The GTB/GTB4 has catapulted in value over the past 18 months and dragged the GTS along with it
Ferrari introduced the 275 GTS at the October 1964 Paris show alongside its sibling, the 275 GTB. The two shared the same chassis and driveline, although the GTS engine was more mildly tuned to give 20 horsepower less than the berlinetta at 600 fewer revolutions. These were Ferrari's first production cars with all-independent suspension. Built on a 2,400-mm wheelbase, the 275 GTS is responsive and maneuverable, and a contemporary test in Road & Track magazine saw a top speed of 145 mph.
Although Pininfarina designed both cars, Scaglietti built the berlinetta bodies while the visually distinct spyders came from Pininfarina's own new factory. The 275 GTS's design is frequently described as "harmonious," often elaborated with "compact," and it remains one of the best-integrated and most pleasing designs ever to grace a Ferrari chassis.
The 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS offered here has been restored to
showroom condition by Black Horse Motors in Southern California, with particular attention paid to its bodywork, paint and details. Winning a Platinum award at the Ferrari Club of North America National Show, this 275 is still in concours quality condition. Finished in red, it has tan leather upholstery and door panels with black interior trim and carpets, and rides on lightweight alloy Borrani wire wheels. It will devour highway miles in comfort, delight its driver on winding mountain roads and cruise with style, the ideal Ferrari for the first-time collector.
|1966 Ferrari 275 GTS
|Original List Price:
|Tune Up Cost:
|Chassis Number Location:
|upper left frame tube, ID plate on firewall
|Engine Number Location:
|right side, rear, of the engine block
|Ferrari Club of America, P.O. Box 720597, Atlanta, GA 30358
|1964-1965 Aston Martin DB5 DHC, 1961-1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster, 1966-1968 Ferrari 330 GTS
The SCM analysis: This 1966 GTS Spyder sold for $264,000, including buyer’s premium, at the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, CA, on August 15, 2004.
I last profiled a 275 GTS in 2001, way back when “Paris Hilton” meant a place to rest your weary head rather than a reason to change the channel. These cars sold in the $125,000-$175,000 range then and there was no great clamor to buy one. A dozen or so cars could be available on any given Wednesday afternoon if you scratched the earth hard enough-it was truly a buyer’s market.
Three years later, most everything in the “275” realm has become extremely desirable. The GTB/GTB4 has catapulted in value over the past 18 months and dragged the GTS along with it, so today you’ll spend between $185,000 to $260,000 to put a spyder in your garage.
Over the same time, I have become much more personally in tune with the GTS market because I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a number of these cars pass through my hands at my day job (selling them). These have included a few great, original and unmolested cars, and a true, 99-point restoration that was as close to flawless as possible. While the GTS will never be the styling knockout the GTB is, it is still an extremely capable 12-cylinder touring convertible with most of the grunt and all of the visceral excitement that the coupe provides. I was reminded of this when I drove one just this morning, and frankly, I’ve taken a real shine to these cars.
That said, let’s turn to the example at hand. It was described in the catalog as “being restored to showroom condition” and “still in concours quality condition.” Further, it had won Platinum Awards both at Cavallino and at the FCNA annual show. Now that’s a pretty high bar.
During the auction preview party, I happened to be hanging out with a few guys who make their living restoring cars. One of the crew is doing a pre-inspection on the 275 and casually asks what I think about it. My knee-jerk reaction from five feet away is, “What a clean car. Of course, I hate red on this model, but that’s my problem.”
Even up close, it’s still an exceptional car. But there were some surprises for a car with such a full trophy shelf. The gaps at the tops of the doors, where they curve inwards, were surprisingly large, and were not even with the rest of the door gaps. Also, neither door was flush with the rear fender. And when I lifted the trunk lid to have a look around, it felt very heavy to me-much heavier than you would expect for an alloy piece.
Yes, this was being critical in the extreme. In the trade we all do this, a wee bit of the “we’re in the biz, you’re not gonna fool us” among the car geeks, and especially at Monterey.
At the end of the day, however, this 275 GTS Spyder was magnificently detailed under the hood and stacks of cash must have been spent on it during the restoration. I’ll assume it’s mechanically perfect. Overall, this 275 GTS is probably 100 percent better screwed together now than when it left the black gates of Maranello.
Still, we’re not judging value on 1966 terms. This kind of money for a car with less-than-perfect door fit and a trunk lid that is heavier than spec seems a bit steep to me. But the market is railing and there are only 200 of these cars in our known universe. Details can be lost on a crowd at a fever pitch auction, especially if two well-heeled folks just
simply want the car.
In reality, I think you could buy a similar example on the open
market for about 10 percent less. But I say that every year about Ferraris that sell at Monterey; last year it was the 330 GTC (S/N 11517) that
Christie’s sold for $156,000 when all us smart guys pegged it as a $125,000 car. The folks coming to Monterey have the money to buy now, and own now, and they don’t mind paying a premium for it.
But the real point here isn’t whether the deal was good or not, and in fact it was good enough. Even though this car was a multiple-award winner at prestigious events, it still was less than perfect. So when you’re evaluating a car, once again, you need to do your own laying of hands, your own evaluation with your own eyes, so that you are completely comfortable that what you think you are bidding on is exactly what you are getting.
(Historical and descriptive information courtesy of the auction company.)