Presented by RM Sotheby’s.
THE PERFECTION OF A DREAM
At the Paris Motor Show in October 1966, Ferrari introduced an upgraded version of the 275 GTB that had debuted two years earlier. In most respects, the new car was nearly identical to its predecessor, as it also employed the long-nose body style that had been adopted later in the original 275’s production run, which prevented front lift at speed.
The major difference in the new car was under the hood, where an upgraded version of Gioacchino Colombo’s short-block, 3.3-liter V-12 engine (now dubbed the Tipo 226) was fitted with four overhead camshafts; this was the first appearance of such valve actuation in a production Ferrari road car. A slightly modified hood with a raised center section was added to the Scaglietti bodywork to accommodate the taller engine profile. Equipped with dry-sump lubrication and six Weber 40 DCN/9 carburetors, the new engine developed 20 more horsepower than its predecessor, giving the nimble 275 chassis an added jolt of performance. The GTB/4 was also standard-equipped with a revised arrangement of the driveshaft in a solid torque tube, effectively eliminating vibration issues that often plagued the earlier variants.
The new four-cam 275 Berlinetta was Maranello’s most dynamic road car yet, and it would forever be remembered as the last of the classic, vintage V-12 front-engine models; the forthcoming 365 GTB/4 would feature completely different aesthetics, marking a transition to 1970s styling. Only 330 examples of the 275 GTB/4 were produced before the model was discontinued in 1968, adding a degree of rarity to the revered Ferrari, as well.
ALWAYS BET ON BLACK
Featuring a particularly rare color combination and retaining its matching-numbers V-12 engine, this impressive four-cam 275 continues to benefit from a very well-maintained older restoration, resulting in one of the most stirring examples of the celebrated model to be publicly offered in some time. According to the research of marque expert Marcel Massini, chassis number 09425 was issued a certificate of origin in January 1967, specified as a European-market example with instruments in kilometers, and equipped with a full leather interior including headrests. Importantly, this car is one of only six examples that were cosmetically finished from new in Nero paint over a Nero interior, further distinguishing the handsome berlinetta.
After being distributed to the official marque dealer Veicoli e Commercio Automobili Roma, the Ferrari was purchased new by a real estate company in Rome called Immobiliare Via Fleming S.p.A. Massini’s records indicate the 275 was serviced at the Ferrari Factory Assistenza Clienti in Modena in May 1967, and in October 1970 the real estate company sold the car to its second owner, Rome resident Nello Belluci.
Circa 1980 the GTB/4 was exported from Italy to the United States, and by 1987 the car passed into the ownership of Howard De Haven of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the owner of Rennsport Werkstatt Limited. Mr. De Haven offered the well-kept Berlinetta for sale in 1990, still in its original black/black color combination, and it was soon treated to a comprehensive restoration, with David Carte’s respected Classic and Sports Cars responsible for refinishing the coachwork and retrimming the interior while Michael Sheehan’s European Auto conducting refurbishment of the drivetrain and chassis.
Offered from the purview of the respected collector Chris Cox in 1995, the Ferrari was purchased by Bud Sherrill of Hickory, North Carolina. The car subsequently passed through a couple further local North Carolina owners and was presented at the 1996 Cavallino Classic, winning a 2nd in class award. In February 1997 the 275 GTB/4 was sold to Ed Martin, the stepson of the well-known North Carolina-based Ferrari collector Norman Silver.
In January 1998 the GTB/4 was again presented at the Cavallino Classic, and at the end of the year the car was acquired by Steve MacDonald of Woodinville, Washington. Approximately four years later the 275 was sold to the consignor, a respected collector who has meticulously maintained the restoration while only very sparingly driving the car. This has resulted in a very well-preserved example that is ideal for display.
A 275 four-cam is one of the most popular Ferrari road cars of all time, bearing a seminal design that pairs well with any style of collection. Exhilarating to drive and beguiling to behold, the model is without exaggeration the triumphant zenith of Maranello’s celebrated front-engine grand touring tradition. Retaining its matching-numbers engine, chassis number 09425 is desirably equipped with the preferred rigid torque tube driveshaft, and unusually finished in the uber-rare and extremely desirable color combination of black over black, combining to offer a striking example that would make a fantastic addition to any stable.
The next caretaker can continue to preserve the well-maintained restoration or opt to steward the Ferrari through a significant freshening, after which the car would make an ideal entrant at touring events, regional concours d’elegance, or FCA gatherings. In any event, this elegant and distinctively finished 275 offers continued enjoyment as one of the more unusual and finely preserved examples of Maranello’s beloved Berlinetta, checking all the boxes for collectors in search of a strongly maintained and spectacular 275 GTB/4.
This vehicle will be offered at our forthcoming Monterey auction, 18-20 August. See the entire catalogue online and register to bid today.