1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C. Coachwork by Scaglietti-Design by Pininfarina. Photo Bonhams.
Chassis no. 08327. Engine no. 08327
3,285cc SOHC V12 Engine. 6 Weber Carburetors. 305bhp at 7,600rpm. 5-Speed Manual Transaxle. 4-Wheel Independent Suspension. 4-Wheel Disc Brakes. Estimate: US$ 2.2 million - 2.6 million (€1.6 million - 1.9 million)
Desirable factory delivered six-carburetor, torque tube, long nose 275 GTB
*Very genuine, low mileage and matching numbers example
*Expertly restored in original color combination
*History researched by Marcel Massini and Certified by Ferrari Classiche
*Offered with books and tools.
The Ferrari 275 GTB
A perhaps apocryphal story ascribes Enzo Ferrari's motivation in replacing the 250GT Lusso with the 275 GTB to his belief that the Lusso was too beautiful to convey properly the image of Ferrari.
Like many Ferrari stories, it may be less than fully accurate, but contributes to the myth that surrounds the marque. Its logic, however, is supported by the judgment of history: the aggressive 275 GTB is today more coveted by collectors than the Lusso, even though the Lusso's design has endured the test of time to be generally agreed as among the most pure and beautiful products of the collaboration between Ferrari and Pininfarina.
The 275 GTB has other distinctive attributes, not least its place as the first fully independent suspension transaxle-equipped Ferrari road car, and for the power and tractability of its 3.3-liter 60° V12 engine developed from the 1½ liter Colombo "short block" originally designed in 1947. The engine was mounted low and further back, taking advantage of some of the space created by moving the transmission to a unit with the differential.
Performance, handling and technical advancements aside, it is the coachwork penned by Pininfarina and executed with individuality and attention to detail by Scaglietti that creates the 275 GTB's image: aggressive, svelte and taut with power and potential.
In common with the best designs, the 275 GTB integrates form with function. There is nothing pretentious. Every feature has a functional purpose, from the covered headlights to the Kamm tail and small aerodynamic spoiler.
The long hood that so eloquently defines the 275 GTB's performance intention is the direct result of the engine setback. Large tires dictate the tall, bulging fenders. The sloped windscreen and fastback roof are only as tall as driver's headroom and visibility requires. Each vent and curve has a purpose finely calculated to only one end: creating the finest, fastest road-going berlinetta in the world.
As Ferrari quarreled with the FIA in the mid-1960s over the marque's grudging change from front- to mid-engine placement in its sports-racing cars, the 275 GTB carried on as the mainstay of the marque. Ferrari knew this highly evolved berlinetta, with its improved rear suspension and the balance permitted by its rear-mounted transaxle, would, like all good Ferraris of the time, be driven from showroom floor to race tracks around the world.
Each 275 GTB is, essentially, unique. Still small enough to cater to individual client's desires and essentially self-contained, Ferrari could offer an almost infinite variety of performance features and appointments. Coachbuilder Scaglietti still employed artisans who constructed each body by hand, imparting the individuality of bespoke construction to every car.
And within Ferrari, improvements were regularly incorporated as the 275 GTB evolved given experiences and suggested refinements. On the aesthetic front, the biggest change was made about a year into the production run in 1965 with the re-design of the nose. It was found that the early cars had a tendency to create front-end lift at high speeds, so the nose was slightly lengthened and made slimmer, a look even more evocative of the 250 GTO. 275 GTBs have since been categorized as short or long-nose cars.
On the technical front, a breakthrough production change was made in early 1966 with the elimination of the traditional open driveshaft in favor of a far more modern torque-tube, solving drive-line vibration issues once and for all.
The later cars incorporating these significant production refinements remain the most desirable ones, especially when used as intended; out on the open road on a classic car rally or simply a blast through the countryside.
Among the options and features offered for the 275 GTB, one of the most sought-after by collectors is the six-carburetor induction system, which added some 25 brake horsepower to the 275 GTB's already healthy 280 brake horsepower output. Its performance appeal is enhanced by the dramatic presentation when the hood is opened. From 5,000 to the engine's 7,600rpm power peak, the sound and fury of the six Weber carburetors is as sublime as its performance.
If there is one Ferrari to own within the span of the marque's first quarter-century it is the 275 GTB. Blistering performance, quick, responsive handling, ideal weight distribution and the aggressive Pininfarina designed Scaglietti coachwork, with elements of the legendary 250 GTO, make it a milestone.
The Motorcar Offered
Offered here is a superb example of the legendary 275 GTB, both in terms of provenance, condition and specifications - a factory delivered six-carburetor car with torque-tube driveline in long-nose configuration.
According to renowned Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, this 275 GTB, chassis number 08327, was completed at the Maranello Ferrari works on March 28, 1966. It was fitted with Scaglietti body number B0355, constructed in steel with hood, trunk and doors in aluminum. 08327 was finished exactly as presented today, painted in Celeste Blue metallic with a black leather interior, fitted with Borrani wire wheels, equipped with instruments in kilometers for European delivery, and the optional six twin-choke Weber 40DCN3 carburetor setup. Certainly specified for a client with performance in mind, the new 275 GTB resembled the final evolution of the single-cam 275 GTB model.
According to Ferrari's factory built sheets, 08327 was destined for Zurich, Switzerland and a Mr. J.H Keller, but instead the new Ferrari was delivered to its first owner in Italy, a Mr. Bernardo. Mr. Bernardo would keep 08327 for nearly 8 years; quite unusual for the time, as many Ferraris of this era had a tendency to be traded quite rapidly in their early years. A Mr. Patterson from Lompoc, California purchased the car from Mr. Bernardo in March of 1974, before exporting the sporting Ferrari to the US. 08327 is believed to have remained with Mr. Patterson throughout the 1980s, before being sold in the early 1990s by Bruce Trenery's Fantasy Junction in Emeryville, California, to renowned Ferrari collector John Nichols, to remain with him in the sunny West Coast state. At this point the aging 275 GTB was reported to be in highly original condition, showing rubbed-though original paint and interior still in untouched state. Mileage was still low, attesting to the original and well-kept condition of the car.
Mr. Nichols would keep 08327 until 2002, when the car was brokered to a Mr. Peter Nydrle. It remained with Mr. Nydrle's until 2008 when offered for sale in the Ferrari Market Letter, advertised as a four-owner car with just 58,200 kilometers from new, matching numbers, and retaining its original six-carburetors and torque-tube as well as original interior. In January 2009, 08327 made an appearance at the Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach, Florida.
In 2011, a thorough re-commissioning of the still very original and low mileage Ferrari was begun.
Bradford, Massachusetts based C.B. Restorations was chosen for the paint and bodywork. Very little of the latter was required before 08327 received a new coat in the original Celeste Blue metallic color it wore from new. An award winning restoration shop, C.B. did a superb job throughout, clearly evident upon close inspection today. At the same time, the car's chrome and bright work was carefully re-plated to look its best. The Borrani wire wheels were restored and a fresh set of Michelin XWX tires mounted.
Mechanically the car was gone though from stem to stern, with a full restoration and renewal of the braking system, fuel system, and refurbishing of the suspension including replacement of suspension joints and bushings. A four-wheel alignment was performed following suspension work to ensure proper road manners. The transaxle transmission was disassembled and restored with new synchromesh rings installed and all new gaskets and seals. Finally, the interior was fully re-trimmed in the original color of black, and new carpets carefully fitted. All interior chrome brackets and snippets were re-plated where needed. The gauges were sent to professionals to be restored at the same time.
Finally, nearly $25,000 was spent with Mark Allin's renowned restoration shop, Rare Drive, in East Kingston, New Hampshire, giving 08327 a thorough mechanical and cosmetic sorting. A binder with compression test results, receipts and photos from the work performed at both C.B. Restorations and Rare Drive accompany the sale of this car, thoroughly documenting the process.
After this work was complete, the 275 GTB relocated to Southern California, where it joined a stable of other great sports and performance cars. In May of 2013 the car was taken to the Ferrari Classiche agency in Newport Beach, where John Amette performed the Classiche inspections for 08327's certification.
Today 08327 presents extraordinarily well. Showing fewer than 60,000 kilometers (37,300 miles), a figure that is believed to be the car's original mileage since new, this 275 GTB retains its original, matching numbers engine, and has benefitted from few owners and many years in the dry California climate. 08327 is offered with Marcel Massini's history report, the Ferrari leather pouch including the Bulletin de Garantie, a 275 GTB spare parts catalog and the owner's manual, as well as a correct tool kit with leather bag.
Ready for international level Concours judging or high-speed road rallies such as the Tour Auto or the Copperstate 1000, this exceptional long-nose, six-carburetor and torque-tube 275 GTB stands out among the finest ever built by the legendary manufacturer.
Bonhams. THE SCOTTSDALE AUCTION. Scottsdale. 16 Jan 2014 - www.bonhams.com