Battista Pininfarina’s Personal Ferrari 275GTB Speciale Is Stunning
The 275GTB seen above may be the most important example of a pure road Ferrari of the 1960’s. It is a Ferrari 275GTB Speciale, a 1 of 1 Ferrari built by Pininfarina for its founder, Battista “Pinin” Farina.
The Italian design house has long been associated with Ferrari (NYSE:RACE).
Pininfarina’s 1st work for the company was a Ferrari 212 Inter. In those days, Enzo’s creations sported coachwork from a number of carrozzerie, including Vignale, Touring, and Ghia.
The story goes that in Y 1951, Messers Ferrari and Farina met at a restaurant in Tortona, between Turin and Modena.
That meeting led to a long line of Pininfarina-designed Ferraris that continued on until the F12berlinetta finished production last year.
This 275GTB Speciale has an SOHC engine and the early short-nose bodywork, which was not as aerodynamically stable as that of the later long-nose cars, its body is steel rather than the aluminum that pricier GTBs have.
Like numerous Ferraris of the mid-20th Century, the 275GTB was designed by Pininfarina in Turin, while the bodies were constructed down the road from the Ferrari plant, at Scaglietti.
Scaglietti built the racier bodies, while Pininfarina built the more luxury-oriented ones.
This car is different.
Ferrari delivered 2 of the new transaxle-equipped 275 chassis to the design house. One was to be used as a prototype, and 1 was built as Battista’s personal vehicle and show car.
It bowed at Pininfarina’s St. Moritz Winter press conference in Y 1965 and went on display at the Frankfurt Auto Show later that year.
According to Gooding & Company’s David Gooding, no single body panel on the Speciale is interchangeable with your standard-issue steel short-nose 275GTB, even the turn signals are different.
The interior is a masterwork of mid-Century Italian modern, featuring brown leather seats, a polished wood-veneer dash panel, black-face Veglia gauges, polished air-vent covers in the footwells and sail panels, and—perhaps of note to horological junkies—Heuer’s Rally-Master setup, which consists of a Master Time clock and a Monte Carlo stopwatch mounted together on a backing plate.
In January 1966, once the car had served its purpose as a promotional vehicle, Pininfarina sold it, then just 4 months later, Battista Pininfarina was dead at 72 anni.
The car changed hands and was shown at several events over the years, then Y 1993, the car to a very private Ferrari collector who had no interest in showing the car.
Off the radar for 25 years, the car was nevertheless remembered fondly by enthusiasts, including Mr. Gooding. “I’ve been chasing this car for a long time,” he said. “Just chipping away at the owner. Something came up where I could sense he was in a moment where he’d be open to selling it.”
He now has it to sell at auction this month in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Gooding & Company is projecting a $8,000,000–$10,000,000 sale price when the 275GTB Speciale crosses the auction block in Scottsdale later this month.
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