The stories surrounding vintage cars are often more elaborate than a Hollywood movie script, which is exactly the case with this Ferrari 275 GTB/C Berlinetta Speciale. This special Ferrari was featured at the Cavallino Classic this year (2014), won its class at Pebble Beach and has a long racing history. 275 GTB/C At First Glance While it looks like many competition Ferraris of the mid-1960’s: long oval-esque nose, bubble-like head lamps, gils, flipped up tail, low and sporty with nary a flat spot to be found. This GTB oozes 1960’s sex appeal. However it is highly unusual. The Nose Knows “One of these things is not like the other,” is what the Muppet’s used to sing and here we have one isn’t like the other, or is it? Look closer at the 275 GTB/C nose, now look at the 250 GTO. If you are on a mobile device or lap-top turn the screen upside down. See the three air intakes on top of the nose of the GTO are on the underside of this 275 GTB/C. Yes that is it, this 275 has a 250 GTO nose on it: upside down. While racing at LeMans the car was not getting enough air. If you look at old footage the makeshift fix is a big hole cut into the top of the hood.Ferrari Skirts The Rules? Wait don’t start slinging internet arrows at me, this is in fact an illegal Ferrari in the Le Mans racing world at the time it was first raced in 1965 and is also known as the Le Mans Legend.In 1964 Ferrari’s 250 GTO’s were done and Enzo was concentrating on the 330 P2 a new prototype spyder, but he loved the GT and wanted to give it one last try. He produced this much lower, significantly lighter and much faster GTB than any previous versions. But here comes the rub, after this car raced at Le Mans in 1965 finishing 3rd in class, the FIA told Ferrari he would have to produce a couple hundred more of the exact same car in order to continue racing it. He didn’t. GT or Grand Tourismo (Touring) cars were supposed to represent a like version of a car available to the public. So while it placed at Le Mans and the record allowed to stand, this car really did not meet the requirements at the time = illegal. If you would like to learn more about this particular Ferrari, owned by renowned Ferrari enthusiast Preston Henn, there is an enjoyable and current book published on the history of the car full of rare photos and documents. However, don’t let the $80 price fool you, like it did my hubby, into thinking this is a big book. It is smaller than standard sheet of paper and not an inch thick.
Half the fun of vintage cars is uncovering one more car, make or model one hasn’t seen, doesn’t know about or learning about the enchanting back story which makes them more than just automobiles.
Update: Maverick Swap Shop founder Pretson Henn passed away on April 30, 2017.