Designed as a competition version of the 275 GTB, the Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione is as notable today for its appearance as its racing credentials. Because the spectacular 250 LM had been denied entry to GT-class racing by the FIA, Ferrari needed a new racer based on an existing production model. As you will see, the resultant 275 GTB Competizione was as fast as it was beautiful.
Strong Mechanicals, Unique Design
In front of the driver sits a 3.3-litre V12 sourced from the 250 LM. The single-overhead cam design yields 300 bhp (221 kW) at 7600 rpm. Top speed was 282 km/h. A tubular steel chassis gave the 275 GTB Competizione a strong-yet-light foundation, while an independent suspension was used at both ends of the car.
The 275 GTB Competizione’s epic bodywork came courtesy of Pininfarina, like all Ferraris of its era. What’s unique about this car, however, is the story behind that bodywork. The design was originally drawn up by Pininfarina for a new Berlinetta model. After the design came out, Enzo changed his mind about the whole project, storing the bodies for later use.
That use would come when Ferrari decided to draft the 275 GTB into race duty. To that end, the alloy body panels were modified and lightened in order to give the car a competitive edge. All four cars wound up with slightly different bodywork, thanks to efforts to improve the aerodynamics on each subsequent car that was produced.
Ferrari entered the 275 GTB Competizione into the Targa Florio, 1000 km of Nürburgring, and 24 Hours of Le Mans – all in 1965. While a stablemate, the 275 P2, took top honours at the Targa Florio, the 275 GTB Competizione would fail to finish the race. Over in Germany, the 275 would fare slightly better, securing a 13th place finish after completing 41 laps.
Where the 275 GTB really shined, however, was at Le Mans. Behind the wheel were Willy Mairesse and Jean Blaton, or Beurlys, as he was known. After an excruciating race, the 275 GTB completed 340 laps and secured a 3rd place finish, behind not one but two 250 LMs. After Le Mans, the 275 GTB Competizione would continue its successful racing career that included an 11th place finish at the 500 km of Bridgehampton.