1968 Ferrari 275 GTB/4
- One of just 330 Ferrari 275 GTB/4s built
- Just three owners from new and originally delivered to Italy
- Fully matching numbers
- Presented in rare Giallo Fly over Nero hide and with Campagnolo wheels – the exact specification in which it left the Ferrari factory in 1968
- The quintessential 1960s Gran Turismo
- Chassis no. 10911
- Engine no. 10911
- Registration: English – UK V5
- Vehicle Location: England
The Ferrari 275 GTB/4
Is there a car that better embodies the glamour and romance of the Italian 1960s Gran Turismo than the Ferrari 275 GTB? Its Pininfarina-designed Scaglietti-built fastback body, with its smiley nose and shark-like gills, is sensuous and pure, devoid of any unnecessary clutter. For us, it’s an objet d’art – one with a soul-stirring 12-cylinder engine and delectable open-gate gearshift, which can whisk you away to a sun-dappled parallel universe that encapsulates the 1960s ‘Dolce Vita’ era in one stab of the deliciously long throttle pedal.
It’s miraculous how the slightly reclined position of the dainty driver’s seat coupled with the enveloping wraparound dashboard and windscreen help to make the long-nosed 275 feel so diminutive while on the move. Throw a commanding V12 developing 300HP and oodles of on-tap torque and steering which treads the fine line between light and direct into the mix, and you’ve got a genuinely quick Gran Turismo with an impressive breadth of ability. Loping along the motorways of Europe? No sweat. Attacking the alpine road leading to your chalet high in the mountains? Good luck wiping the smile off your face.
There’s an inherent peppiness to the 275 GTB, though not so much to compromise the car’s Grand Touring credentials. The large wooden-rimmed steering wheel feels so alive, wriggling in your palms and communicating exactly what the front wheels are doing. Once warm, the legendary open-gate gearshift is every bit as satisfying as you would imagine, so long as you’re decisive and smooth with your inputs. That said, the intoxicatingly linear torque from the four-cam V12 and long travel of the throttle pedal means you needn’t worry too much about changing down in order to pass other cars. Did we mention the noise? It’s sensational – an aural symphony of power and soul.
This Ferrari 275 GTB/4
This European-specification 275 GTB/4, chassis number 10911, left the Ferrari factory in January of 1968 and was delivered via the official Ferrari agent in Florence, Renato Nocentini. Not only were bold Giallo Fly paintwork and Nero Connolly upholstery specified on the order form, but also the optional Campagnolo alloy wheels, which lent the Pininfarina-designed Gran Turismo more airs of sportiness and modernity than the traditional Borrani wires.
Signore Renata Melani from the Tuscan city of Pistoia in Italy is noted as the first owner, though it is likely Melani bought the car specifically in order to export it. One of 330 ‘Four Cams’ built, the car was assigned the Italian registration number ‘PT 74849’, although it didn’t remain in Tuscany for long. In April of 1968, Melani sold her Ferrari to Dr Morris ‘Sandy’ Arthur Sonderegger, an American physician from Reno, Nevada, who promptly had the car exported to the United States.
Sonderegger clearly relished owning this bright yellow Ferrari, and it must have made quite an impression on the high-rollers of Reno, ‘The Biggest Little City in the World’. When he registered the 275 GTB/4 in Nevada on 17 June 1974, the new licence plate amusingly read ‘MY SIN’. A 12-cylinder Ferrari has always been a decadent indulgence…
Sonderegger kept chassis 10911 for over three decades until 2001, maintaining it regardless of cost at Intrepid Motors in Reno and driving it for many happy kilometres – over 45,000, to be precise. This longstanding ownership is a testament to the lust for life exhibited by Sonderegger. He died in 2012 at the age of 100.
This Ferrari 275 GTB/4’s third and final owner, an American based in England, acquired the car in October of 2001. Before being exported to the owner’s villa in Italy, this Ferrari was sent to Javier Sacio’s Sacio Enterprises workshop in San Diego to be repainted.
The opportunity was taken to undertake several further works at this point. The suspension was refreshed and its components powder coated. The braking system was rebuilt and the booster replaced. The Weber carburettors were stripped and rebuilt, as was the original mechanical fuel pump. Finally, the engine was rebuilt and fitted with Ferrari 412 MI-profiled camshafts.
In November of 2010, chassis 10911 was imported to and registered in the United Kingdom with the number ‘PPV 47E’. Just over a decade later, we are privileged to be offering this fabulous 275 GTB directly from only its third owner in 53 years.
After the car was delivered to Belchers Farm, Girardo & Co. HQ, we invited the estimable British Ferrari historian and concours judge Keith Bluemel to visit and inspect the car. And he was very impressed with its condition and provenance – “In my opinion, this is an extremely good, ‘matching-numbers’ example of the model”.
Chassis 10911 really is a fantastic example of the revered ‘Four-Cam’, of which 330 examples were built. Just three owners from new, a radiant colour, and presented in the exact specification it left the factory in 1968, which is a real plus in today’s world. Its flowing, feline, yellow body is exactly as it should be, boasting all the subtle identifiers and quirks of a 275 GTB. The nose, for example, boasts a smile that we’d defy anyone not to fall for. The Ferrari’s Nero Connolly interior is also exquisitely finished, and is a truly wonderful place to sit.
It’s small wonder the 275 GTB/4 won the hearts of so many legends, from Sophia Loren and Steve McQueen to Miles Davis and Peter Sellers. Here is your chance to attempt to resist this magnificent example’s charms.
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