Ferrari's highly successful 250 series was superseded in 1964 by the 275. In Ferrari nomenclature of the period, a model's designation reflected the cubic capacity of an individual cylinder. The newcomer displaced 3.3 liters-up from its predecessor's 3 liters-and was thus called the 275. The V12 engine remained the familiar Colombo type in standard form producing 280 horsepower at 7,600 rpm. A higher, 300-horsepower state of tune employing six Weber carburetors was available, and this was used for the handful of 275 GTB/C (Competition) models built.

Despite its near-perfect appearance, revisions to the original 275 GTB were soon executed: a longer hood, enlarged rear window and external trunk hinges being introduced towards the end of 1965. Mechanically the only major change was the adoption of torque tube enclosure of the prop shaft.

Sold new in Ferrara, Italy, the car pictured here was supplied in June 1965 to a good client of the factory, who specified the six-carburetor set-up and coachwork in Rosso Chiaro with black leather upholstery. According to the factory, he returned chassis 7269 to the works for regular servicing and went on to own numerous other Ferraris into the current era.

This car has been uprated to "longnose" bodywork and retains its original interior, including even the protective plastic covering over the footwell carpets. The odometer reading of 86,000 kilometers is commensurate with the condition of the car, which appears to be largely original. Recent maintenance has been entrusted to Garage Symbol in Matran.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C
Years Produced:1964-66
Number Produced:450
Original List Price:Approx. $14,000
SCM Valuation:$150,000-$180,000. Add $25,000 for 6-carb version
Tune Up Cost:$2,000-$2,500
Distributor Caps:$450 two required
Chassis Number Location:On chassis by top of right shock mount
Engine Number Location:Lower right side of block by bell housing
Club Info:Ferrari Owner's Club, 8642 Cleta St., Downey, CA 90241; Ferrari Club of America, PO Box 720597, Atlanta, GA 30358
Alternatives:Ferrari 550 Maranello, Ferrari Daytona
Investment Grade:A

This car sold for $141,266, including buyer’s premium, at the Bonhams Geneva sale, March 11, 2002.

Close your eyes and imagine what a Ferrari looks like. If you’re older than 40, chances are your image is a 275 GTB, which was described by Sergio Pininfarina as having “the heart of a lion and the shape of the wind.” Its low-profile design with fastback roof, long hood and covered headlights is the quintessential Ferrari shape. The complementing 3.3-liter V12 engine and stylish interior puts the 275 GTB on most Ferrari enthusiasts’ short list.

It takes a tally card to decipher the variations of 275 GTB models. They were built with shortnose, longnose, steel and alloy bodywork; as street and comp cars; with two and four cams; with three and six carbs; with open driveshafts, interim driveshafts and finally torque-tube driveshafts. Add a chop top and a few Speciale versions and you need an abacus to compute the variations.

The 275 shortnose is at the bottom of the 275 GTB food chain. Think size doesn’t matter? The 2¾-inch-shorter nose makes for a $25,000 reduction in value. S/N 7629 was a shortnose that was uprated to a longnose. Uprating sounds like a good thing, but it takes a pretty big stretch of the imagination to believe someone spent the equivalent of the cost of a small car to replace a perfectly good front clip for the sake of 2¾ inches. More probable is the scenario that the original nose was irreparably damaged and a shortnose clip was unavailable. The resulting Frankencar is half longnose and half shortnose, and certainly no improvement.

In the fall of 1997, S/N 7269 showed up in the Ferrari Market Letter, advertised as having new leather, new chrome and new paint. Nothing was mentioned about a converted nose; the asking price was $200,000. The car apparently sold to a German collector who must have transferred the new leather, chrome and paint to a different car-7269’s next appearance at the 2001 Bonhams Gstaad auction was with rust-scabbed front quarter panels, pitted chrome and a fair engine compartment. Offered at no reserve and reportedly sold at $147,000, we’re told the car was actually bought back by the vendor and re-consigned to Bonhams for their Geneva sale.

At Geneva the car was reported as having poor chrome, original interior, older paint and shabby carpet, which makes one wonder what the “original protective plastic covering” in the auction company’s description was actually protecting. Already hindered by a #3 condition, probable previous accident damage and an incorrect front end, Robert Brooks’s podium announcement of a gear selection problem also harmed its value.

Ferrari specialists will want $30,000 plus for the paint, interior, chrome and gearbox repairs. Add in a few more bucks for some suspension and engine work and six months later you’re driving a $170,000 GTB. A tidy shortnose pulled a perfect $178,000 at Monterey this year, so it looks like the buyer did fine.

But what about the $25,000 premium six-carb cars receive? You only get the $25k if the setup is original. No proof, no prize. The originality of this setup is questionable so, without build sheets, which apparently were not offered here, the buyer’s gain is about equal to what the nose graft takes away.

The vendor was surely disappointed with the bid, but a buyer couldn’t be expected to pay much more. There are always a few 275 GTBs available, and their prospective buyers tend to be very well educated about the current market values, as well as costs of repairs and restoration. As long as the vendor had some good times with the car and the buyer has a few more, everyone should go home happy.-Steve Ahlgrim

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