Arizona Biltmore
28 - 29 January 2016
Lot 232

1965 Ferrari 275 GTS by Pininfarina


$1,760,000 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Body No.
  • One of only 200 examples built
  • Fully matching-numbers drivetrain
  • Recent cosmetic freshening including new interior by an accredited FCA judge
  • Known history documented by Marcel Massini
  • Exhibited at the Quail Motorsports Gathering and Concorso Italiano

260 bhp, 3,286 cc V-12 engine with three Weber carburetors, five-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel upper and lower wishbone coil-spring independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5 in.

The introduction of the 275 series marked a significant milestone in Ferrari production, as the manufacturer introduced two of its most seminal models. Featuring a newly enlarged version of the classic Colombo short-block V-12, which now displaced 3.3 liters, the 275 GTB and GTS rode identical chassis that were internally coded Tipo 563, with its new engine, the Tipo 213.

While the GTB was a competition-inspired berlinetta, the GTS was an elegant, luxurious spider in the tradition of the 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolets of the early 1960s, an heir to the vaunted California Spider. Although not a single body panel was shared with the berlinettas, the handsome spider was lighter. Car & Driver magazine was suitably impressed, with the 275 GTS gracing the cover of its October 1965 issue. Among many accolades is the following: “Our fears that the 275 GTS might be a compromise were groundless. This car is all Ferrari, from its low, throaty whine to the snick-snick of its five synchro gears.”

Offering virtually identical mechanical components as the performance-oriented 275 berlinetta and including the in-unit rear transaxle that minimized weight and optimized distribution of mass, it shared the GTB’s legendary reputation for superb balance. The 275 GTS was produced in a modest quantity of just 200 examples, fewer than either the 275 GTB or its successor, the 275 GTB/4. It has become one of the most collectable open Ferraris of the 1960s, boasting more distinctive coachwork than its predecessor or successor models.

As one of the later cars, this 275 GTS, chassis 07935 is the 167th of 200 examples built and presents today as it did originally, finished at the factory in Argento over a striking Rosso interior. In 1965, this Ferrari was initially sold through the Austrian dealer Zawadil to its first owner of record, a resident of Vienna named Jirschik. As a European-delivery car, it was specified with instruments in kilometers while being unusually equipped with extended frame rails for the driver’s seat, addressing one of the model’s few criticisms. This factory modification allows for even more legroom and driver comfort than a standard 275 GTS and is particularly suited for owners over six feet tall.

By 1980, the car had relocated to Italy under the ownership of Sirano Lucia Pellizzer, according to research by Ferrari historian Marcel Massini. As confirmed by its ACI Italian registrations, the GTS was purchased in April 1981 by Angelo Rovori, who sold it to Federico and Francesco Gausti of Milan a year later in a purchase arranged by Livio Guarnieri.

Mr. Guarnieri again brokered the Ferrari’s transfer in 1988 when it was purchased by VIC International, with whom it remained for the following three years. By the early 1990s, the car had been imported to the United States and was offered for sale in Southern California. Moving north, chassis number 07935 was purchased in November 1999 by noted Ferrari enthusiast John Wright of Diablo, California, who exhibited it at Concorso Italiano in 2002 and at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, in 2005, a testament to the car’s quality of condition and appearance. Incidentally, 07935 was itself the subject of a cover feature in Ferrari World (issue number 21, a copy of which is available on file).

Shortly thereafter, the 275 GTS was acquired by the consignor, a discerning Ferrari enthusiast based in San Marino, California, whose collection once included the 250 GT Lusso formerly owned by Steve McQueen. As its faithful custodian of the past 10 years, he offers this Ferrari, chassis 07935, with a beautifully preserved older restoration that continues to impress with fine attention to detail. During his decade of ownership, 07935 benefited from regular use and was routinely serviced by Ferrari of Beverly Hills. Appropriately, in October 2014, he participated in Ferrari North America’s 60th Anniversary Tributo Tour, a part of the company’s commemorative celebration on Rodeo Drive. In doing so, the 275 delightfully represented one of Maranello’s greatest open touring models

Recently treated to a comprehensive freshening, 07935 has received mechanical and cosmetic upgrades. This work includes a full rebuild of the cylinder heads by Geoff Provo, of marque specialists GP Enterprises of Redwood City, California. This encompassed replacement of the valves, guides, seals, and valve springs using updated materials more compatible with today’s fuels. In this respect, the V-12 engine is now more durable than originally specified, ensuring far better reliability through extended bouts of open-air motoring.

Cosmetically, the paint was professionally color-sanded to restore its luster, while the brightwork was re-plated as necessary, and the engine bay was detailed, upgrading many components to internationally recognized show standards of Ferrari authenticity. This work was performed by RNR of Marina Del Rey, California, owned and operated by an FCA judge and platinum-level award-winning restorer. In addition, RNR expertly reupholstered the interior with new, correct red Vaumol leather and contrasting grey carpeting. They also performed the final detailing, giving this eminently drivable GTS a crisp presentation and panache worthy of finer concours d’elegance.

Borrani wire wheels (including spare) shod with correct Michelin XWX tires complete the picture. Accompanied by ACI registrations from the 1980s, the Massini history, a compendium of service invoices and memorabilia collected since 1999, a Ferrari jack, reprint copies of the Operating, Maintenance, and Service Handbook, the Assembly Data and Overhaul book, and original keys, this beautifully maintained 275 GTS is a stunning and rare example of the mid-’60s Ferrari open grand tourer. For the owner that might wish to indulge in open-top performance and the loud chorus of 12 Maranello cylinders, the well-sorted V-12 engine beckons for stomps of acceleration out of the turns of twisting vistas. Chassis 07935 is a highly desirable example of one of Pininfarina’s most successful open designs, and it would handsomely complement the collection of any Ferrari enthusiast or sports car aficionado.