1966 Ferrari 275
Year of manufacture1966
Number of seats2
Factory certified, four owners from new, meticulously maintained
1966 Ferrari 275GTB Long Nose Alloy Berlinetta
Registration no. TBC
Chassis no. 08155
Engine no. 08155
Ferrari's highly successful 250 series was superseded in 1964 by the 275. Pininfarina was once again called upon to work his magic for the Maranello concern, creating a true classic of sportscar design for the 275GTB.
Penetrative nose, long bonnet, purposeful side vents, high waistline, short be-spoilered tail: these were all ingredients of the recipe yet the result was so much more than merely the sum of its parts. The tail spoiler and cast-alloy wheels echoed developments first seen on Ferrari competition cars, while beneath the skin there was further evidence of racing improving the breed, the independent rear suspension - seen for the first time on a road-going Ferrari - employing a double wishbone and coil-spring arrangement similar to that of the 250LM racer. The adoption of a rear-mounted five-speed transaxle combining the gearbox and differential in a single unit helped improve weight distribution, and the feature would characterise future generations of front-engined Ferrari road cars.
Now enlarged to 3.3 litres, the 60-degree V12 engine remained the familiar Colombo type, in standard form producing 280bhp at 7,600rpm. A higher - 300bhp - state of tune employing six Weber carburettors was available, and this was used for the handful of aluminium-alloy bodied 275GTB/C (Competizione) models built, though customers purchasing a 275GTB for road use could also specify aluminium coachwork and/or the six-carburettor engine.
Sadly, by 1968 the progress of automobile emissions legislation had effectively outlawed the 275GTB and its like from Ferrari's most lucrative export market, the United States, and the model was phased out later that same year.
Never has the marque or model been so fashionable than it is today, the 275 being truly appreciated for its 'end of an era' flowing curves and beauty, as well as the broad eligibility which it affords its custodians.
This example must surely be one of the very best that exists in the world by any yardstick, it combines a simplicity of ownership, hugely desirable specification packaged in an unusual and supremely elegant colour scheme.
08155 was delivered new to Luigi Lupini an Italian living in Bramley, Johannesburg, South Africa. It was specifically designed with this location in mind, it had a three carburettor set up, so as to obviate incessant tweaking of its aspiration, and in preference to an all leather interior, in the humid Jo'burg, the driver and passenger seats were special order leather sides with cloth centre panels, sometimes designated as 'Tropicale' specification.
In October 1977 it transitioned within the same family, becoming the property of Lupini's son Nimetta, then being registered in their company name. It remained still in that family when it left its original home and returned to Europe to be offered for sale at public auction at the Nürburgring in August 1991. Now 25 years old, it had covered a mere 28,000 kilometers from new.
At this point it passed to its second owner, Sanders van der Velden of the Netherlands.
Staying in Continental Europe for much of the next 8-9 years, it would change hands just once more to Dr. Michael Duess before it was discovered there by an agent representing the current owner. His remit was very simple, he was commissioned to find a 275 GTB which would prove to be the most usable of tour cars which would be routinely driven, and the best example that was available. In line with these parameters, it was decided to source a triple carburettored alloy Berlinetta.
When 08155 became available in 1999 the agent hotfooted it to Germany. He inspected, agreed the deal and drove it back to the UK, an exercise which was accomplished with typical ease and without issue.
At first it was deemed to check the car over mechanically, to ensure it could be used as intended. At the same time and ahead of the current interest in originality, the owner and agent very sensibly decided that the original seats were likely to suffer from use and that since they were in relatively good shape it would be wise to remove them. A second set of 275 seats were found and recovered in matched deep red leather, while the originals were sympathetically refurbished and the central fabric carefully cleaned. These remain with the car and could be refitted if necessary.
Some light paintwork was carried out, specifically it was noted that the doors had suffered corrosion inside, no doubt from their original delivery location. These were carefully restored and the paint matched. It is thought that just one previous repaint had been carried out in the early 1970s.
Over the course of the last 15 years, the car has been systematically maintained with absolutely no regard for the cost of doing so. This work has almost exclusively been entrusted to Bob Houghton's famed Ferrari garage in Northleach. Routinely after any event a 'snag' list has been supplied and everything fixed however large or small an undertaking. More major work carried out has included an engine and gearbox rebuild as well as replacement of the engine and gearbox mounts, the suspension and brakes were fully rebuilt and the fuel system including both mechanical and electric pumps were rebuilt also. While rebuilding the engine, the opportunity was taken to repaint the engine bay. Not surprisingly these invoices are fastidiously documented and accompany the car.
As a true custodian of an important Ferrari, the owner has balanced his work with play ensuring that the car has been present at the most significant gatherings of 275s and Ferraris.
The car was debuted in his ownership at the Ferrari Owners Club National Meeting and Concours at Broughton Castle, in July 2001, it returned there the following year also winning the Roy Taylor trophy.
2004 was an important year for the model, when it celebrated its 40th Anniversary, accordingly, a road tour and concours was organised by Ferrari and its owner entered 08155 on this event. The trip to the factory coincided with the company's introduction of its now universally understood Classiche program for authenticating Ferraris. Long before this term became so important in the provenance of any collectible Ferrari the owner of the car was keen to have his car properly assessed and submitted it for certification. Naturally, for such an original and unmolested car it passed with flying colours.
Similarly, on the 60th Anniversary of Ferrari in 2007, the car returned to Fiorano to be displayed at the company organised festivities. Again testament to the car it placed 3rd in Class, and where points were noted on the judging sheet as deduction these were rectified or improved as they have been after all concours entries. Another successful showing came at the FOC Boughton Castle Concours in 2012, while other tours completed have included the Rallye des Alpes, 2008 Watch Tour, 2010 Mille Miglia Tribute rally, and most recently the 2013 edition of the Italia Classica. In order to participate in these events FIVA papers were secured, which although not transferable, would clearly be easily re-applied for in new ownership.
In fifteen years of current ownership, only a further 1,000 kilometers a year have been added to its mileage gauge, reading just under 48,500kms (30,000 miles) this is an exceedingly modest number for a near 50 year old car. It has always been serviced by Bob Houghton, and is absolutely 'on the button' and ready to go.
By definition this is a rare derivative of a rare breed, if gauged by Dyke Ridgley's Cavallino listing of production variants, less than 10% of the 454 cars were delivered as left hand drive Long Nose Alloy Berlinettas. It is not unthinkable to suggest that this is the only to have arrived with its first owner in the appealing and understated guise of Argento paint with Rosso interior and the special 'Tropicale' seats.
So, there you have it, a meticulously maintained, ultra rare, factory certified Ferrari - it doesn't get more covetable or collectible than that, it is certainly one of the finest 'Prancing Horses' that Bonhams has had the privilege to offer.