In what could be a good news for vintage sports car enthusiasts, the first prototype Ferrari 275 GTB/4, estimated at $3.2 million, will go under the hammer at an auction on May 18 in the UK.
This most significant Ferrari was the first 275 GTB/4 produced in 1966 and was used to unveil this legendary model to the world on the Ferrari stand at the Paris Motor show that year. It will be auctioned at Coys London auction at the Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminster.
Chris Routledge, CEO of Coys said, “The 4-cam has always been considered the most beautiful 12-cylinder car from Maranello, and it is with some excitement that we are bringing the factory prototype, Chassis No 1 and 1966 Paris Motor Show car to the market”.
On its public debut in the French capital, the 275 (estimated at 2,000,000 to 2,500,000 pounds) was greeted with universal praise both on the road and for its styling, heralding a successful period for Ferrari. This model was then taken to the US by the next owner, Gordon Walker of Northbrook, Illinois, and remained in his ownership until 1983 when it was offered by Ferrari South US.
In the late eighties, it resided in the Swiss collection of Albert Obrist who put together, arguably the most comprehensive and renowned collection of Ferraris in the world. Obrist chose this car because he believed that it was the most seminal of 275s given its background. A few years later, the car changed hands to become part of another world-renowned car collection, this time in England and remained stored until the early 2000’s with other priceless automobiles.
In 2004, Coys sold it at its Monaco auction to the current vendor, who used it sparingly for a variety of events. As Jean-Pierre Beltoise, a racing driver and journalist for l’Auto Journal wrote when he tested the car in 1967, “It is, first and foremost, a serious and comfortable gran turismo, but it retains the lineage of a race car in the response of the engine and the quality of the handling. The 275 GTB/4 is one of the greatest automobiles created in our times”.
The Ferrari 275 GTB/4 4-cam will be joined by a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet with coachwork by Pininfarina (estimated at 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 pounds), a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC (480,000 to 525,000 pounds) and a 1963 Maserati 3500 GT (150,000 to 175,000 pounds).
Alongside these Italian touring greats, there is also a broad selection of interesting and eclectic vehicles, ranging from a 1989 BMW Z1 (32,000 to 37,000 pounds), which are hugely popular in the marketplace today, to an iconic 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 (30,000 to 40,000 pounds), the eccentric gullwing-door creation of namesake John DeLorean so affectionately associated with Hollywood films, with around 9,000 miles from new.