Ferrari 275 GTB at the Monte Carlo Rally
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Ferrari 275 GTB Proto: The Horse on the Snow

A Ferrari on dirt roads? Even skidding in the snow? Well, the truth is that they are not common grounds for the "pony”, But there have been cases… In 2011 the Italian brand presented its first all-wheel drive model: the FF. Although his competitive record is nil, he has left us good samples of what he is capable of doing on the snow. And boy, if what we want is to see a Ferrari full of mud… There is nothing more to remember the strangers 308 GTB Group 4 and Group B active from 1978 to 1983.

In the history of Ferrari, forays into the world of rallying are a simple anecdote. Being the great myth of the circuits and motoring vehicles for land like the Stratos ... What need was there to stick your nose where the nearby Lancia handled itself perfectly? None. However, there is a very curious case in which not a private pilot, but practically Maranello's own house, ventured in the most iconic rally of the European continent: Monte Carlo.

Of course, in order to test rather than compete for victory. At the end of the day we are talking about a prototype: that of the 275 Ferrari 1964 GTB. This unit - apparently the first of the model - ventured on the snows of Monte Carlo '66 at the express wish of Eugenio Dragoni and Ugo Gobbato, Ferrari racing director and general manager of the brand respectively. All this to gather technical data on the new rear axle.

A PROTOTYPE UNIT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FERRARI 275 GTB

If we make a relationship with the 10 most mythical Ferrari we get at least 30. Anyway there is one that should go yes or yes in any list: the 275. Produced in different series from 1964 to 1968 the 275 is one of the greatest exponents of the V12 in the golden age of the great GT. A well-known model that inaugurated two fundamental technical advances in the series Ferraris: the independent rear suspension and transaxle system.

The incorporation of this last invention was fundamental, ensuring a more efficient weight distribution. All thanks to the fact that the transaxle allows to install the function of the gearbox on the rear axle combined with the differential. This relieves the front wheels, which carry a heavy load. 3'3 liter 256CV engine powered by three or six Weber 40 DCN carburettors.

Obviously, this novelty was not easy to implement, requiring numerous field tests. And here this unity comes into play. A prototype model as evidenced by two clearly visible elements. The first is the identification plate with the chassis number 06003, which specifies that it is the first 275 assembled on the assembly line -although it looks like the third-. The second is its color, then Ferrari then used yellow only for prototypes, or at least that is what its name indicates. 'Giallo Prototype'.

MONTECARLO 1966: TESTING ON THE SNOW

For three years -except for a few months in 1965- this 275 GTB served as a test car for Ferrari. Thousands of kilometers were covered, but the most important test was the one carried out in the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally. Two pilots were called to do so. Roberto Lippi, tester at the Maranello factory, and Giorgio pianta, a former Lancia driver who in 1973 would become the chief tester at Abarth.

Just during the preparation for the Monte Carlo Rally this 275 GTB was driven about 12.000 kilometers. At the end of the day ... This process too served to test two new types of Dunlop tires.

The spectators of Monte Carlo 1966 -in which he won a DS- they were surprised to see this Ferrari equipped with the lights of a rally car, even more so when it was found that the 275 GTB, although registered under a semi-private team, was backed by Maranello's own house. The result was not especially brilliant since there was a withdrawal, but that did not matter; dynamically he behaved fabulously. In addition, There he had gone to test the car and the data obtained was excellent.

Months later this prototype was no longer under the influence of Ferrari, beginning a future that has made it cross the Atlantic several times from owner to owner. Its value is ... Anyway, whatever you want to ask for it. It is the first 275 GTB to come off the assembly line, the prototype of one of the most legendary Ferrari of all time ... An exceptional specimen that was expected to be sold between 6 and 8 million dollars in the auction Gooding & Company held in Scottdale last January.

The bid was deserted, but its charm for any Ferrari enthusiast remains intact.

What do you think?

Miguel Sánchez

Written by Miguel Sánchez

Through the news from La Escudería, we will travel the winding roads of Maranello listening to the roar of the Italian V12; We will travel Route66 in search of the power of the great American engines; we will get lost in the narrow English lanes tracking the elegance of their sports cars; We will speed up the braking in the curves of the Monte Carlo Rally and we will even get dusty in a garage while rescuing lost jewels.

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