The 275 GTB occupies a very rarified space in the pantheon of Ferrari road car history. It sits at an important nexus where Ferrari road cars were evolving, becoming more sophisticated, no longer just racecars turned out for the street. Old techniques were giving way to new adaptations of racing-proven technology. Some called it the end of an era, others the beginning, but as Formula One driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise called it, in his test drive for France’s L’Auto Journal, the 275 GTB was “One of the greatest automobiles created in our times.”
250 is No Longer Enough
By 1960, the 250 line of Ferrari GT coupés had pretty well run its course. When first created in 1954, virtually nothing could touch the dual-purpose 250 in terms of performance on the road or the track. However, by 1960 other manufacturers had caught up and, in the case of cars like the E-Type Jaguar, managed to build at least as good a car for far less money. Clearly, Ferrari would have to raise both the performance and luxury of its road-going Grand Tourers if it was going to stay competitive in the marketplace. Of course, the 250 GTO and SWBs would still enjoy much on-track success for the next few years, but in terms of a more practical road car, Ferrari needed something new and more luxurious.
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