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SLEUTHING OUT THE ELUSIVE TYPE-A DAYTONA

Updated: Aug 27, 2021

I can’t begin to tell you how many articles begin with a phone call. The caller is desperate for information; well OK, maybe not desperate, but information that will prove, or disprove, their point of view.

Some are easy to dispel. The “I found this Ferrari in a barn that won the 1962 Le Mans race.” I don’t think so; I know where it is, and it’s not languishing away in some barn.

“How many Ferraris have been made in purple with green interior?” I don’t know, and the factory is not going to tell you that information. If you send it to Ferrari for Classiche certification they will tell you if it is original, but they will not divulge how many were made that way.

I’ve been doing this at least a decade or two and often the same questions come up. So, when I got this call, I feel it is time to give an answer that hopefully will dispel rumors and innuendos forever.

Of course, with Ferrari there is often no definitive answer. It is dangerous to make statements like “Ferrari always did this.” Or “Ferrari would have never done that.” Usually the answer must be “maybe”, or “often”, even “usually” and “sometimes”, but anyone who has been around these cars for very long recognizes Ferrari does not work from a hard script. Experimentation and development are continuously ongoing and while Enzo was still alive even the experiments got sold to help pay for the racing game.

The one constant at Ferrari is change.

The 275 GTB was introduced as the next generation model in late 1964. The V-12 engine was increased to 3.3-liters with an increase of bore size from the veritable 250 GT engine. Still in a single overhead camshaft design it was the chassis that really broke ground for Ferrari’s new direction of the berlinetta.

The 275 series chassis was the first to have stamped metal upper and lower control arms along with coilover shocks and independent rear suspension. The engine and the transmission were at different ends of the chassis and connected by a long driveshaft.

While having the transmission and rear axle unit at the rear helped balance the car, there were problems keeping it aligned with the engine. Before the end of the 275 2-cam series, the cars were fitted with a redesigned engine block and transaxle unit connected by a tube. This torque tube solidly bolted the engine and transaxle together creating one rigid assembly.

In late 1966 the 275 GTB was updated with a 4-cam engine providing twenty more horsepower. The new 275 GTB/4 engine was equipped with six carburetors and dry-sump lubrication. The 275 GTB/4 would be the precursor for the next berlinetta Ferrari would build.

Automobile rules were changing in America. New regulations were put in place for the 1968 model year. There were new standards for emissions, lights and several other items that Ferrari would have to address. Because of those regulations, the 275 GTB/4 could not be sold in America after 1968.



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