1966 Ferrari 275 GTS by Pininfarina
Sold For €1,792,000Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
Documents: UK V5
- Offered from a significant private Ferrari collection
- Three caring, private enthusiast owners from new
- Exceptional original paint and interior; under 24,000 original miles
- An incredibly original, unduplicatable 275 GTS
- Ferrari Classiche certified
260 bhp, 3,286 cc V-12 engine with triple Weber carburettors, five-speed manual transmission, independent front and rear suspension with unequal length A-arms and coil springs, and front and rear hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,400 mm
THE 275 GTS
Ferrari’s 275 GTS, intended as a replacement for the 250 GT Series II Cabriolet, premiered alongside its closed sibling, the 275 GTB, at the 1964 Paris Auto Show. While both cars looked remarkably different on the outside, they both bore similar 3.3-litre Colombo V-12s, chassis, and suspensions underneath. The 275 GTS was largely intended for the American market, as Ferrari convertibles had sold well in climates like California and Florida, where the attractiveness and marketability of a high-performance grand touring cabriolet had long been established.
While the 275 GTB’s bodywork was crafted just a short distance away from Ferrari, at Scaglietti’s facilities in Modena, the bodywork for the GTS was designed and constructed by Pininfarina at its facilities in Turin, and the car’s overall design was one of sporting elegance. Its smooth and more understated lines are handsome and display an air of sophistication, discreetly hiding the race-derived V-12 that sits under the hood. The interior displayed the same personality, yet it was perhaps more luxurious than earlier Ferraris. It still retained both a Nardi wood-trimmed steering wheel and a gated shifter—traits that would link it with its more performance-oriented siblings. One notable difference between the coupé and the spider, other than the bodywork, is the GTS’s less heavily bolstered, albeit very comfortable, seats, which were trimmed in the traditional Connolly leather.
Even though the 275 GTB was perceived by many to be the more aggressive of the two, as it was better suited to high-performance driving thanks to its fixed roof, the 275 GTS was certainly no slouch. Road & Track raved about the 275 GTS in its road test, which was included in the September 1966 issue, commenting that “with the top down, all the extraneous noises disappear and one simply exults in the purr from those beautiful tailpipes. Sheer ecstasy”.
All told, only 200 examples were produced, which was equal to less than half the 275 GTBs produced.
CHASSIS NUMBER 07805: “THE LITTLE SPEED DEMON”
Chassis number 07805 was delivered new to the United States via Chinetti Motors of Greenwich, Connecticut, in January 1966, and was then shipped to Loeber Motors, the Ferrari dealer in Chicago, Illinois. On 15 April 1967, it was sold for $12,400 to its original owner, M.J. Suerth, a prominent Chicago funeral director.
Mr Suerth would escape Chicago’s infamous winters to a home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and that is where his new 275 GTS was directly shipped. For the next 10 years, the car spent the winter being enthusiastically driven by its owner, with its Bianco (18934 M) over Blu (3015 VM) livery fitting right in with the sunny climate.
In April of 1977, the 275 GTS was advertised by its original owner in the Ferrari Club of America Newsletter, which stated that it had 17,785 recorded miles on its Borrani wire wheels. A long-time Ferrari enthusiast saw the advertisement, contacted Mr Suerth, and purchased the car the same month for $18,000. When he picked up the car, he found that it was outfitted with some unusual accessories. There was a small cocktail bar set up over the passenger seat, and gold MJS monograms, an anniversary gift from Mrs Suerth, on the doors. The latter were subsequently returned to Mr Suerth, for sentimental reasons, by his request, as was the trailer hitch—the owner having used his 275 GTS, rather remarkably, primarily to tow a dinghy to and from his yacht.
In a letter to the second owner, Mr Suerth wrote, “I hope you will enjoy driving this little speed demon as much as I did. It has always been a dependable car”. Dependable, indeed! The enthusiast lovingly drove, displayed, and enjoyed the car frequently during his 37 years of ownership, running it to concours and club events all over the Northeastern United States, including displays at the Ferrari Club of America’s annual meet at Watkins Glen in 1990 and at the Meadow Brook Hall Concours d’Elegance in 1997. He took the time to preserve the Ferrari’s truly incredible original condition, and today, with its third owner, a prominent collector of exquisite taste, it remains an exceptional example. In fact, it ranks among the finest unrestored 275 GTS in existence. The original paintwork is in superb condition, while the interior exhibits just enough rich patina, and is, it can be testified, as comfortable as it appears.
The car is accompanied by its original owner’s pouch and all books, its two original key sets (including the original Pininfarina body keys), its original and complete tool roll, the original purchase invoice from Loeber Motors, and correspondence between the first and second owners regarding the purchase of the car, confirming its three-owner history. Significantly, it has recently been awarded Ferrari Classiche certification.
RM Sotheby’s is pleased and honoured to present this superb original, unrestored three-owner 275 GTS in a climate very much like the one it originally inhabited. It would not be out of character to see it spend the future once again rocketing between a villa and the marina, reliving joyous old times, now with a new caretaker proudly at the wheel.
Please note that this car has recently been certified by Ferrari Classiche.