- Nearly fifty years of fastidious care under single ownership
- Retains its matching-numbers engine and gearbox
- Recipient of recently completed, two-year mechanical restoration; returned to the peak of its performance capabilities by Bob Smith Coachworks
- One of 330 examples produced between 1966 and 1968
THE FOUR-CAM BERLINETTA
At the Paris Motor Show in October 1966, Ferrari introduced an upgraded version of the 275 GTB that had debuted two years earlier. In most respects, the new car was nearly identical to its predecessor, as it also employed the long-nose body style that had been adopted later in the original 275’s production run, which prevented front lift at speed.
The major difference in the new car lay under the hood, where a revised version of Gioacchino Colombo’s short-block, 3.3-liter V-12 engine (now dubbed the Type 226) was fitted with dual overhead camshafts; this was the first appearance of such valve actuation in a production Ferrari road car. A slightly modified hood with a raised center section was added to the Scaglietti bodywork to accommodate the taller engine profile. The engine, also benefitting from dry-sump lubrication and the standard provision of six carburetors, developed 20 more horsepower than its predecessor, giving the nimble 275 chassis an added jolt of performance.
The new four-cam 275 Berlinetta was Maranello’s most dynamic road car yet, and it would forever be remembered as the last of the classic, vintage V-12 front-engine models. The forthcoming 365 GTB would feature completely different aesthetics, marking a transition to 1970s styling. Only 330 examples of the 275 GTB/4 were produced before the model was discontinued in 1968, adding a degree of rarity to the revered Ferrari as well.
This 275 GTB/4 offered here, chassis 10987, is a beautifully presented, matching-numbers, late-production example benefitting from 47 years of single ownership by one dedicated caretaker and a fresh mechanical restoration.
Completed on 14 February, 1968, 10987 was originally clad in Celeste over Nero with a chrome front grille guard and roof-mounted radio antenna. It was thusly delivered to one of Ferrari’s licensed dealers in Rome, Motor S.a.s. di Carla Allegretti e C, on 26 March and sold shortly thereafter. By 1970, 10987 had been exported to the United States via another Rome dealer, Roberto Goldoni, and registered under Montana plates “39 1609” by Smiths Creek, Michigan resident Terry Myr. Myr showed 10987 at the 8th Annual Ferrari Club of America national meeting in Glenwood, Illinois the following April, then painted in a hue resembling the rare period shade of Nocciola. Exactly one year later, Myr passed the car onto a Chicago dealer.
Subsequently acquired in early 1973 by noted Ferrari collector Allan K. Pray of Minneapolis, Minnesota, 10987 is now offered for sale for the first time in nearly 50 years. Pray’s remarkable collection of finely curated vintage Ferraris is especially notable due to his focus on long-term ownership—chassis 5183GT was similarly retained by Pray for more than 45 years.
Upon acquisition, Pray first registered 10987 wearing Minnesota plates “646-637.” By the time he exhibited his latest purchase at the 11th Annual FCA National Meeting in Bloomington, Illinois in April of 1974, the plates had changed again to “CK 1500.” The chassis still retained its factory-provided chrome grille guard, roof-mounted radio antenna, and Cromodora magnesium wheels at that time, though the body was without its Nocciola paintwork. Pray rarely, if ever, exhibited 10987 after this initial 1974 showing, though marque expert Marcel Massini notes that the chassis was repainted to Rosso Corsa at some point during Pray’s ownership.
10987 remained this color until a restoration was executed by marque specialist Bob Smith Coachworks of Gainesville, Texas in 1996, from whence it received its current shade of Giallo Solare and attractive black leather interior. The car’s suspension, transmission, and exhaust systems were also completely addressed during this time. Maintained by Smith’s team in the years that followed, this 275 GTB/4 has surely lived a more private and carefully tended life than many of its brethren.
Since Pray’s passing in May 2016, 10987 has been held in trust by the executors of his estate. In 2019, the car returned to Bob Smith Coachworks for a thorough mechanical restoration which aimed to return 10987 to the peak of its performance capabilities. According to factory records sourced by Massini, the evident stampings illustrate that the car still retains its numbers-matching V-12 engine and five-speed manual gearbox.
While with Smith, these original components were completely rebuilt to their factory specifications and caliber of presentation. Smith’s team is renowned for their perfectionism and ardent focus on the highest degree of execution in their restoration work; 10987’s condition is a testament to this focus.
10987’s engine was entirely rebuilt with precise machining and balancing work furnished to the engine’s major components to ensure absolute compliance with original factory specification. It also benefits from a suite of new internals, seals, gaskets, guides, and hoses; all the major ancillary components were also rebuilt to “as new” operation. Smith’s team serviced the fuel system with a completely new set of lines. The cooling system having received a similar and exacting level of attention, including a new radiator core.
Seeing as accelerating is only half the fun of driving a 275 GTB/4, the car’s brake system was thoroughly addressed, and benefits from the fitment of new rotors, hoses, and slave cylinders, with rebuilds provided to the calipers and several other major system components. Now perched upon its correct Campagnolo magnesium wheels wrapped in fresh period-style tires, 10987 is an eminent presentation of the 275 GTB/4’s enduring style and performance.
Freshly mechanically restored and offered to the public for the first time in nearly 50 years, the provenance, and condition of 10987 is unlikely to be replicated by a similar offering anytime soon. The most diehard tifosi would be hard-pressed to find such an alluring, well kept, and available example of the 275 GTB/4 which benefits from such a private and singular ownership history.