Tim Scott ©2018, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
When considering the greater Ferrari 275 GTB hierarchy, it is clear that chassis 08311 is truly one of the most desirable produced. Boasting aluminum coachwork and six Weber carburetors, 08311 was only the second GTB to be fitted with a torque tube. In 1980, the car returned to Italy, where it was subsequently purchased by Luigi Compiano of Treviso, Italy, and remained in his vast car collection for nearly four decades. The current owner had the car restored cosmetically and mechanically. Following the restoration, it was Classiche certified. Additionally, correct knockoff wheels were fitted along with correct Michelin XWX tires. A correct toolkit, jack, handbooks and history file accompany the car. Fully certified by Ferrari Classiche, chassis 08311 wants for nothing and is truly worthy of inclusion in any of the world’s most exclusive Ferrari collections. It would be a brilliant car to drive and enjoy at the world’s most exclusive concours events.  

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C Alloy Berlinetta by Scaglietti
Years Produced:1964–66
Number Produced:440
Original List Price:$13,500
SCM Valuation:$3,293,400
Tune Up Cost:$3,500 with valve adjustment
Engine Number Location:Passenger’s side rear of block
Club Info:Ferrari Club of America, Ferrari Owners Club
Alternatives:1966 Bizzarrini GT, 1966 Iso Grifo, 1966 Porsche 906
Investment Grade:A

This car, Lot 155, sold for $3,258,684, including buyer’s premium, at RM Sotheby’s auction in Paris, France, on February 6, 2019.

The Ferrari 275 GTB was the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. It was the last of the Scaglietti hand-built Ferraris, where each car was slightly different from all the others. The 275 GTB was also the first car to feature several innovations for Ferrari’s GT car series.

The 275 GTB was the first production model to feature a transaxle, which moves the transmission to the rear of the car, improving weight distribution.

It was the first production Ferrari to have independent rear suspension, which improved handling.

It was also the first production model to feature magnesium wheels. The solid wheels handled torque better than wire wheels.

Finally, the 275 GTB was the first production model to have valve seals, which cut down smoking as valve guides wear down.

Hello, long nose

The original 275 GTB model became known as the short-nose, when a new longer-snout model was introduced in an effort to improve high-speed handling. The short-nose and the early long-nose models featured an open driveshaft to transfer power from the engine to the rear-mounted transaxle. The open driveshaft was prone to vibrate if it was not properly aligned after maintenance such as a clutch replacement.

An interim solution used constant-velocity joints at each end of the shaft. The final solution ran the driveshaft through a large tube called a torque tube. The torque tube had sturdy flanges at each end, which aligned the engine and transaxle, hopefully eliminating driveshaft vibration.

The long-nose and short-nose models came with alloy or steel bodies. The standard 280-hp engine featured three 2-barrel Weber carburetors, but could be upgraded to six Webers for an additional charge. The six-carb setup is said to add as much as 25 horsepower.

The final 275s got two more camshafts and became the 275 GTB/4. A handful of GTB/4s were built in alloy, but most were steel. All 4-cams came with six carburetors.

The joy of six carburetors

The alloy body cars were the lightest of the 2-cam 275 GTBs, and six-carburetor versions were the most powerful. Add in a torque tube, and you have the holy grail of the non-competition 275 GTBs.

The six-carb GTBs come alive at 4,000 rpms, rewarding the driver with the most wonderful sounds and a firm push into the seat. On the road, they stop a little better than the heavier steel cars and turn into a corner with less effort and more certainty.

Only eight 2-cam, six-carburetor, alloy-body, torque-tube 275 GTBs were built, and RM Sotheby’s 08311 is a top example of these elusive cars.

Chassis 08311 is both rare and desirable — and it is one of the most valuable cars on earth. This was the second time 275 GTB 08311 has sold at auction. It was first sold in November 2016 at the famous — or infamous — Duemila Ruote auction.

A bidding frenzy

Duemila Ruote translates to “two thousand wheels,” and this was an apt name for RM Sotheby’s auction of around 430 cars, 150 motorcycles, 60 boats and 117 bicycles.

The items had been confiscated from Luigi Compiano, who was the head of a large security company. Compiano was so consumed with amassing his cornucopia of boy’s toys that he forgot to pay taxes. His malfeasance led to a conviction for tax fraud and the transfer of his collectibles to the Italian authorities. A prior auction had relieved him of his toy cars, model trains, high-end meat slicers and adult novelties.

The Duemila Ruote auction was the largest car auction ever held in Europe. Buyers flocked to the sale from around the world. The huge array of interesting items and the hope of getting a bargain led to a bidding frenzy that may never be repeated.

Many of the lots sold at near-record prices, sending home the lucky bidders empty handed. Many of the winning bidders bought cars that cost well more than they were worth.

Compiano had reportedly bought 08311 in 1980, and it was the jewel of the collection. It sold for $3,618,227, the high sale of the auction.

Ferrari dealer Michael Sheehan described the purchase of 08311 as “an over-eager buyer” paying a “market and reality defying” price.

A little haircut in Paris

The Paris sale of 08311 was 500,000 euros light of the previous sale, and the carnage didn’t stop there.

After the Duemila Ruote sale, the purchaser extensively refurbished the car, adding to the loss. The engine was rebuilt, the paint and interior were returned to their original configuration and the car was fitted with the correct mag wheels. Finishing the endeavor, a proper tool roll and owner’s pouch were sourced, and Ferrari Classiche certification was obtained.

While the seller had to be disappointed with the results in Paris, how did the buyer do? A 275 GTB would be a top dog in most Ferrari collections, and 08311 is certain to wow the most jaded visitor to the new owner’s garage.

The fresh restoration and Classiche certification make reasonable assurance the buyer got a quality car, but did he get a good deal?

Sports Car Market’s Pocket Price Guide shows the median value of a 275 GTB at $2,557,000. Then add 20% ($511,400) for a long-nose body, another $150,000 for an alloy body, and $75,000 for a six-carb setup. That adds up to $3,293,400, which is just a little more than 08311 sold for.

The last auction sale of a long-nose, alloy, six-carb 275 GTB was a 2017 sale in the $3,500,000 range. The current market is a little softer than 2017, so this sale was right on target. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.)

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