What a show-stopper!
With the 26th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance finally under way, it’s exciting to see what attendees can expect throughout the weekend. One of the headline cars of the Ferrari 275 GTB special class at Amelia Island is certainly worth a deeper look at. This particular car won the GT class in the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“Perhaps the 275 GTB was born under a ’good sign’,” said Bill Warner. Founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “In 1964 when the first 275 GTBs were created, Ferrari clinched their second Formula 1 Constructors Championship, their tenth world sports car title and their eighth overall Le Mans victory. Good times, indeed."
Learn more in the official release from Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance below:
LE MANS WINNER HEADLINES THE AMELIA’S FERRARI 275 GTB SPECIAL CLASS
The legend of the 275 GTB/C -- Competizione Speciale -- says a pair was built only to be sent to storage on Enzo Ferrari’s orders. Ultimately, they were modified to make them competitive GT class racers. Ferrari’s Mauro Forghieri put the 275 GTB/C on a strict diet that shed 500 pounds. There were other modifications. Cobra creator Carroll Shelby cried foul. Motorsport’s international governing body refused to homologate the comprehensively massaged 275 GTB coupe for competition.
There were nine races in the 1965 International Championship of Makes series, the battleground for the so-called Ford vs Ferrari wars. The 275 GTB/Cs – “C” for Competizione -- joined the fight at the Targa Florio but, as they were not homologated they were entered as prototypes. A win two weeks later was first blood for the fabled GTO’s svelte new decedent. The big day came at Le Mans with the 275 GTB/S finally homologated for the GT class. Nearly all the Fords, Ferrari prototypes and Cobra Daytona Coupes ran themselves into the ground. Third overall was the 275 GTB/S entered by Ecurie Francorchamps. Painted Belgian racing yellow the coupe was driven by two Belgians, Ferrari F1 and sports car strongman Willy Mairesse and millionaire “gentleman driver” Jean Blanton (under his nom de course “Beurlys”).
Mairesse put the whip to the yellow coupe and was the fastest GT qualifier ahead of a record entry of five Cobra Daytonas. Blanton was the perfect co-driver. Mairesse lived up to his nickname -- “Wild Willy” -- finishing just eight laps behind the overall winner at a pace that would have won the 1962 and 1963 Le Mans 24 Hours overall! But at a cost: 275 GTB/S “6885” was run so hard that the crew had to mutilate its nose to admit more air to the overheating 3.3 liter 300 hp V-12. The 275 GTB/S also outdistanced the finishing stats of every Ferrari GTO that had raced previously at Le Mans and the 275 GTB/S’s legend was forged.
The 275 GTB is a landmark car: the first Ferrari with all independent suspension, Pininfarina gave the 275 GTB the traditional long hood/short cabin proportions, the design signature of practically every premium Italian GT. Scaglietti hammered the metal into shape; sometimes the result was a slightly asymmetrical body. That only added to the 275’s legend and charms.“We’re extremely grateful to everyone who made the effort and sacrifices to assemble this extraordinary class of significant 275 GTBs for Amelia 2021,” said Warner.
Source: Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance