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By the mid-1960s it seemed Ferrari could do no wrong, winning on all fronts from sports car racing to Grands Prix and producing the most beautiful cars in the world. Ferrari's dual-purpose cars seemed unstoppable combining race-winning performance with film star good looks. As the legendary 250 GT LWB "Tour de France" gave way to the marvellous 250 GT SWB Berlinetta - and led ultimately to the awe-inspiring 250 GTO in 1962. Introduced at the 1964 Paris Auto Show, the new 275 GTB gave Ferrari a chance to incorporate all the best characteristics of this fabled bloodline. Many consider the resulting car to be the finest production Ferrari ever built, combining the thoroughbred mechanical pedigree of its road racing forebears with sufficient creature comforts to make the 275 GTB a superlative grand touring automobile.
Under the skin, the 275 GTB incorporated the best Ferrari chassis design, starting with the oval section tube backbone chassis. Independent suspension was fitted all around for the first time on a road-going Ferrari, and a 5-speed gearbox was also included in the specification. The transmission was mounted at the rear of the car for improved weight distribution in a transaxle. Now enlarged to 3.3 litres, the 60-degree V12 engine remained the familiar Colombo type, in standard form producing 280bhp at 7,600rpm. A higher, claimed 300bhp, state of tune was available by employing six Weber carburettors instead of the standard three. In addition, customers purchasing a 275 GTB for road use could also specify aluminium coachwork.
This coachwork was all new too, a stunning Pininfarina design that evoked the graceful lines of the legendary 250 GTO. A long bonnet combined with a fastback rear body created a striking profile, while vents in the front wings gave the car a muscular edge. Vents in the sail panels added to the effect and paid tribute to the 250 GT "Tour de France" Berlinetta’s. A smoothly integrated rear spoiler helped give the car a strong visual identity. Although the 275 GTB was a car of many firsts, it was also the last car that could be considered a true coach built road/race Berlinetta in the great Ferrari tradition. Although most lived their lives on the streets, many led a dual life, winning on road courses and hill climbs on the weekend, while providing stylish and exciting transportation during the week.
Documents in the history file from Tony Willis confirm that this short-nose, six-carburettor 275 GTB was originally produced to RHD specifications for delivery to the U.K. Finished in Rosso Rubino (16.119 MM) over a Beige (VM 3309) interior. Its first owner was Dr. K.J. Reed of London who took delivery of the car in June of 1965. Dr. Reed owned the car through 1968. Interestingly, in the file is a letter from Colonel Ronnie Hoare in October of 1968, sending Dr. Reed tickets to the London motor show so Dr. Reed could have a look at the 275 GTB’s successor, the 365 GTB/4 Daytona. It can be assumed that Dr. Reed like what he saw as by the end of the year, his 275 GTB was sold to a new owner in Sussex.
That second owner, noted as “C/A ‘Cashel’” in the original logbook, kept the 275 GTB for four years, and the car’s new owner was John Howard Rapdon. Passing through two more owners over the course of the following two years, by 1980 the car was acquired by a Mr. Christianson of Bournemouth.
In 1982, this example was acquired by its current owner, Dr. Lustenberger. Having admired V12 Ferrari’s for a long time, he was finally able to buy one for himself. Despite living in Switzerland, the only car he was able to find for sale was in the UK. He travelled to the UK and collected the car from Straight Eight Ltd in London, a well-known dealership at the time. Purchasing the car, he had the dealership write out directions to the ferry in Dover. The return journey took him through France and after an overnight stay, home to Lausanne, Switzerland. The directions from the dealership, the ferry ticket and even the spare spark plug supplied by the dealer remain in the glove box to this day. Immensely proud of his pride and joy, Lustenberger would cover just 1,400 miles in his forty-year ownership. The car resided within his garage throughout but has not been driven in nearly thirty years.
Despite the mileage, Lustenberger ensured the engine was turned over by hand every six months. Incredibly, some of the original paint can still be seen on the bodywork.
Now back in the U.K. and offered for sale for the first time in forty years, this 275 GTB presents a truly remarkable opportunity for a mechanical overhaul to retain the patina or a blank slate for a more comprehensive restoration to perfection.