©Mathieu Heurtault, courtesy of Gooding & Company
At just 12 years old, Battista Farina began working for his brother Giovanni, who had established Carrozzeria Stabilimenti Industriali Farina, a firm that specialized in building elegant custom coachwork for luxury automobiles. After 25 years of learning the craft, Battista Farina formed his own company, Carrozzeria Pinin Farina, quickly to become one of the leading custom coachbuilders in Europe. Pinin Farina’s creations are characterized by elegance, simplicity, quality and innovation. In 1952, Pinin Farina began collaborating with Enzo Ferrari. By the mid-1960s, Pinin Farina had designed for Ferrari a succession of celebrated road and racing models, as well as influential show cars. In 1964, Carrozzeria Pininfarina was busy designing a berlinetta body for Ferrari’s new 275 Series chassis. The coachbuilder was supplied with two chassis. Chassis 06003 served as the prototype and chassis 06437 became a one-off 275 GTB Speciale and Battista Pininfarina’s personal car. Chassis 06437 was the only example of this iconic model to be built by Pininfarina. All the other 275 GTBs were built at Carrozzeria Scaglietti in Modena. The 275 GTB Speciale followed the general plans of Pininfarina’s original body style — but also differed greatly in nearly every individual detail. Even the inner structure of the bodywork is specific to this car. It shares nothing with the Scaglietti-built cars. Externally, the Speciale possesses more prominent front indicators, recessed side marker lights, smaller front bumpers, a special grille and different headlamp covers, secured by individual brackets rather than a chrome surround. The 275 GTB Speciale also has custom-built window frames, rain gutters, and even door handles that vary dramatically from the production cars. Battista Pininfarina also specified that there be no driver’s-side vent window. At the rear, the Speciale featured external chrome trunk hinges and an elegant decorative motif on the recessed section of the tail panel, outlined with chrome trim and highlighted by special Ferrari and Pininfarina badging. One of the most memorable features of 06437 is its distinctive rear diffuser. This element is extremely advanced, with similar diffusers not being used on road-going sports cars until recently. The interior was pure Pininfarina — and far more luxurious than the standard 275 GTBs. It was equipped with more-comfortable leather-trimmed seats, electric windows, a set of Heuer Rally-Master stopwatches, and myriad bespoke details. Chassis 06437 was presented on the Pininfarina stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1965, followed by the Paris Motor Show, and the Torino Motor Show. Chassis 06437 graced the Pininfarina stand one last time during the Brussels Motor Show. A one-of-a-kind 275 GTB, built by arguably the most successful and influential Italian coachbuilder of all time, 06437 is a world-class Ferrari that possesses every special quality sought by discerning collectors. It is a masterpiece of mid-century industrial art that represents the intersection of two of the most famous Italian firms working at the height of their powers.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Speciale
Years Produced:1964–66
Number Produced:440
Original List Price:$11,500
SCM Valuation:$2,218,500. Add $75k for six carbs
Tune Up Cost:$3,500
Chassis Number Location:Right front chassis rail by top of shock mount; plate on right inner fender
Engine Number Location:Right side rear near starter motor
Club Info:Ferrari Club of America
Alternatives:1966 Lamborghini Miura P400, 1959 BMW 507 Roadster, 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, 1967 Maserati Ghibli coupe
Investment Grade:A

This car, Lot 134, sold for $8,085,000, including buyer’s premium, at Gooding & Company’s auction in Scottsdale, AZ, on January 20, 2018.

The 275 GTBs are some of the most beloved models in Ferrari’s history — and for good reason. Few automobile silhouettes can upstage the 275 GTB’s long front end, fastback roofline and slightly uplifted Kamm tail.

The 275 GTB interior is equally bewitching, with barrel-back bucket seats, a cool passenger’s foot rest, and a rear luggage shelf with hold-down straps for cargo. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect automobile design.

There are about as many variations of 275s as Bubba Gump had shrimp. The original 275 GTB style is called a short-nose. Later models had a longer snout and are called long-nose cars. The 275 GTB bodies were built in both steel and alloy. A rare few GTBs were built in an open-top configuration known as NART Spyders, a nod to the U.S. Ferrari importer’s North American Racing Team.

The car was originally designed with two overhead camshafts. Ferrari later added two more camshafts and called that model a 275 GTB/4. Two-cam models could be ordered with three or six carburetors. Four-cam engines featured six 2-barrel carburetors.

The base engine boasted a healthy 280 hp.

Hello, gated shifter

The 275 GTB was the first production Ferrari to feature a rear transaxle. Shifting the transaxle required running a rod from the shift lever to the transaxle. This was the introduction of the legendary gated shifter in a Ferrari production car.

Transferring the engine’s power to the transaxle also required some novel engineering. The original solution is known as an open driveshaft. It was a simple driveshaft running from the engine to the transaxle. Open driveshafts have excessive vibration unless the engine and transaxle are in perfect alignment.

In later cars, a center-bearing “Interim” driveshaft was used to reduce vibration. The final solution encapsulated the driveshaft in a rigid torque tube that held the engine and transaxle in perfect alignment, eliminating any vibration.

In value hierarchy, the steel-body, short-nose 275 GTB is the most affordable production model. The 4-cam cars generally lead the value pack. Production 275 GTBs start around $2 million and go over
$4 million.

A one-off 275 GTB for the ages

Not all 275 GTBs are standard production models, and this is where the price guide gets thrown out the window and our subject GTB steps in.

Our subject car is a steel-body, short-nose example with a stock 2-cam, 6-carb engine and a torque-tube driveshaft. It has no competition history. On paper it’s in the lowest echelons of the 275 world, but when you add its provenance, it is far from an ordinary 275 GTB.

Not only is chassis 06437 the only 275 GTB that was not built at Scaglietti, it was designed and built for the boss — Battista Pininfarina. It has many unique features. It was presented at several important shows and has a well-known history.

In 2014, Steve McQueen’s standard production 275 GTB/4 sold for $10,175,000 — setting the bar for a celebrity example. Without the McQueen connection, that car is just another 275 GTB/4.

Battista Pininfarina may not have the celebrity status of Steve McQueen, but his influence in the automotive-design world is unrivaled. Pininfarina’s 275 is distinct in so many ways that even without knowing the Pininfarina connection, the car stands out in a crowd.Add the Pininfarina connection to this one-off car, and you have a self-portrait from a genius.

A bright future — after some work

Chassis 06437 was restored about 26 years ago, shown a couple times, and has been hibernating since. It ticks all the boxes of a great concours contender. It hasn’t been shown for 25 years. It is sure to be invited to the best shows. It is sure to draw the judges’ attention and earn consideration for a major award.

However, chassis 06437 is not a virginal, original car. It was delivered to the restoration shop in 1992 as a pile of boxes. The restoration washed off some of Battista’s DNA. Today the car is a non-runner that shows the effects of long-term storage.

The $8,085,000 sale price barely broke the low estimate. The price may have been a little disappointing, but it is still a ton of cash in today’s market.

The seller has been liquidating a large collection of important cars. He has owned this car for many years and multiplied his investment many times over. The buyer will have a hefty restoration bill — and a top-shelf trophy. I’d call this one a huge sale but fair for both sides. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of Gooding & Company.)

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