The second model in the string of prototype racers built during the 1960s and 70s, the Ferrari 275 P was an evolution of the 250 P before it. Using lessons learned when building and racing the 250, the 275 was a much-improved race car. Being a P-designated car, this was one of Ferrari’s racing prototypes, which sported unique bodywork and experimental race technology. By honing their craft on the track, Ferrari engineers were then able to apply lessons learned to their production vehicles. This famous strategy helped Ferrari’s vehicles remain the world’s premier sports cars, and the carmaker still abides by this formula.
Building the Ferrari 275 P
Any observer will notice the striking similarities between the 250 P and the 275 P. In fact, the main difference lived under the rear bonnet. By boring the 250’s engine, Ferrari enlarged the car’s V12 engine from 3.0 to 3.3 litres. If you were wondering, the “275” in the model’s name refers to the engine’s unitary, rather than overall, displacement. Engineers hypothesized that the increased engine size would do two things for the car.
First and foremost, the 320 bhp output would improve the car’s performance compared to its 310bhp predecessor. Second, however, was the fact that this engine would be less stressed and therefore more durable during long endurance races. As you will see, this strategy paid off big time. Like the 250 P, the 275 wore a unique mid-engined body that manages to look amazing to this day.
During the 1964 and 1965 seasons, the Ferrari 275 P was used by NART, Scuderia Ferrari, and Maranello Concessionaires. The car was successful, too, with the Scuderia team’s car taking home first place at the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans. Only recently did Ferrari disclose that the same car, chassis #0816, also won the race the prior year. Because their original entry was damaged prior to the race, Ferrari substituted this car in its place without changing their paperwork. That makes this the first and only car to win that famous race two times. That same chassis, #0816, was very recently offered up at auction in August of 2018, although the final sale price was not announced.