1966 Ferrari 275

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1966
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    041
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other

Description

PROVENANCE
Pedro Rodríguez, Mexico City, Mexico (acquired new via Luigi Chinetti Motors in 1966)
Luigi Chinetti Motors, Greenwich, Connecticut (raced by NART, 1967–1970)
Harley Cluxton III, Chicago, Illinois (acquired from the above in 1970)
Peter Johantgen, Denver, Colorado (acquired from the above in 1970)
Edwin “Tex” Arnold, Aurora, Colorado (acquired in 1975)
International Auto Ltd., Chicago, Illinois (acquired by 1983)
Robert Panella, Stockton, California (acquired from the above in 1985)
Steve Stepner, Miami, Florida (acquired from the above circa 1986)
FAF Motorcars, Tucker, Georgia (acquired from the above circa 1987)
Dr. Ron Finger, Savannah, Georgia (acquired from the above circa 1989)
International Auto Ltd., Chicago, Illinois (reacquired from the above in 1991)
Albert Obrist, Gstaad, Switzerland (acquired from the above in 1992)
Bernie Ecclestone, London, England (acquired from the above in 1995)
Cavallino Holdings, Seattle, Washington (acquired from the above in 1998)
Neil Hadfield, San Diego, California (acquired from the above in March 2001)
John Siroonian and Family, Newport Beach, California (acquired from the above in November 2001)

RACE HISTORY
Nassau Tourist Trophy and Governor’s Trophy, December 1966, Rodríguez, No. 4 (7th Overall, 1st in Class)
24 Hours of Daytona, February 1967, Guterrez/Rebaque Sr., No. 29 (DNF)
24 Hours of Daytona, January/February 1970, Cluxton/Bucknum, No. 20 (DNF)
12 Hours of Sebring, March 1970, Cluxton/Pickett, No. 25 (Practice Only)
SCCA National Brainerd, Minnesota, July 1975, Arnold, No. 71 Road Atlanta, November 1975, Arnold, No. 71 (DNS)

EXHIBITED
Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge, Palm Beach, Florida, January 2001
Palm Beach Cavallino Classic, Palm Beach, Florida, January 2001
FCA National Meeting and Concours, Los Angeles, California, May 2002
Huntington Beach Concours, Huntington Beach, California, June 2004 (First in Class)
Concorso Italiano, Monterey, California, August 2004 (Finest Competition Ferrari)
FCA National Meeting and Concours, Monterey, California, August 2004 (Gold Award)
FCA National Meeting and Concours, Los Angeles, California, May 2005 (Gold Award)
Concorso Italiano, Monterey, California, August 2005 (Best of Show Competition)

LITERATURE
, Issue 137, October/November 2003, pictured on p. 64
, Issue 151, February/March 2006, pp. 58, 61 (pictured), 62–63
Dyke Ridgley, , Spring 1977/78, “275 GTB/C: The Last Single Cam Competition Berlinetta,” pp. 8–20
Jess G. Pourret, , 275 GTB, 275 GTS, 275 GTB 4A, pictured on p. 79
Terry O’Neil,, pictured on p. 335

THIS CAR
For the 1965 racing season, Ferrari decided to build three special competition cars based on the new 275 GTB. These cars featured chassis lightened in every conceivable way, equipped with bodies made of the thinnest possible aluminum, powered by 250 LM-specification engines. The most famous of these cars was initially campaigned by Scuderia Ferrari and then by Ecurie Francorchamps at Le Mans, where it placed 1st in Class and 3rd Overall.

It was the success of these three 1965 cars that persuaded Ferrari to build a series of 12 similar cars for the 1966 season. This resulted in the 275 GTB/C – the “C” standing for competizione. In an essay on the 275 series, noted motor racing historian Doug Nye describes the unique attributes that distinguish these special competition berlinettas:

“Here Ferrari tailor-made a circuit-racing Gran Turismo, which was effectively engineered from the tyres up, rather than a basic production car converted for occasional competition use. The 275 GTB/C is a very different animal indeed beneath its look-alike external skin, and the differences really begin with that external skin itself.

“Where production 275 GTBs were available with either standard-weight steel or lighter-weight aluminum bodywork, the GTB/C’s aluminum skin was of even thinner gauge than standard, to save many more kilogrammes in weight. Apart from the toughed-glass windscreen, the GTB/C’s windows and rear screen were in lightweight Perspex instead of glass and the wheel-arches were slightly flared to accommodate the latest in (usually) Dunlop Racing tyres.

“The cabin interior was extremely sparsely furnished and equipped, the rear trunk was occupied by enormous long-range fuel tankage – with internal filler cap – and brakes and suspension were carefully tailored and set up for serious competition use in long-duration events. Borrani aluminum-rimmed lightweight wire-spoked wheels with knock-off centre-lock fixing were preferred instead of the road cars’ cast-alloy Campagnolo wheels.

“The 3.3-liter V-12 engine in GTB/C form was equipped with high lift camshafts, 250 LM-type valves, competition pistons, a redesigned crankshaft and Weber 40 DFI/3 carburetors. Comprehensive use was made of lightweight magnesium castings in place of standard aluminum to save further weight, and the engine was also set up with dry-sump lubrication in place of the standard wet-sump road-going system.”

Given their specialized nature, most 275 GTB/Cs were sold to Ferrari’s trusted privateers including the North American Racing Team, Ecurie Francorchamps, Maranello Concessionaires, and Scuderia Filipinetti. Despite a limited production of 12 cars, 275 GTB/Cs proved to be extremely successful in racing, capturing class wins at Monza, Montlhéry, Nassau, and Le Mans.

The history of this 275 GTB/C can be traced to April 22, 1966, when Ferrari sent the bare chassis of 09063 to Carrozzeria Scaglietti to receive its lightweight aluminum bodywork. Completed that August and finished in an attractive Rosso Rubino (Ruby Red) livery, this GTB/C was the eighth example of the model produced and one of only eight specified in left-hand drive.

Factory records indicate that 09063 was sold new to Luigi Chinetti Motors Inc. and shipped to the US aboard the SS Pia Costa. Upon the GTB/C’s arrival in the US, it was sold to famed Mexican racing driver Pedro Rodríguez. His purchase was at least partially funded by Ennio Gerardi, Chinetti’s friend and supporter, in an effort to keep Rodríguez loyal to NART. The gesture seemed to work, but it was not long before Rodríguez became recognized as one of the most successful and charismatic drivers of his era, graduating to Formula 1 and the pinnacle of sports car racing.

Rodríguez debuted his new 275 GTB/C on December 2, 1966, at the 13th annual Bahamas Speed Week in Nassau. Entered in the combined Tourist Trophy and Governor’s Trophy, the Ferrari immediately showed promise, capturing a 1st in Class and 7th Overall finish in a race that pitted GT cars such as this Ferrari against the latest prototypes from Chaparral, McLaren, and Porsche.

Following the impressive result at Nassau, Rodríguez entered his GTB/C in the 24 Hours of Daytona in February 1967. When he was offered a ride in the NART Ferrari 412P, Rodríguez enlisted Carlos Salas Guterrez and Hector Rebaque Sr. to drive 09063 for him. Rodríguez gave a marvelous performance, driving the 412P to a 3rd Place finish, though his GTB/C was not so fortunate; an accident forced the car to retire early in the race.

After Daytona, the GTB/C was repaired, fitted with a six-carburetor intake, and repainted the official racing colors of Chinetti’s North American Racing Team: red with a central white and blue stripe. The 275 GTB/C returned to the 24 Hours of Daytona once again in 1970, where it was entrusted to American drivers Harley Cluxton III and Ronnie Bucknum. In a letter held in the car’s file, Cluxton recalled his eventful drive at Daytona with the Ferrari:

“We were leading the GT/O class at 3:00 am when the left front hub decided to leave 9063 taking the wheel along with it! Lucky for me it was the left front and not the right front otherwise I probably would have landed in Pompano Beach instead of the infield.”

The GTB/C’s next outing was Sebring in March, where Chinetti paired Cluxton with co-driver Dr. William Pickett. During a practice session, the Ferrari suffered a piston failure and the engine couldn’t be repaired in time to start the race.

After Sebring, ownership of 09063 was transferred to Cluxton, who then sold it to Peter Johantgen of Denver. Mr. Johantgen, who owned another GTB/C (09041) in the early 1970s, entered this former NART team car in a few local SCCA events, with Danny Collins at the wheel. In 1975, the Ferrari was sold to Edwin “Tex” Arnold, who occasionally campaigned the aging GTB/C in club events, including the 1975 SCCA National Race at Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota.

In the early 1980s, 09063 was sold to Chicago-area dealer Joe Marchetti. From there, the GTB/C passed through a succession of Ferrari enthusiasts, including noted collector Dr. Ron Finger, before returning once more to Marchetti’s International Auto Ltd. in 1991.

The following year, 09063 was sold to Albert Obrist, a Swiss collector who, during the 1980s and 1990s, assembled an incomparable collection of historically significant Ferrari competition cars, with a particular focus on Scuderia Ferrari team cars. During his ownership, Mr. Obrist commissioned a complete restoration of 09063, with the project carried out by two of the most respected Italian specialists, Giuliano Michelotto and Dino Cognolato. Between 1992 and 1994, the GTB/C was completely restored to concours quality and returned to the original Rosso Rubino livery it wore when new, as raced by Rodríguez in the Bahamas.

In 1995, Formula 1 executive Bernie Ecclestone acquired The Obrist Collection; three years later, he sold several significant Ferraris, including 09063, to Cavallino Holdings, a prominent collection based in Seattle. Well-known collector and vintage racer Neil Hadfield purchased the GTB/C from Cavallino Holdings in March 2001, then sold it that November to John Siroonian, a discerning Ferrari collector based in Newport Beach, California.

Eager to share his latest acquisition, Mr. Siroonian displayed 09063 at several concours events, unveiling it at the FCA National Meeting and Concours held in Los Angeles during May 2002. In subsequent outings, the beautifully presented 275 GTB/C earned a string of awards, including First in Class, Finest Competition Ferrari, and Best of Show honors. Since Mr. Siroonian’s passing in 2008, his family has continued to preserve and enjoy his exceptional collection of Ferraris, entrusting them to marque specialist Brooke Betz in Orange, California, for regular maintenance.

Today, the 275 GTB/C continues to present in excellent overall condition, a lasting testament to the high quality of the expert restoration carried out under Mr. Obrist’s ownership and to the care given it by the Siroonian family. The car is also accompanied by a spare exhaust system and an impressive dossier of supporting documentation, including copies of the factory build sheets, period photographs, magazine articles, correspondence, service records, and a history report compiled by Ferrari historian Marcel Massini.

A fine example of the 275 GTB/C, chassis 09063 is among the most soughtafter Ferrari GT cars. These purpose-built 275s represent the ultimate evolution of Ferrari’s single-cam, 12-cylinder competition berlinetta – a line of thoroughbreds that dominated international GT racing for two decades. Without question, these 275s were the finest dual-purpose sports cars of their day – essentially GTOs for 1966.

Not only is 09063 a rare and significant competition Ferrari, it also possesses an impressive racing history and provenance. Originally sold to and driven by the legendary Pedro Rodríguez, this Ferrari was later campaigned by Chinetti’s famed North American Racing Team in the most important US endurance races: Daytona and Sebring. In the hands of subsequent owners, the GTB/C remained competitive well into the 1970s.

Unlike many special Ferraris, this car has not been publicly exhibited in over a decade, providing its new owner a rare opportunity to present an important, yet relatively unseen car at leading events. Above all, this GTB/C is a highly regarded example retaining its original chassis and engine (internal no. 1184/64).

Doug Nye, concluding his aforementioned essay on the model, provides a strong argument for these special cars: “Today, in classic-car terms, the Ferrari GTB/Cs – of which only 12 were built – are highly prized and much coveted. These wonderfully fast, solid, reliable Ferraris are perhaps the most graceful of the later front-engined Gran Turismo line, which like the legendary 250 GTOs themselves, are equally useable and as much at home on both rugged mountain road or billiard-smooth race circuit alike. They are, in short, great classics. What more would one expect, from Ferrari...?”