was driven by Charlie Kolb to win the Nassau Tourist Trophy in 1965. The three carburetor dry sump engine was tuned to deliver over 320hp. The chassis was stiffened with an extra cross member and special Borrani wire wheels were provided to handle the extra cornering stresses of serious competition.
The Le Mans specials were succeeded by a more sedate series of 275 GTB/Cs assembled with competition in mind but far from an all-out race car. These so-called 1st series 275 GTB/Cs had wet sump engines and were effectively only a slightly modified alloy body production 275 GTB.
Then in 1966, as the 275 GTB aged, Ferrari responded to heightened sports car and endurance racing competition with the 2nd series 275 GTB/C, a production car in name only, for under its skimpy 1mm thick alloy skin there was the heart of a true race car. A mere twelve chassis were built and they represent the most exceptional and effective examples of all the 275 GTB series.
Conceived as tools for serious private competitors, from the first example (chassis 9007 offered here) the 2nd series 275 GTB/Cs were for serious competitors.
To retain at least the semblance of a production origin, the Type 213/Competizione engines were tuned to deliver over 320hp using three Weber dual choke downdraft carburetors. Dry sump engine lubrication was provided to meet the oil capacity needs of long distance races, reduce ground clearance and ensure consistent engine lubrication during cornering. Bodies were even lighter than production alloy 275 GTB coachwork. Chassis were stiffened. Glazing, except for the windshield, was of lightweight plastic. Gearboxes and drivetrain were more rugged. Front and rear wheel arches were widened for wider wheels and tires, nominally 5.50/7.00 x 15 front/rear but generally even larger in actual competition. Interestingly, the 275 GTB/C reverted to the open driveshaft of the earliest production cars, even after the torque tube drive of later cars had proven more reliable in road use. The open drive shaft of the GTB/C proved effective, however, in the stiffer chassis, and was aided by thorough maintenance and frequent rebuilds characteristic of the competition cars.
The 2nd series 275 GTB/C weigh more than 400 pounds less than the standard production alloy-bodied 275 GTBs. With their high output competizione engines their performance is exceptional.
Of the twelve 2nd series 275 GTB/Cs built, 9007 is the first of the line, and is commonly regarded as one of the finest of the twelve GTB/Cs. Completed on May 3, 1966 it was sold new to Silvio Tullio Marchesi who, in the best Ferrari tradition, raced it in the Targa Florio only five days later, winning the GT category driving with Sinibaldi. Two months later Marchesi/Lessona finished 8th overall and 2nd in class at Mugello. Marchesi went on to compete, and win, in numerous other events in Italy in 1966 and won the 1967 Italian national GT championship with this car. (The Italians base the '1967 Championship' on 1966 race results). Marchesi backed up this result in 1967, scoring sufficiently well to repeat as the 1968 Italian champion. In 1968, 9007 was sold to J.S. Hanrioud in France who continued to campaign the car in national events, including the Tour de France. In 1970, 9007 was sold to Mr. Cauwet, then to renowned collector Pierre Bardinon, Frederick Chandon and finally to Mssrs. Hanrioud and Marin, all in France. In 1992 Hanrioud and Marin again entered 9007 in the Tour de France, before selling it in 1993 to the United States where it has remained since in two significant Ferrari collections.
Even more than the fabled 250 GTO, the 275 GTB/C is the pinnacle of production-based front V12 engined competition cars. With less than a third of the GTO's 39-unit production, the 275 GTB/C is much more rare. It also is lighter, more powerful and better balanced due to its rear-mounted transaxle and independent rear suspension. All together, 275 GTB/C 9007 is a worthy addition to any collection of Ferrari or important competition cars and a welcome and competitive entrant in numerous historic races and tours including the Shell Historic Ferrari Challenge.