ROAD TEST FROM THE SIXTIES
FERRARI 275 Spyder

Italy

PRICE
Basic list. . . . .. . .. . . . . .. . $14,400As tested .$14,400

ENGINE
Type .600 V-12, dohc
Bore x stroke, mm 77.0 x 58.8
Equivalent in. . . . . . . .3.03 x 2.31 Disp
lacement, cc/cu in. .3286/200
Compre~sion ratio .9.2:1
Bhp @ rpm 330 (est) @ 8000
Equivalent mph .159
Torque @ rpm, Ib-ft. .240 @ 6000
Equivalent mph. .. .. .. .. . . .118 Carburetion.. .six Weber 40 DCN 9
Type fuel required . . . premium

DRIVE TRAIN
Clutch diameter, in. . .. .9.5
Gear ratios: 5th (1.04) .3.70:1
4th (1.25) ..4.45:1
3rd (1.57) ..5.58:1
2nd (2.12) . .. .. .. . . .7.54:1
1st (3.08) 10.9:1
Synchromesh .on all 5
Final drive ratio. . .3.56:1
Optional ratio .4.56:1

CHASSIS & BODY Body/frame: tubular steel with alu
minum panels.
Brake type: solid disc, single cali
per per wheel; 12.4-in diameter
front, 11.7-in rear.
Swept area, sq in. .493
Wheel type & size, in. .. .. .. .
magnesium, 14 x 7
Tires. Dunlop SP 205R-14
Steering type . worm & roller
Overall ratio .n.a.
Turns, lock-to-Iock . . . . .3.2
Turning circle, It.. . .46.8
Front suspension: independent with unequal A-arms, coil springs, tube shocks, anti-roll bar.
Rear suspension: independent with unequal A-arms, coil springs, tube shocks, anti-roll bar.

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT

Included in "as tested" price: none. Other: radio, wire wheels.
ACCOMMODATION
Seating capacity, persons... 2
Seat width.. 2 x 17.5
Head room... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36.0 Seat back adjustment, deg. . . . . .0 Driver comfort rating (scale of 100):
Driver 69 in. tall. . . . . . . . . . . .85
Driver 72 in. tall. . . .70
Driver 75 in. tall. . ..60

INSTRUMENTATION
Instruments: 180-mph speedometer, 8000-rpm tachometer, oil pressure & temp, water temp, fuel level, ammeter, clock.
Warning lights: lights on, high beam, defroster on, auxiliary fuel pump on, directional signals.

MAINTEN ANCE
Crankcase capacity, qt . .17
Change interval, mi .3000
Filter change interval, mi .3000
Chassis lube interval, mi .3000
Tire pressures, psi. ... .26/26

MISCELLANEOUS Body styles available:

NART Roadster as tested, 275 GTB;4.
Warranty period, mo/mi 12/12,000.

GENERAL
Curb weight, lb. . . . . . . . . . . . .2455
Test weight .2718
Weight distribution (with
driver), front/rear, %. .. .49/51

Wheelbase, in. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94.5

Track, front/rear..:... . .55.2/55.8

OveraII length . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173.6
Width. .67.9
Height. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49.0
Frontal area, sq ft. . .17.9
Ground clearance, in .. .4.7
Overhang, front/rear. . . .38.2/40.9
Usable trunk space, cu It .4.4
Fuel tank capacity, gal. .24.8

CALCULATED DATA
Lb/hp (test wt) .8.25
Mph/1000 rpm (5th gear) .19.6
Engine revs/mi (60 mph) .3060
Piston travel, It/mi.. . . . . . . . .1180
Rpm @ 2500 It/min .6480
Equivalent mph. . . . . . . . . . . .128 Cu

It/ton mi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130
Brake swept area
sq in/ton. .. . . . . . . . . . . .320-440

ROAD TEST RESULTS

ACCELERATION
Time to distance, see:
0-100 ft .3.6
0-250 It. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.7

0-500 It. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8.2

0-750 It. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10.6

0-1000 It . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.7
0-1320 It (qtr. mi) ........................14.7
Speed at end of qtr. mi, mph. . . . .99

Time to speed,
0-30 mph. . .. . . . . .3.0
0-40 mph .4.0
0-60 mph. .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . . .6.7
0-80 mph. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9.8
0-100 mph .15.0
0-120 mph... .. . . . . .. . . . . .21.6
0-140 mph..... .34.2
Passing exposure time, see:
To pass car going 50 mph... .3.6

FUEL CONSUMPTION
Normal driving, mpg . . . .13-18
Cruising range, mi .320-450

SPEEDS IN GEARS
5th gear, mph.. . . . . . . . .155
4th (8000). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
3rd (8000) .87
2nd (8000). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64
1st (8000) 44
BRAKES
Panic stop from 80 mph:
Deceleration, % g .93
Control. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . excellent
Fade test: percent of increase in pedal effort required to maintain 50%-g deceleration rate in six
stops from 60 mph .nil
Parking brake: hold 30% grade: yes Overall brake rating.. .. .excellent
SPEEDOMETER ERROR
30 mph indicated. .actual 28.8
40 mph. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38.6
60 mph. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58.5
80 mph.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78.2
100 mph .,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,97.8
Odometer, 10.0 mi actual 9.96

FERRARI 275 GT5/4 NART
The most satisfying sports car in the world

GT CARS are In. If you don't believe it, just look at the number of family sedans with that designation tacked on. And nobody in this world likes the real GT car more than the staff of R&T. But there are a few sports cars around yet, too, and we still get our biggest kicks out of pure, red blooded sports cars. Unfortunately, about half of the true sports cars being made today rely on anachronism for their sporting qualities, so we usually wind up making excuses for them, like, Well, it may ride hard by today's standards, but . . . or, It may look old fashioned, but. . . Well, this is a road test of a sports car and a modern one at that. One that needs no such excuses and one that gives practically nothing but space away to today's best GT cars. If it's excitement you want in a motorcar, read on.

The Ferrari 275 GT series was the first production-line Ferrari to combine a front engine with independent rear suspension. It went into production in 1965 in two versions, the GTB '(B for Berlinetta) and GTS (S for Spyder); these were mechanically identical except for engine output but the bodies were as dissimilar as could be. Though both were designed by Pininfarina, the GTB was rather bulbous but mean-looking, while the GTS, a heavier and more luxurious car, was milder-looking. Now, Ferrari introduces new models every year and the changes are usually greater than the typical American annual change. So for 1967, after two years with only minor running changes, the 275 GT series has been reshuffled. The GTB has now become the 275 GTB/4, the "4" indicating that it's the first Ferrari for the road with a 4-cam engine.

The GTS went in an entirely different direction. It got a new, longer snout and the 2-cam, 4-liter engine and became the 330 GTS (remember, the Ferrari number designation is the number of cc's in a single cylinder; 330 x 12 = 4 liters). So there wasn't a Ferrari 3.3-liter convertible or roadster oITered by the factory. Luigi Chinetti, the Eastern U.S. Ferrari distributor, felt that this was a gap that needed filling, approached Ferrari and Scaglietti (who builds the GTB bodies to the Pf design) about building one and the test car is the result. To be built in a series of 25, and available only from Chinetti, is this roadster version of the existing GTB design.

So we have a car that still carries the GT designation but qualifies in every way as a sports car. It's only natural that the car should acquire the designation 275 GTS/4 NART, though up to the present this name has been applied more casually than officially. Whatever the name, this has to be the most satisfying sports car in the world.

The most striking thing about the car is its new 4-cam engine. And the most surprising thing about this new engine is that the emphasis in its design was upon improved torque throughout the speed range and smoother, quieter running. In an engine with the power peak at 8000 rpm, you say? Right. Here's an engine that idles at 800 rpm, smoothly and quietly, and has a useful on-the-road rev range of 1500-8000 rpm. It can be lugged from 2000 rpm in 5th with a remarkable head of steam. And at any speed or lead it's probably as smooth and quiet as that most impressive powerplant in our favorite GT. the Lamborghini 400 GT; only the less generous sound insulation in this more sporting Ferrari allows it to intrude slightly more upon the general noise level than in the Lamborghini. It responds without a hitch to any throttle opening above 2000 rpm and the plugs didn't fluff once in the pottering along we were forced to do with it, New England roads and tramc being what they are. Then, at the other end of the scale. that 8000-rpm mark on the tach comes up all too quickly in every gear but 5th and were it not for the stern admonition of the Maximum Engine Speed figure we would have been tempted to try for 9000. Ah, ecstasy.

Part and parcel of the engine's smoothness are several refinements in the mounting of the entire powertrain. As with any radical departure from previous practice, the trans-axles layout presented minor problems that could be ironed out only by the slow process of development. 1n the case of the 275 series, complaints came from experienced Ferrari drivers that the i.r.s. chassis lacked the precise handling of the earlier live-axle cars. The original layout had engine and transaxle mounted each on its own rubber and joined by an open driveshaft with a steady bearing in the middle and a V-joint at each end. There have been a couple of interim arrangements but the latest (and probably final) one has the engine and transaxle joined by a torque tube, which now carries the steady bearing. and mounted as an integral structure with only four mounting points for the whole works. The handling criticisms have been put down soundly by the new mounting and yet there have been most definite reductions in the amount of vibration and noise transmitted from the powertrain to the body.

Getting down to the design details, the new engine is especially interesting because it marks a departure from previous Ferrari design practice in a couple of areas. For one thing, the included angle between intake and exhaust valves has been reduced from 57° to 54° in line with a new trend at Ferrari which means more compact heads. Also, the two valves are now on a line with each other (that is, perpendicular to the camshaft axis) rather than being "offset" as the result of being operated by adjacent lobes on the same single camshaft. Each pair of camshafts is driven by a gear between them, which is in turn driven by a single-stage triple roller chain from the crankshaft. Tensioning for the chains is by external, manual adjustment of one of the idlers. A dry-sump lubricating system is new, too, and its tank wants 17 qt of oil! The 2-cam version took a mere 10.6 qt.

The transaxle uses Porsche synchronizers on all forward speeds and gets its lubrication from a gear pump driven from the end of its input shaft. The same lubricant is used for the gearbox and final drive. The reduction gears, all indirect, are very quiet in operation and the synchromesh is normally unbeatable. The linkage has to travel a good distance forward from the selectors in the left side of the gearbox and the gearshift lever sprouts from the car's small central tunnel through a gate with the shift pattern R24/ 135. Perhaps the gate is just a psychological confusion factor for us but we found it slightly tricky to get 2nd gear every time when approaching it from the far-left I st gate. Otherwise there was no difficulty in shifting though it is too much to expect that the shifting feel would be as crisp and pleasant as with a front-mounted gearbox.

The 275's body is not only light but strong. In spite of its opened-up cockpit it exhibits none of the oft-found roadster shake and it is virtually rattle-free. The top is simple, small and easy to fold; it is free from flap, roar or wind whistle at speed but its sealing with the side windows is simply glassagainst-fabric. There's a traditional flap that hangs down over the side window openings, w that if the windows are rolled up while the doors are shut the doors can't be opened without rolling the windows back down. This might be tolerable in a $2500 car but frankly we don't think it belongs in a $15.000 one. We mentioned this same shortcoming with the 275 GTS we tested last year.

Ride and handling of the 275 GTS/4 are both improved over the 275 GTS we tested last year. The springing is more supple, in line with the latest trends in independent suspension, but still the road adhesion and stability manage to be better. Sports cars have certainly come a long way! Response to steering inputs is always neutral and of course if you're in the right gear there is all the torque you need to steer with the throttle. With a chassis like this, though, there's little need (other than for showing off) to do this, for the ground can be covered very rapidly indeed without any tire-shredding techniques. Dunlop SP tires, though not the sort of tires one uses in racing, are a fine all-around tire for the car and behave beautifully on wet pavement.

Controls in the GTS 4 are simple; the interior is almost Spartan but the detailing is done well enough so that the car has no air of cheapness about it. Seats are upholstered in real leather with stitched rolls and pleats and arc of the true bucket variety, providing plenty of side location for the occupants. The seats aren't sufficiently wide for really big people, however, and the backrests are not adjustable for rake. There's no excess of space in the footwells, either: clearance between brakes and clutch pedals fell below standards for all three driver sizes rated by our Comfort I ndex and if there's a size 13 shoe in the family it will be hard put for a place to rest itself between shifts. As per usual Ferrari practice, the most essential instruments-speedo, tach and the oil gauges-are directly in front of the driver and aimed toward him and they are eminently readable. Radio, when ordered, will be mounted in a box below the dash. Finally, it should be noted by the prospective buyer that the luggage capacity is strictly commensurate with the character of the car.

Ferrari has not let the increased performance of the new engine go unaccompanied by a proper increase in braking power. Not that previous 275s were deficient-last year's 275 got a "very good" rating in that department-but the disc size has been increased all around in the new model. Front disc diameter is now 12.4 in. instead of J 1.0; rear 11.7 in. vs. 10.9 last year. This raised the swept area to 493 sq in, a most impressive figure for a 2300-lb. car. The result: a 93%-g deceleration rate in the panic stop and no measurable fade in the fade test. All at moderate pedal effort, of course, with the standard vacuum assist.

A Ferrari tradition is missing from this model: wire wheels. Though wires are still optional for all models except the 365 California (on which they're standard), the alloy wheels now used are lighter, stronger and cheaper.
In closing, we'll now mention that the car tested was the same one driven by Denise McCluggage and Pinky Rollo to 17th place at Sebring this year. Chinetti mechanics had gone through the car's innards and it had a fresh new burgundy paint job, and other than a slightly tired 3rd-gear synchronizer there was nothing about the car that required excuse-making. We wouldn't have hesitated to buy it from the used car lot.

back to index

The Paris run

back to road test index

other fifties road tests:

Jaguar XK 150

other sixties road tests:

Chevrolet Sting Ray

Bizzarrini GT

Mercedes 230 SL

Porsche 904

Ferrari 275

Aston Martin DB4

other seventies road tests:

other eighties road tests:

Lancia Monte Carlo

Lamborghini Jalpa

Chevrolet Corvette

Author: ArchitectPage