The fifth from last
1966 FERRARI 275GTB
Coachwork by Scaglietti Design by Pininfarina
Chassis no. 08933
Engine no. 08933
3,286cc SOHC V12 Engine
3 Weber 40DCZ/6 Carburetors
280bhp at 7,600rpm
5-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*Superb restoration by marque experts Patrick Ottis and Brian Hoyt completed in 2014
*Presented in the rare factory-delivered livery of Verde Scuro over beige
*Matching numbers example with well-documented ownership history
*Desirable long-nose, torque tube late production example
*Offered with manuals, history file, SEFAC documentation and Ferrari Certificate of Authenticity
THE FERRARI 275GTB
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.
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
Chassis no. 08933 occupies a very interesting position in the 275GTB build sequence, combining a number of desirable production attributes. Additionally documented with original SEFAC paperwork and export sheets, this exhaustively restored example reaches an uncommon bar of Maranello excellence.
This grand touring berlinetta was issued a certificate of origin on September 2, 1966, and was completed at the factory three days later, finished in an unusual shade of Verde Scuro (dark green) over a beige leather interior. With the impending changeover to the four-cam 275 GTB/4, this car is notable as being the fifth-from-last example of the original two-cam model. By this point, the long-nose bodywork had been introduced to minimize lift at high speed, and the driveshaft had been solidified with the important rigid torque tube, which so successfully eliminated excessive vibration in the earlier drivetrain that it remained in use through the end of the four-cam model's production.
Photocopies of original invoices and correspondence demonstrate that 08933 was ordered by William Harrah's Modern Classic Motors on behalf of a buyer named Dr. Balla. MCM placed the order through Luigi Chinetti Motors, and original invoices from SEFAC demonstrate that the car was paid off and awaiting personalized delivery at the factory pending an appearance by Dr. Balla. Registered with Italian tourist plates, the car was instead shipped to San Francisco in November 1966 aboard the SS Michael E, as shown by original documents from Ferrari's export agent, Andrea Mersario.
After being titled to Edward Sawyer of Arizona in May 1973, the car was offered for sale in 1976, passing through well-known dealership principles Harley Cluxton III and John Levy while enjoying attention at the shop of noted marque enthusiast Joe Marchetti of Chicago. Later that year the car was acquired by Bedrich Chaloupka of Greenwich, Virginia, a Czech-born computer programmer formerly employed by the CIA who sold the car two years later to Bill Tracy of nearby Alexandria. Occasionally seen at Ron Spangler's Prancing Horse Farm in Maryland during this period, the car was retained by Mr. Tracy until 1986, by which point the exterior had been repainted in yellow.
The Ferrari was then sold under Mr. Spangler's auspices to Bernard Carl, Jr. of Washington, D.C. Mr. Spangler remained involved with the car over the next few years, arranging a sale to an unknown buyer in 1988 before selling it once again in 1994 to Scott Cote, the manager of Ferrari of San Francisco.
In 1999, 08933 was acquired by Symbolic Motors in La Jolla, California. Seven months later the GTB was sold to Cary Robinson of Cherry Hills, New Jersey, and the new owner exhibited the car at several Concours d'Elegance events during the following year, including Amelia Island, Radnor Hunt, and the Reading Ferrari Concours d'Elegance (where it garnered an FCA platinum award as well as the Francesco Barraca Award). One year later Reading recognized the berlinetta's brilliance by honoring it as the featured poster-car for the 2002 event.
In August 2003, this special 275 was purchased by the consignor, an enthusiast in Sausalito, California, who intended to use the car for touring the Napa Valley's famed vineyards. Before long though, the owner realized what a special car he had purchased, and increasingly became convinced that only a full restoration to utterly original factory specifications would suffice. As a Northern California resident, the consignor had some of the world's finest Ferrari craftsmen at his disposal, and he soon retained the respected Patrick Ottis to perform a complete mechanical restoration.
Brian Hoyt's Perfect Reflections was entrusted to refinish the striking bodywork, using original Scaglietti paint chips to match the rare Verde Scuro color. The interior was reupholstered in proper beige leather by Ken Nemanic, while all of the brightwork was re-chromed by Christensen Plating. The exhaustive restoration was captured with over 1,500 photographs that are included in the car's deep file. The consignor then bolstered the impressive documentation by obtaining a certificate of authenticity from the Maranello factory, a precursor to today's revered Ferrari Classiche authentication.
Only minimally driven since the exacting refurbishment was completed early this year, this 275GTB remains perfectly suited for a fresh run at FCA competition or many other Concours d'Elegance. Boasting a rare livery and expert restoration, the well-maintained berlinetta is accompanied by original manuals and period documentation, promising to turns heads at marque corrals or raise the driver's pulse with its visceral performance.