As Ferrari’s heritage was almost exclusively devoted to producing race cars, with passenger cars a profitable sideline, comfort was not always at the top of the lift of priorities, even if luxury was. The 1964 Ferrari 275GTB was the first Ferrari road car to address this directly, namely by replacing the traditional live rear axle with a double wishbone suspension. The result was not only more comfort, but easier handling in everyday circumstances, making the car a definite hit. Furthermore, four-wheel disc brakes enhanced the 275GTB overall road manners, to everyone’s delight. Handling was further refined by separating the transmission, a five-speed manual, from the engine, and connecting them through a toque tube, in order to achieve better weight distribution, something that was to be repeated in later front-engine Ferrari cars.
The 275GTB’s name derived from the displacement, in cubic centimeters, of each of the engine’s 12 cylinders. The 275GTB was powered by a 3.3-liter, single-overhead camshaft V12, producing originally 280 horsepower, and increased to 300 in later years with the addition of a double-overhead camshaft configuration and six carburattors. Performance was spectacular (remember, 1964!) with a top speed of 165 miles per hour, and a 0-60 time of 6.9 seconds.
The 1964 Ferrari 275GTB remained in production in this form until 1968, with minor changes, when it was replaced by the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, which was faster but nowhere as agile.