1963 Ferrari 275 P

 TGR Staff

By 1963, Ferrari was well into its golden years, and it was at Le Mans where they showcased their brilliance. The ’round-the-clock event in the French countryside tested not only the mettle of the drivers but also the cars and their individual components to the very limit. The team that managed to survive the 24-hour race—and finish ahead of the world’s most talented drivers piloting the world’s most remarkable cars—would earn their spot atop the pedestal of sports car racing fame. Ferrari had won the grueling endurance in 1949, 1954, and 1958, and save for a concession to Aston Martin in 1959, their reign of dominance continued through the early 1960s, with overall wins in 1960, 1961, and 1962.

CHASSIS 0816: Uncovering History:
Chassis 0816 was born a Ferrari 250 P, the very tip of Scuderia Ferrari’s spear of sports racing cars for the 1963 season. Its chassis began construction in February 1963 at Gestione Sportiva, Scuderia Ferrari’s own racing department. Stamped with the chassis no. 0816, it was fitted with a new Tipo 128LM/63 twelve-cylinder engine mated to a Tipo 564 gearbox. Upon completion in April, it was sent to Fantuzzi for its spider bodywork and then returned to Maranello, ready for the 1963 season.

Care of comprehensive research with the archives of Ferrari Classiche, exciting new information has been uncovered regarding the true history of 0816. While its 1964 victory at Le Mans has been known for decades, the same cannot be said for its initial competitive outing. The reason for this is tied to its sister car, 0814, which was previously credited with winning Le Mans in 1963.

In May of 1963, chassis 0814 was sent to Germany to compete in the 1,000-kilometer race at the Nürburgring. There, during a practice session, the car was severely damaged in an accident. It was shipped back to Ferrari, but the Scuderia was given a tall order to repair the car in time for Le Mans.

In advance of the race and the accident at the Nürburgring, Ferrari had already submitted paperwork to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), formally entering three new 250 Ps as Works entries: chassis nos. 0810, 0812, and 0814. As the 24 Hours of Le Mans approached, it became clear that the repairs on 0814 would not be completed in time. Rather than leave one of their Works entries unused, Ferrari transferred the identity of 0814 to 0816. Entered as “0814,” it was in fact 0816 that was shipped to France to compete in the race. There, it was allocated #21 and paired with Ludovico Scarfiotti and Lorenzo Bandini as its drivers.
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1963 Ferrari 275 P - Competition History    
June 15-16, 196324 Hours of Le Mans21Ludovico Scarfiotti/Lorenzo Bandini1st OA
September 28, 1963Canadian Grand Prix, Mosport4John SurteesDNF
October 13, 1963Times Grand Prix, Riverside11John Surtees4th OA
March 21, 196412 Hours of Sebring22Michael Parks/Umberto Maglioli1st OA
June 20-21, 196424 Hours of Le Mans20Jean Guichet/Nino Varccarella1st OA
March 27, 196512 Hours of Sebring81Willy Mairesse/Mauro Bianchi4th IC, 23rd OA
June 20, 1965Race 6, Elkhart Lake, Road America61Bill Cooper 
September 5, 1965USRRC, Elkhart Lake, Road America22Bill Cooper8th IC, 22nd OA
June 19, 1966Race 7, Elkhart Lake, Road America21Bill Cooper22nd OA
September 4, 1966USRRC, Elkhart Lake, Road America21Bill Cooper5th IC, 9th OA
June 18, 1967Race 7, Elkhart Lake, Road America21Bill Cooper 
July 30, 1967Race 4, Elkhart Lake, Road America21Bill Cooper5th IC, 10th OA
June 16, 1968Race 7, Elkhart Lake, Road America21Bill Cooper10th IC
March 21-22, 196912 Hours of Sebring26Pedro Rodriguez/Chuck Parsons