First pro­to­type Fer­rari 275 GTB/4 heads multi-mil­lion pound auc­tion

New Zealand Classic Car - - News -

The very car which un­veiled the leg­endary Fer­rari 275 GTB/4 model to the world on the Fer­rari stand at the 1966 Paris Mo­tor Show went un­der the ham­mer at the Coys of Kens­ing­ton auc­tion at the Royal Hor­ti­cul­tural Halls in West­min­ster, London, on May 18, with an es­ti­mated value of be­tween £2,000,000 and £2,500,000.

The full his­tory of the car was noted. The pro­to­type made its pub­lic de­but in the French cap­i­tal to uni­ver­sal praise, both on the road and for its styling. It trav­elled to the United States with its first owner, Gor­don Walker of North­brook, Illinois, and re­mained in his own­er­ship un­til 1983, when it was of­fered by Fer­rari South USA.

From the late ’80s on­wards, it resided in the Swiss col­lec­tion of Al­bert Obrist, who is noted for putting to­gether ar­guably the most com­pre­hen­sive and renowned col­lec­tion of Fer­raris in the world, be­fore chang­ing hands again a few years later. It be­came a part of an­other world-renowned car col­lec­tion, this time in Eng­land, and re­mained in stor­age un­til the early 2000s.

Coys sold it in 2004, at its Monaco auc­tion, to the cur­rent ven­dor, who has used it spar­ingly for a va­ri­ety of events. Chris Rout­ledge, CEO of Coys, said: “The four-cam has al­ways been con­sid­ered the most beau­ti­ful 12-cylin­der car from Maranello. It is with some ex­cite­ment that we bring the fac­tory pro­to­type, Chas­sis No. 1, and 1966 Paris Mo­tor Show car to the mar­ket.”

Upon test­ing it in 1967, Jean Pierre Bel­toise, rac­ing driver and journalist for L’auto- Jour­nal, wrote: “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 four­cam was joined by a 1961 Fer­rari 250 GT cabri­o­let with coach­work by Pin­in­fa­rina, es­ti­mated at £1,000,000–£1,500,000; a 1967 Fer­rari 330 GTC, es­ti­mated at £480,000–525,000; and a 1963 Maserati 3500 GT, es­ti­mated at £150,000–175,000.

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