1966 Ferrari 275 GTB4SOLD

RM Auctions - Automobiles of London - October 31, 2007

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Estimate: 475,000£-575,000£
Estimate: €700,000 - €850,000
Estimate: $964,000 - $1,170,000

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of £569.925

Engine No. 10281

From the Italian Collector Sig. Giuseppe Prevosti

300hp, 3,286cc four overhead cam V-12 engine, five-speed manual rear-mounted transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with upper and lower wishbones, coil springs and tubular shocks, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5in. (2,400mm).

In October 1964, following the end of production for Ferrari’s 250 GT SWB Berlinetta model, the 275 GTB was introduced as its successor at the Paris Auto Salon. Model nomenclature was derived from engine and cylinder displacement and helped differentiate the new from the old. The size of the twelve-cylinder engine was increased from 3 litres to 3,286cc, with each cylinder displacing roughly 275cc.

The Ferrari 275 GTB signalled an important evolution for Ferrari as the company had finally adopted a fully independent suspension, which had been tested, developed, and proved in Ferrari’s sports racing cars beginning with the Testa Rossa in the early 1960s. Bodied by Scaglietti and designed by Pininfarina, the 275 GTB echoed the aggressive, purposeful appearance of the 250 Tour de France and GTO with its long hood, covered headlights, fastback roofline, Kamm tail, and vents in both the front wings and roof sail panel. Devoid of unattractive lines, shapes, and proportions, the beautiful Coupés are considered by many automotive design critics to be among Pininfarina’s finest grand touring projects.

In October 1966 at the Paris Salon, Ferrari introduced the next evolution of the 275 GTB, the 275 GTB/4. Other than an increase in track by 24mm, the chassis was unchanged. Pininfarina’s body, which had been enhanced during the 275 GTB’s production with a longer nose to reduce front end lift at speed, also remained the same with the exception of a small bonnet bulge to clear the carburettors.

The change in model designation simply reflected the single substantial difference between the GTB/4 and its predecessor; the V-12 engine was fitted with four overhead camshafts, two per cylinder bank. This revised powerplant, known as Tipo 226, developed as much power as Ferrari’s competition twin-camshaft engine. In addition to four camshafts, the Tipo 226 featured a number of engine modifications also developed directly from racetrack competition. For example, the new quad-cam had a dry sump oiling system, which prevented oil starvation in even the most severe cornering situations where the strain of G-forces could be tremendous on the car. An impressive set of six twin-choke Weber carburettors provided excellent breathing and the resulting power afforded drivers remarkable mid-range torque and flexibility. All told, this formidable powerplant was capable of propelling the new 275 GTB/4 to a top speed of 160 miles per hour. Competition power levels had been made available to Ferrari’s clients right off the showroom floor.

The engine, driveshaft, and rear-mounted transaxle were combined in one sub-assembly, mounted to the chassis at four points. All of this helped produce a rigid car that handled superbly, with neutral handling and near perfect 50/50 weight distribution. Perhaps one of the best summations of the GTB/4’s driving manners and performance abilities came from noted French car and motorcycle racing driver, Jean-Pierre Beltoise. In a road test published in 1967 in L’Auto Journal, the former Formula 1 driver commented, ‘I covered in complete safety and the greatest comfort … and while carrying on a normal conversation with my passenger, the 46 miles which separate the Pont d’Orléans from Nemours in a little less than 23 minutes … at an average speed of more than 121 mph – which is remarkable enough without noting that I had to stop for the toll gates.’

Although the 275 GTB/4 was a trend-setting sports car in many regards, it was also the last true coachbuilt road/race Berlinetta in the great Ferrari tradition. Accordingly, many examples led a dual life, winning at road courses and hill-climbs at weekends while being utilized for stylish and sporty transportation during the week.

The 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 presented here is a very well preserved, highly original example with only two registered owners since new. It was originally delivered to the United States for William Raymond Johnson who was stationed at the Naval Research Laboratory, headquartered in Washington, DC, with satellite locations in Maryland. In 1990 the Ferrari was purchased by Sig. Prevosti and shipped back to Italy where it has remained ever since.

Finished in Giallo Fly, the body of the car is very straight and the fit of the body panels is excellent. With the exception of very minor surface scratches, the paint is in very nice condition. The chrome is likewise very good and appears to be original. Proper Borrani wire wheels with correct Michelin tyres have also been fitted to this much sought-after Ferrari thoroughbred.

The interior of the 275 GTB/4 is completely original and has never been restored. It is finished in black leather with grey carpets and a beige headliner, all of which remain in very good overall condition. All the instrumentation and accessories are factory original and function properly. Although not concourse, the engine bay, with its V12 quad-cam engine power unit, complete with its race proven sextet of Weber carburettors remains original and very tidy, commensurate of the little use this car has seen from new.

Accompanying this Ferrari is an assortment of original documentation including the original title, ASI certificate, FIVA certificate, and Italian importation documents, dated 1990.

In addition to being the first production Ferrari to feature a quadruple camshaft V-12 powerplant, many consider the 275 GTB/4 to be the finest production Ferrari ever built; it combined a thoroughbred mechanical pedigree with sufficient creature comforts to make it a superlative grand touring automobile. And, although it was in production for a relatively short period, the 275 GTB/4 has endeared itself to astute drivers and enthusiasts who appreciate its tremendous performance and iconic styling.

Reference Number 12453

as of 8/22/2007

Car 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB4
VIN 10281 
Exterior / Interior Color      Yellow /      Black 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
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