Perhaps no car better epitomizes classic Ferrari design than the 275 GTB. Penetrative nose, long bonnet, low cabin and a short, neat tail are the ingredients that make for a masterpiece of sports car design. The 275 GTB drew inspiration from the preceding 250 GTO, and along with its timeless appearance introduced a number of important milestones for Ferrari including independent rear suspension and a transaxle-mounted, five-speed gearbox.
Following its launch at the Paris Motor Show in October 1964, subtle improvements to the original recipe were not long in coming. Towards the end of 1965, the nose was lengthened to improve high speed stability, coinciding with the enlargement of the rear window for greater visibility and the boot hinges moving to the outside in order to give a little more luggage space.
Any 275 GTB is a special car, but the one on offer here is very special. It was bought as a personal gift from film director Dino de Laurentiis, to show his appreciation to one of Hollywood’s most enduring and instantly recognizable stars, none other than Clint Eastwood.
Fast cars and fast-living actors have always gone hand in hand, but Clint Eastwood, like fellow actors Paul Newman and Steve McQueen, had more than a passing interest in automotbiles. He went on to own several Ferraris, including a factory-built Group 4 Daytona which Newman raced for him.
Ordered from Ferrari’s Maranello works, S/N 8359 featured coachwork in Grigio Notte (gunmetal gray) complimented by black leather upholstery, optional head rests, radio console, Borrani wire wheels and a speedometer reading in miles per hour. The new berlinetta was delivered to the Italian capital, where Eastwood was on the set of The Witches.
Eastwood quickly changed the car’s color to the present dark green, also fitting a CB radio, which is still present. Once its duties in Italy were completed, the car was shipped to America for Eastwood’s use, and registered in Nevada in his name.
Rarely do we come across such an interesting combination of a universally acclaimed Ferrari model whose history is inextricably linked with two of cinema’s greatest characters, both of whom somehow seem ideally suited to the car in question. One can only imagine the reaction of Rome’s young female population back in 1966 when Hollywood’s coolest star rode into town with Ferrari’s newest stallion.