Luigi Chinetti recognized the viability of sporty open cars in the American market. The 250 GT SWB California Spyder in particular proved itself a resounding success. But whereas the 4-cam’s predecessor — the 275 GTB — offered a Spyder variant, the wind-in-your-hair alternative to the 275 GTB/4 was a 330 GTS.
As such, the 275 GTB/4S NART Spyder was born of a direct request from Luigi Chinetti to Ferrari. NART stands for North American Racing Team, the American face of Ferrari’s racing efforts. They were one of endurance racing’s most successful teams, with drivers that included the Rodriguez Brothers, Bob Grossman, Masten Gregory, Phil Hill, Jean Guichet and many others. Lending the NART name to the new car and embellishing it with a NART badge made it unique in Ferrari history. This new model was unlike anything Ferrari had built before. Road & Track magazine called it “the most satisfying sports car in the world” and featured it on their cover.
The NART Spider was an open-top version of a 275 GTB/4. The powerful lines of the car were a welcome change from the rather demure 275 and 330 GTS. With over 300 horsepower, a 4-cam, 3.2-liter V12 fed from six Weber carburetors, a 5-speed gearbox, and 4-wheel independent suspension, the car had the performance to back up its styling.
Only 10 NART Spyders were built, and not all of them were equal. Some were built in alloy and some in steel. Some were originally built up as an open-top model and others were built from converted coupe panels. The first NART chassis was raced very successfully at Sebring, and it was later featured in the Steve McQueen film “The Thomas Crown Affair.” Another NART was ordered new by McQueen after he filmed the movie.
This particular car was originally finished in Azzurro Metallizzato (Metallic Blue). A recent inspection confirmed the exceptional condition of the car and how well it has been preserved over the course of its life. The body lines are excellent, and the car’s presentation is thoroughly correct. It runs and drives nicely, pulling through the gears with tremendous power and stopping without issue.
10709’s exceptional purity, matching numbers, and one-owner history makes it unique among NARTs — and particularly desirable. 10709’s offering at auction is quite simply an unrepeatable — and almost unbelievable — opportunity.