3,286cc SOHC V12 Engine
280bhp at 7,600rpm
5-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*Rare and desirable long nose and torque tube, penultimate 275 GTB to leave the factory
*Freshly restored to original color combination by marque specialists Mototechnique UK
*Continuous history from new and past Cavallino concours class winner
*Ferrari Classiche certified and well documented by Marcel Massini
*Offered with manuals in leather pouch, history file and tool set
THE FERRARI 275 GTB
'The 275 GTB is... a superlatively vigorous, very agile and quick automobile. Its comfort, the quality of its finish, the original lines of its bodywork all justify its exceptionally high price, for it is an exceptional automobile. It is a thoroughbred, with luxury devoid of excess, and a fiery temperament... ' Jose Roskinski, Sport Auto, July 1965.
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
Left-hand drive chassis number 08973 was completed in 1966 in steel bodied form with alloy doors, bonnet and boot, long nose, torque tube and sold new to the first owner Mr. Sapico, a resident of Bologna, Italy, in September of that year. Factory records show that its original color scheme was Argento (silver) with Nero (black) leather interior upholstery, the livery it wears today. 08973 was the penultimate 275 GTB built before the introduction of the '/4' four-cam model, and therefore benefitted from all the upgraded and refinements made along the production run.
Surprisingly the practically new car, while still owned by the original owner, was sent back twice to the Ferrari Factory Assistenza Clienti (factory service department), located at Viale Trento Trieste in Modena, Italy. This was on December 2, 1966, and again on February 3, 1967. It is not known what kind of maintenance and service work was done at the time. Although it cannot be confirmed it is believed that the gearbox and engine were replaced at that point while the car was still under guarantee. The car today has the correct type 275 engine (213/100148) and gearbox types.
In the 1970s the Ferrari was exported from Italy to Canada. In 1978 it was sold by the official Ferrari dealer Yonge Steele Motors of Toronto, Canada to Mr G C Bell of Thunder Bay, Ontario, subsequently passing to Gerry Layer and then to G J Amaroso in California, USA.
Between early 1989 and June 1991, the Ferrari was restored in California at a cost of $225,000, being repainted dark blue and re-trimmed with tan leather. It was then advertised for sale by Dane Prenovitz of Foster City, California, and in 1992 was sold to well-known collector Dr. Ervin F. Lyon of Lexington, Massachusetts. While in Dr. Lyon's collection, the Ferrari was shown at the 2nd Annual Palm Beach Cavallino Classic in February 1993, receiving a 2nd in class award (275 Ferraris) and then at the same event the following year went one better, coming home with a 1st in class trophy.
In early 2006 Dr. Lyon sold the Ferrari to Christoper Lynch of Massachusetts, in whose ownership it would remain until its sale via Paul Russell, who had maintained the car for the past 15 years, to the current vendor in Switzerland in December 2009. A photo documented major engine, gearbox and ignition overhaul and full service was carried out at renowned Ferrari specialist Garage Costantini in Zürich in April 2014, with an odometer reading of 67,454km – a figure that is in fact believed to be genuine from new. This well documented car comes with a history file including a vast quantity of invoices, notes, files, old US title documents, and photographs of the bare metal re-spray and engine rebuild previously undertaken. In late 2016, 08973 was returned to its original delivery color scheme of silver over black leather at a cost in excess $100,000, supported by invoices and photos on file from UK-based specialists Mototechnique who carried out the extensive work. This spectacular example has been certified by Ferrari Classiche, and is offered with the all-important Ferrari Classiche certification red book, books and manuals in leather pouch and tool set.
Recently road tested prior to the sale in Arizona by former authorized American Ferrari dealer, NART and Ferrari factory race driver Harley Cluxton III, 08973 impressed him with the smoothness of the torque tube gear changes when pushing hard and the overall performance and presentation.
Rarer - and quicker - than a 250 GT SWB yet considerably less expensive than a 250 GTO, the desirable 275 GTB 'torque tube' version is a landmark model in the technological evolution of Ferrari's road cars, as well as being one of its most beautiful. 08973 is the penultimate example of this legendary model to come off the production line, and would be equally at home on the international show field, or on a high-speed rally.