1965 Ferrari 275
Year of manufacture1965
Ferrari Classiche certified
1965 Ferrari 275 GTS Convertible
Coachwork by Pininfarina
Registration no. 11 HLO
Chassis no. 7171
Engine no. 07741
There had been open-top Ferrari road cars before the advent of the '250' series, but it was, chiefly, Pininfarina's offerings on the latter chassis that established the convertible as a fixture of the Ferrari range. After the experimentation and variety which characterised the coachwork of the 250-series cars, the arrival of the '275' in 1964 brought with it standard bodywork, that of the 275 GTS being manufactured by Pininfarina themselves. In Ferrari nomenclature of the period a model's designation reflected an individual cylinder's cubic capacity, so the newcomer displaced 3.3 litres, up from its predecessor's 3.0 litres. In standard trim the GTS's Colombo-type, 60-degree, V12 engine produced 260bhp at 7,000rpm, some 20 horsepower fewer than when installed in the contemporary 275 GTB.
The chassis followed Ferrari's established practice, being a multi-tubular frame tied together by oval main tubes, and for the first time on a road-going Ferrari there was independent rear suspension, the latter employing a double wishbone and coil-spring arrangement similar to that of the 250 LM sports-racer. The adoption of a rear-mounted five-speed transaxle combining the now all-synchromesh gearbox and differential in a single unit helped improve weight distribution, and this feature would characterise future generations of front-engined Ferrari road cars. Produced between 1964 and 1966, the 275 GTS altered little during the course of its short life apart from the adoption of constant velocity joints for the open prop shaft shortly after the commencement of production.
By the mid 1960s Ferrari's road cars were beginning to lose some of their rougher edges and take on a more luxurious mien, and the 275 GTS interior is notable for its generously sized seats and wood veneer dashboard, the latter appearing for the first time in a Ferrari. Even the most sybaritic of customers, though, would acknowledge that the driving experience is the raison d'être of Ferrari ownership and in this respect the 275 GTS had lost none of its predecessors' aggressive charm. Car & Driver magazine had this to say: "Since the engine is heir to a V12 tradition that's gone on for almost twenty years, it's only natural that it should be the dominating factor in the car's personality, and that the whole car should have been developed around the engine and its own unique character. You can feel it as much as you can hear it. It has a taut, powerful rush of response that comes to you through the seat of your pants, through the steering wheel rim. The instant the clutch is engaged, the chassis takes on life and begins to move as a unit with the engine, it's an all-in-one-piece sensation that you normally feel only in racing cars, one that's unique to the Ferrari among normal passenger vehicles today."
One of only 200 275 GTS models made, chassis number '07171' was first registered to C G Norman (Victoria) Ltd of London SW1 on 7th July 1965; it is one of only 19 right-hand drive examples supplied in the UK by the official Ferrari importer, Maranello Concessionaires. The accompanying original logbook lists four subsequent owners, the last being the vendor's father, who acquired the Ferrari on 1st April 1977. The car had been purchased new for the use of Mr Stanley Norman (a friend of Maranello Concessionaires' chairman, Colonel Ronnie Hoare) whose company, Normans of Westminster, were Citroën dealers in central London.
The logbook records a change of registration from the original 'GGH 7C' to the current '11 HLO' in June 1968, and a change of engine from the original '07171' to '6345' dated April 1972, the transplant having been undertaken during the ownership of Mr David Baker, to whom the Ferrari had been registered in June 1968. The replacement engine was the 5.0-litre unit from the written-off, left-hand drive Ferrari Superfast '6345' (the 1965 London Motor Show car), which had belonged to Mr Richard S Wilkins, a stock-jobber and Ferrari collector resident in Hertfordshire. The colour was changed from blue to red at around the same time.
Maranello Concessionaires' correspondence confirms that '07171' was originally finished in Blue Sera (dark metallic blue) with black leather interior. Other correspondence on file states that various bodywork modifications were carried out during Mr Baker's ownership by Messrs Williams & Pritchard, which included converting the Ferrari into a fastback-style hardtop coupé with an additional two seats in the rear. Mr Baker was a regular hill climb competitor with his Ferrari, and there are photographs on file of the car in its modified state taken at Prescott. Next owner Wolfgang Zeuner of Hereford also competed at Prescott in '11 HLO'.
The Ferrari's next owner was Ivor Halbert of Bristol followed by the current vendor's father, who acquired the car in 1977 (see letter from Ivor Halbert on file). During the current ownership the Ferrari has been restored and returned to its original spyder configuration; the work, which commenced circa 2011, included installing an engine of correct type ('07741'), which had started life in a USA-delivered 275 GTS. NG Restorations returned the headlights to original specification before they re-sprayed the car in 2015, while ADR Performance Engineering rebuilt the engine (see detailed bills on file). Removed prior to the restoration, Williams & Pritchard's riveted-on hardtop is included in the sale.
Offered with the all-important Ferrari Classiche certification, '07171' represents a rare opportunity to acquire a fine example of what many consider to be the most elegant of all spyder Ferraris.
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