The Beautiful and Rare 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti

The Ferrari 275 GTB replaced the 250-Series Cars, which meant that something was needed to supersede the 250 GTO in racing. For that reason, Ferrari produced the Competizione Clienti variant of the 275 GTB. These used a lightweight aluminium body, external fuel-filler cap and a larger 140-litre fuel tank. Each of the ten cars was hand-built, and each one varies in detail.

Some of the early short-nose competition cars featured Le Mans-type front headlights built into the front panel. In some cases, the owners bought a production 275 GTB and fitted the competition features to their own specifications. Ferrari also built a second series of 275 GTB competition cars simply known as the GTB/C. These had 9000-series chassis and used the long-nose front end.

1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti

Here is a photo I took at the Concours of Elegance in 2020 of a fine example of the Ferrari 275 GTB. This car, chassis 07407, is one of that first series of ten Competizione Clienti cars built in 1965 by the factory competition department. These featured specially prepared engines with high-lift camshafts and six twin-choke Weber 40DCN/3 carburettors producing an impressive 290-300bhp. The lightweight aluminium bodywork was designed by Pininfarina and fabricated by Scaglietti. It incorporated a number of competition-inspired details such as the banks of three vertical louvres behind each rear wheelarch and the Monza quick fuel-filler cap with a long-range 140-litre fuel tank. 

This example was delivered in August 1965 to Maranello Concessionaires, and used at least once by Michael Salmon at Oulton Park as a demonstrator. It was sold in late 1965 to Harry Napier of Belfast, and was unveiled on his dance floor to friends and family at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Napier successfully raced the car in 1966 and 1967 at 17 club races in Northern Ireland, primarily at Kirkistown, with known results of one first, two seconds and three thirds.

Ferrari 275GTB at the Concours of Elegance 2020

From 1974 onwards the car was used extensively for historic racing, at events ranging from the Ferrari Owners Club Hill Climb Championship and the Intermarque GT Series to Christie’s Festival, Coys Festival, Shell Historic Ferrari Challenge and Macau Grand Prix. Its most recent two outings were at the 2007 Fordwater Trophy at the Goodwood Revival and the 2008 Le Mans Classic. The car has recently completed a painstaking five-year restoration back to exactly how it left the factory in 1965.

ENGINE

3.3-litre, V12, double-overhead camshaft, 300bhp, six carburettors

CONFIGURATION

Front engine, five-speed manual, rear-wheel drive, tubular chassis, aluminium bodywork, double wishbone coil-spring suspension, disc brakes all round

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