Competition car. 1 of 3 in RHD. Eligible for just about every event.
Following the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s refusal in 1964 to homologate Ferrari’s mid-engined 250 LM in the GT category, Ferrari looked to its upcoming road going 275 GTB. Introduced later that year, the 275 GTB proved to be the company’s last true dual purpose road/race berlinetta in the great Ferrari tradition – equally at home on back roads and highways as on road courses and hill climbs. With a sophisticated chassis, fully independent suspension, attractive bodywork and race-proven Colombo V-12 engine, now displacing 3.3 litres, the car was simply sensational and praised by journalists and critics the world over.
The factory competition versions of the 275 GTB are often subdivided into three phases, the first of which began with the early and relatively mild modification of chassis 06003 and 06021. Thereafter, three super lightweight, tube frame specials were built with six-carburettor dry sump engines and bodywork that, while clearly related to the 275 GTB, was markedly different with a 330 LM Berlinetta-style nose and Lusso-style air intake atop the bonnet. In many ways, these racing specials were perhaps the most direct successors to the legendary 250 GTO.
During 1965, Ferrari produced another ten special berlinettas, designated “Competizione Clienti” and built for customers as dual purpose sports cars. These short-nose cars were fitted with six Weber 40 DCN3 carburettors sitting atop the essentially standard wet sump V-12 engine. An outside fuel filler cap in the right sail panel led to a large 140-litre gas tank, which replaced the usual 94-litre unit and resulted in the relocation of the spare tyre to sit vertically behind the gas tank. Consequently, the rear shelf on these cars was somewhat higher in appearance – another distinguishing visual feature. Three air vents in each rear fender further indicated this car’s sporting pretensions. Most cars benefitted from very lightweight alloy bodywork. As was often the case with Ferrari, however, no two cars were identical and it is virtually impossible to assign a standardised list of special features to every single "Competizione Clienti" 275 GTB.
The final run of specially built cars was the series officially referred to by the factory as 275 GTB/C. The other cars were not. These 9000 series chassis number cars carry a super lightweight long-nose alloy body and special lightweight frame, dry sump three-carburettor engines employing magnesium. Serious competition cars, they proved to be the last competition GT cars built by Mauro Forghieri and Ferrari’s racing department as the racing iterations of the later 365 GTB/4 were modified in Modena.
The Ferrari presented here is one of the second series of ten “Competizione Clienti” cars built. One of just three right-hand drive examples, it was originally finished in Rosso Chiaro with a Nero (black) interior, grey carpeting and headliner, Campagnolo alloy wheels, instrumentation in miles, and the aforementioned features, including 140-litre fuel tank, rear fender vents and outside fuel filler cap.
It was ordered by Maranello Concessionaires in spring 1965, originally intended to be used as a reserve car for the 24 Hour Race at Le Mans. The car was not finished in time, however, and in September, following completion, it was shown at the 42nd International IAA motor show in Frankfurt, Germany.
In October of that year, Maranello Concessionaires sold the car to its first private owner, Patrick Sean “Paddy” McNally, a respected journalist and, later, founder of Allsport Limited with future Formula 1 impresario Bernie Ecclestone. McNally, who at the time lived in London and Geneva, featured the car in an article published in the British magazine Autosport. Driving the car on the “fast uncluttered roads of Europe”, including a drive through the Col des Mosses mountain pass in Switzerland, McNally wrote glowingly of his 275 GTB, concluding with, “Even at close on £6,000, the cost with import duty and tax, the Ferrari represents excellent value and it is quite the best car I have ever driven.”
McNally sold the car just two years later to its second owner, Alan Mann, who it is believed sent the car to the factory, where the bumpers were removed and large fog lights were installed, as supported by a letter from Mr. Frank Gardner, who was the car’s third owner. Gardner, who acquired the two-year old car to drive between race meetings in and around Europe, brought the car to Australia after the Formula 1 season ended and it remained there untill recently.
He subsequently sold the car to its fourth owner Gallagher International, a local cigarette company. Bill Brown, a Sydney news agent and racing personality, bought the car in 1967 and registered it in New South Wales. The following September, Brown entered the car with David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce in the Surfer’s Paradise 6 Hours. George Reynolds and co-driver Phil West (race no. 61) raced the car, finishing first in their class.
The car’s next owner was Jim Abbott of Melbourne, who purchased it in 1970. Abbott, a racing driver and show promoter, died before the car was sold in 1972 to Daryl Rigg, also of Melbourne. Rigg in turn sold the car three years later to Raymond Delaney after buying a new Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer.
Delaney showed the car at the Ferrari Club Australia meeting at Sandown Park in 1977 and sold it in 1982 to its previous owner, Maxwell Lane of Sydney, an enthusiast and noted collector. Lane drove the car in the 1993 Targa Tasmania and later in the Historic Australian Grand Prix Demonstrations at Albert Park. It has also been a regular participant in Ferrari Club track days and rallies and over the last 20 years has been systematically restored to an extremely high standard, both cosmetically and mechanically.
The car has been restored, retains its factory build sheets and original body panels and also comes with an album containing all of the restoration and historical photos. It is a tremendously capable performer and would certainly be welcome at many of the great events around the world. As one of only ten Competizione Clienti specials, it represents the grand dual purpose Ferrari spirit in its final iteration.