Presented by RM Sotheby's.
Ferrari used the Paris Salon of 1964 to introduce its replacement for the long-running 250 GT platform. Utilizing the latest update of the Colombo short-block V-12, which was now enlarged to displace 3.3 liters, the new 275 series continued to ride a development of the short wheelbase 2,400-millimeter chassis and was offered in two forms: a race-worthy berlinetta built by Scaglietti and a luxurious grand touring spider built by Pininfarina.
Though the two models shared many mechanical components, they dramatically differed in style and final result. Pininfarina’s design for the open-top 275 GTS was a throwback to earlier Ferraris, utilizing a shorter hood than the berlinetta, a prominent front grille, handsome fender vents, and a truncated tail to affect the dimensions of a classic Italian roadster, along the lines of similarly styled cars emerging from Turin and Milan. Spiders were offered with wire wheels only, and though they were equipped with the same 3.3-liter engine as the GTB, the motor was mated to a conventional frontally located gearbox rather than a transaxle. The GTS, therefore, held a character all its own, as an elegant touring car rather than a purposeful racer. In this respect, the 275 GTS was an ideal replacement for the luxurious 250 GT Cabriolet that had ceased production in 1962, in every respect its spiritual successor.
Just 200 examples of the 275 GTS were built through early 1966, endowing the model with a much greater rarity than its closed counterpart. The touring spider remains prized by Ferrari enthusiasts today for its sublime coachwork, enjoyable open-air drive experience, and powerful drivetrain, epitomizing the essence of Maranello’s finest cars.
THE SIXTH 275 GTS
Benefiting from a 20-year period of recent ownership, this authentic 275 GTS is an enticing example of the elegant Pininfarina-built touring spider. By virtue of its body number, this GTS is believed to be just the sixth production example built, following three initial prototypes. According to the research of marque expert Marcel Massini, chassis number 06809 was finished in Bianco paint with an interior appointed in Nero Franzi leather, completing assembly in mid-June 1965, with instruments in kilometers as specified for European delivery. The 275 was dispatched to the German dealer Auto Becker in Düsseldorf shortly thereafter, and it was owned by a German enthusiast for two years.
In 1967 the Ferrari was exported to the United States, and though its intermediary history is currently unknown, by 1980 the car was owned by Charles Silverman of Scarsdale, New York. Not long after this the 275 was repainted gold and passed through a Florida-based collection.
In 1981 the GTS returned to Europe following purchase by a Swiss dealer, and by the end of the year, the car was acquired by Heinrich Kämpfer of Othmarsingen, Switzerland. He commissioned a cosmetic refinish in Rosso by the nearby Carrosserie Arno Meyer, and displayed the car at the grand opening exhibition for the sportscar dealership Sportgarage Bruno Wyss in Zofingen in April 1982.
In the mid-1980s Herr Kämpfer sold the Ferrari to fellow Swiss resident Peter Heuberger, and in 1987 he sold the 275 to an American owner who kept the car garaged in Switzerland. By 1990 the GTS was being offered by a dealer in Geneva, and it was eventually purchased by a Russian collector residing in Zurich. In 2000 the spider was sold to Eckhard Bluhm of Cologne, Germany, and the car finally found a lasting home, remaining within Mr. Bluhm’s collection for a remarkable period of over 20 years.
Emerging from a lengthy slumber in a cloistered collection, chassis number 06809 invites the consideration of the Ferrari niche, as an honest and authentic example that has experienced very little refurbishment over the years. Given its early position in the chassis number sequence, as well as its unusual original color combination, this car would make an excellent candidate for full restoration, or it may be mechanically refreshed for driving enjoyment. Well-preserved and honest 275 spiders are not common, and this car offers an ideal opportunity to acquire a foundational car that has benefited from 20 years of preservative storage. It invites its next caretaker to steward it to a return to its full glory, as a luxurious grand touring spider that in every way embodies the spirit of the Cavallino rampantE.
This vehicle will be offered at RM Sotheby’s 23rd annual Amelia Island sale, held in conjunction with the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, on 5 March 2022. Held at the stunning oceanfront grounds of the Ritz-Carlton, RM Sotheby’s will offer some of the world’s finest cars in this can’t-miss event.