1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 – The First Prototype GTB-4A
Coys CEO Chris Routledge says “The 4-Cam has always been considered the most beautiful 12-cylinder car from Maranello, and it is with some excitement that we are bringing the factory prototype, Chassis No 1 and show car to the market for the first time in two decades.”
1966 Paris Motor Show Car
Throughout their illustrious history, #Ferraris have retained a strong racing pedigree in all their road cars, but the further back one goes into the companies history, the closer the relationship between the production road cars and factory cars =. In the earliest days of the companies history they produced racing sports cars and single seaters, and those who purchased the sports cars either accepted their shortcomings as road cars, or used them purely for sport. As the company and their clients developed, the factory racers became more extreme, whilst remaining based on the more civilised road cars sold to the privileged clients.
This development gave rise by the early 1960’s to a number of ‘homologation specials’ such as the #GTO and the competition SWB. Based on the production 250 cars, and similar in so many ways to the GTE and the #Pininfarina coupes etc. these cars were the most accomplished competition cars of their day.
The transition period of the mid 1960’s saw the new 275GTB model develop both as an accomplished and civilised #GT (in the truest sense of the word); as well as uphold and strengthen the company’s reputation on the race tracks of both Europe and abroad. Launched in 1964, the 275 GTB model range featured a rear mounted transaxle for improved weight distribution and independent rear suspension, making it an altogether more sophisticated vehicle than the by then antiquated technology of the solid back axle of the 250 series form which it took over. With these features it proved to be both a classic road car and a hugely successful racer both in the factory’s hands and with privateer teams and individuals throughout its production up to 1968.
The styling of the #GTB is regarded by many to be Pininfarina’s finest work, a purposefully ‘haunched’ rear end with a long flowing bonnet and wings punctuated by only the most essential louvers to dissipate heat, rather than the many additional vents which litter the surface of the earlier, competition-derived GTOs which, in many ways the 275’s profile echoes. On its public debut the 275 was greeted with universal praise both on the road and for its styling.
It heralded a successful period for #Ferrari, now very much geared towards ‘mass production’ of the new car. Throughout its production the model was developed, as with all Ferraris this was competition-led and, by 1967, the engine boasted numerous race proven improvements to the engine and drive train.
The car on offer today is most significantly the first 275 GTB 4 produced and was used to unveil this legendary model to the world on the Ferrari stand at the #ParisMotorShow in 1966.
08769 was then taken to the United States by the next owner, a Mr. Gordon Walker of Northbrook, Illinois. The car was in the ownership of Mr Walker until 1983 when it was offered by Ferrari South US.
In the late eighties 08769 resided in the Swiss collection of Albert Obrist who put together, arguably the most comprehensive and renowned collection of Ferraris in the world. This car was chosen by Obrist because he believed that it was the most seminal of 275’s given its background.
A few years later the car was passed to another world renowned car collector, to include many road and competition Ferraris and Mercedes Benz cars and until in the early 2000’s has been stored with other priceless automobiles at a collection in England.
As JeanPierre Beltoise, a racing driver and journalist for l’Auto Journal wrote when he tested the car in 1967: “It is, first and foremost, a serious and comfortable gran turismo, but it retains the lineage of a race car in the response of the engine and the quality of the handling. The 275 GTB/4 is one of the greatest automobiles created in our times.”
In 2004 the car was sold through Coys Monaco Auction to the current vendor, who has used the car for a variety of events. The car has resided within the vendors collection ever since seeing very little use, light recommissioning is advised before use.
Finished in Traditional Rossa Corsa with Black leather trim this must be the ultimate and arguably the most documented 275 in existence.
COYS AT THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL HALLS, 18 May 2017 – all lots now onilne: coys.co.uk/coys-at-the-royal-horticultural-halls