Historic Ferrari 275 GT-class race car in Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction

The 1966 Ferrari 275 Gran Turismo Berlinetta Competizione Scaglietti has strong racing history | Bonhams
The 1966 Ferrari 275 Gran Turismo Berlinetta Competizione Scaglietti has strong racing history | Bonhams

An exceptionally rare and historic Ferrari competition champion from the late 1960s has been consigned for Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction in January. Its eventual hammer price figures to further boost the soaring values of vintage race cars from Modena.

The 1966 Ferrari 275 Gran Turismo Berlinetta Competizione Scaglietti has a well-documented history of racing victories, including the GT-class in the 1967 Le Mans 24 Hours (11th place overall), the 1969 Spa-Francorchamps 1000 Km and the 1969 Imola 500 Km.

The 11th of only 12 built, chassis number 09079 was raced from new under legendary race team owner Georges Filipinetti of Geneva, Switzerland, and was the most prominent track star of this small run of 275 GT-class racers.

In light of the stunning prices recently commanded by such Ferrari racing machines, which have been reaching into eight-figure sales numbers, this pedigreed champion should garner plenty of attention for Bonhams during Arizona’s classic car auction week. Bonhams set the record for the highest-ever result in collector-car auction history at its Monterey sale in August when a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for more than $38 million, including auction fees.

The Ferrari combines track performance with gorgeous styling | Bonhams
The Ferrari combines track performance with gorgeous styling | Bonhams

Auction watchers will be paying close attention to how this sale plays out as they judge whether the strong climb in Ferrari values is still on the assent.  The 275 is well-documented, has a matching numbers drivetrain, and it comes with a Ferrari Classiche certification.

The Ferrari does have one mark against it, and that’s a rebuilt aluminum body after the original was ruined in a fire.

According to a Bonhams news release, “In 1985 its body was damaged in a garage fire, but the engine, drive train and chassis were all unharmed. The car was shipped to Italy where its bodywork was meticulously and accurately restored to factory specifications by marque experts Carrozzeria Brandoli, after which it received its red book certification from Ferrari Classiche confirming its matching numbers engine, chassis, suspension and transaxle.”

Ferrari launched the 275 GT-class race cars in 1966 specifically for competition with a unique chassis that was stronger and lighter than that of the road-going 275.  The body was made from ultra-thin aluminum alloy to further reduce weight.

The 3.3-liter V12 engine also was new, developed from the previous year’s Ferrari factory race car.  The dry-sump engine was placed lower and further back in the chassis, giving the car nearly perfect 50-50 weight distribution.

The 275 GT also is strikingly good-looking.

Leading the pack in GT racing during the 1960s | Bonhams
Leading the pack in GT racing during the 1960s | Bonhams

“Not only were the physical properties of this car extremely impressive but the aesthetics also wowed the world,” Bonhams said in its news release. “Its long, shark-like nose with gill-like side vents and low, wide stance made it appear both rakishly handsome and predatory at once. And its practicality, too, made it enormously attractive as it could be ferociously raced on the track or sportingly driven to the country club.”

After its competition career, 09079 was owned by several American collectors during the ’70s and ’80s. Since its body restoration, the Ferrari has won honors in a number of prestigious shows, including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and has participated in such events as the Le Mans Classic, Silverstone Classic and Tour Auto.

It was one of 60 Ferraris chosen worldwide for the Race Through the Decades display October 12 on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California, to celebrate Ferrari’s 60th anniversary in the United States.

Along with its auction description, the Ferrari 275 is featured on Bonhams’ website in a well-crafted video hosted by automotive author and concours judge Winston Goodfellow.  Access the video at Bonhams.com/video.

In his narration, Goodfellow extols the virtues of the historic race car as he drives it through rolling countryside, the roaring V12 engine supplying a sonorous soundtrack.  He also highlights the car’s provenance.

“In this case, not only do you get a car, but you also get this expansive history that comes with it,” he says in the video.

The 2015 Bonhams Scottsdale Auction takes place Thursday, January 15, 2015, at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale.

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