(Jacob Rumans) #1

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Ah,thatcomedySixtiesItaliandesignelement.‘It’stuckeda long
wayforwardonthesideofthetransmissiontunnel,almostasif
Ferraridecidedyoudidn’t needit untilyoustopped.’
With thehandbrakeissue resolvedwe’re off, gently trundling
ontothehigh-speedoutertrack.‘Thecontrolsallfeelheavy,but
ina positiveway.Theacceleratorandbrake are veryclosetogether
andsurprisinglylarge,soI haveto bewary soasnotto stampon
bothatonce.Onething though,thefeelofthisthinwoodenNardi
steering wheelisanunexpectedpleasure;I imaginedit wouldbe
lesscomfortablethana chunky, modernwheelbutit’snotat all.’
OurfirsttenminutesallowJamesto acclimatiseto thefeeland
nuancesofthe275GTB;itsessentialfluidsgetuptotemperature
and the tarmac is beginningto dry out. ‘It calls on you tobe
deliberate inyouractions,’hesays.‘Thegearleverwon’tbehurried,
buttimeit justright andit feelsgreatasit slotsthroughthegate.’
Aftera fewmore laps,there’sanabruptchangeintheColombo’s
engine note. A driver wearing a now somewhat enlightened
visage accompanies its distinct hardening, and a now rapidly
risingrevcounterneedle.‘Listento that noise...it’sjustawesome.
The throttle travel is so long andheavy that on my previous
somewhattentativelaps,I thought I hadit downwhenit wasonly
abouthalfway. The low-downgrowlhasmorphedintomoreof
a howl.’ AnapproachingkinkinthetrackseesJames’firstserious
engagement of the anchors. ‘Oh, those feel a bit wooden,’ he

comments,mildlyalarmed.‘There’snota lotoffeel,andit’squite
aneffortto slowthecar.Bettergetthemwarmedup, too.’
Backona straight andit’sloudpedaldownagain,followedby
a heftyshove onthebrakes,whichherepeatsa numberoftimes.
‘Below2000rpmtheenginesoundsa bit lumpyandgrumpy,but
above that it smoothsout.It’spurposefulthough,subtlyaggressive
ratherthanovertlyso– ifthat isn’tanoxymoron!Insidethecabin
the noiseremainspleasantly,rather than uncomfortablyloud –
evenunderthehardestacceleration.It’smusictomyears,andI
couldlistento it allday long.Like allthereallygreatengines,I love
thetonechangesat differentrevs.
‘I’malsosurprisedjusthoweasyit’sbeento jumpinanddriveit,
withoutdramaorfuss.It’snottakentoolong to getusedto it and
islessfr eneticthanI thought it’dbe,butyoustillgetthefeelingit
couldbeprettywildwhennecessary.’
Nodoubt;although,according to periodroadtests,a littlelessso
thanthemarginallyhairier250GTSWBit replaced.Putthat downto
theincorporationofall-roundindependent suspension– a firstfora
Ferrari– that lent thechassisa more progressivefeel.
Atthe same time, a five-speedgearbox – the marque’s first
transaxle– endowedit withsignificantlylongergrandtouringlegs
thanitspredecessor,something that’scleartoourdriver.‘There’s
nodoubtI wouldbecomfortabledrivingit overa longperiodof
timeandoverlargedistances.’

Jameswaxeslyricalover
theColombo-designed
overhead-camV1 2