The sexiest cars of the ’60s

Automotive history Classic cars
Ferrari 275 GTB/4 - one of the sexiest cars of the 1960s

2. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/4

The Ferrari 275 GTB/4 once owned by Steve McQueen

Ferrari has made an impressive array of some of the most beautifully designed cars of all time: the 1949 166MM, the 250 GTO, and the 250 Testa Rossa to name a few.

With a lineup like that, it is a surprise that you can show a Ferrari showroom on television before the watershed without being arrested for obscenity. Ferrari’s website should have an age-gate on its galleries with the disclaimer: “Not suitable for those of a delicate disposition”.

Like virtually every Ferrari since the early 1950s, the 275 GTB/4 was designed by iconic coachbuilder Pininfarina, whose impressive roster includes everything from the Maserati A6GCS to every generation of Alfa Romeo Spider.

The GTB/4 is formed of curves so smooth your eyes slide right off the bonnet. It’s almost shark-like in its characteristics, from the carefully-formed aerodynamic shape to the three ‘gills’ on each side.

The predator vibe is offset by the front radiator grill, which at the right angle forms a subtle, enigmatic smile. The long hood, sloped back end with a spacious boot give this car a timeless sense of cool, with many arguing that this is the most attractive Ferrari Berlinetta ever made.

But this is not just art for art’s sake – this car seamlessly weaves a timeless aesthetic with genius functionality. Every aspect of the design, from the covered headlights to the small spoiler, helps the GTB/4 cut through the air like a throwing star.

It is far from just a pretty face too. Under the hood hides a 3.3L Colombo 60° V12 engine capable of 300bhp and a top speed of 159mph. Unconcerned with today’s emissions and fuel consumption regulations, the engine is so powerful it needs six carburettors working in perfect unison.

The GTB/4 debuted at the 1966 Paris Motor Show and was an immediate sensation for gentleman racers and Hollywood A-Listers. In fact, these were the only people who could ever get near one, as only 280 were ever made in a highly exclusive production run.

Steve McQueen and his Ferrari 275 GTB/4For those who don’t recognise the man in the photograph to the left, the proud owner of this Ferrari 275 is none other than Steve McQueen himself. Trust me, if a car is sexy enough to be owned by Steve McQueen, it’s sexy enough for you, my friends.

McQueen had his GTB/4 delivered on the set of Bullitt, which must have his iconic 1968 Dodge Charger hiding in its dressing room from fear of being upstaged.

This particular GTB/4 was sold for $9.1 million US just last year – with no doubt that the McQueen factor pushed the price up considerably.

Steve McQueen once owned this Ferrari 275 GTB/4

One journalist who was lucky enough to drive McQueen’s GTB/4 between sales, said, “You can’t drive a Picasso, but as I slide into the Ferrari’s bucket seat it’s impossible not to dwell on this thing’s unique status.”

Next up: A race car for the road

Ben Flowers is an established car writer and enthusiast. When he isn’t surrounded by some of the world’s sexiest cars at Dutton Garage, he’s at home restoring new life into neglected classic cars.

2 Comments

  1. What, no E-Type?

    Reply
  2. Love the Corvette and wish there were more of them in Britain. Its simple snobbery that the car mags hate all American cars when they’re as good as a lot of the junk built in Europe.

    Reply

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