Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Scaglietti
Late-Production, Torque Tube ExampleCavallo (corporate entity), Italy (acquired new in 1966)Ed Gilbertson, San Francisco, California (acquired by 1977)Marc Mastoon, Evanston, Illinois (acquired from the above circa 1980)Ron Greene, Atlanta, Georgia (acquired circa 2006)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
1988 FCA National Meeting and Concours, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Unveiled at the 1964 Paris Auto Salon, the Ferrari 275 GTB was the latest in the company’s long and distinguished line of high-performance berlinettas. Evolved from the preceding 250 GT series and influenced by Scuderia Ferrari’s contemporary prototype sports racing cars, the 275 GTB introduced a number of important mechanical innovations. Four-wheel fully independent suspension was a first for a Ferrari production car, and a new five-speed rear-mounted transaxle improved weight distribution and made for a more spacious cockpit. Powered by a 3.3-liter V-12 engine, the 275 GTB was capable of extraordinary performance and was among the fastest road cars of the era, with a top speed approaching 150 mph.
Over a period of two years, Ferrari built just 453 examples of the original 275 GTB, before introducing the revised GTB/4 at the Paris Auto Salon in October 1966. According to the research of Ferrari historian Dyke Ridgely, whose authoritative 275 GTB production list was recently published by Cavallino magazine, Carrozzeria Scaglietti built just 205 examples in the desirable long-nose body style, introduced approximately halfway through the model’s production and characterized by a revised front end treatment, larger rear window, and exterior trunk hinges.
Another significant improvement to 275 GTB was the development of a torque-tube driveshaft, which replaced both the original solid prop shaft and improved CV joint arrangement, becoming the standard for all models equipped with a rear-mounted transaxle. Introduced late in production, at chassis 08305, the vastly improved torque-tube arrangement appeared on just 107 cars.
The 275 GTB presented here, chassis 08869, is among the very last of this famous series of 12-cylinder berlinettas, with only 13 additional examples built after it. Constructed at the Ferrari factory during summer 1966, this 275 GTB was originally finished in Amaranto, a dark earthy red, with beige leather upholstery. Equipped with three Weber carburetors, instrumentation in km, and cast alloy wheels wearing Dunlop tires, the completed Ferrari was sold new to an Italian company, appropriately named “Cavallo.”
Like many Ferraris sold new in Italy, 08869 relocated to the US in the late 1960s and settled in California. The first recorded American owner of the 275 GTB is Ed Gilbertson, the well-known Ferrari connoisseur and Chief Judge Emeritus for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®.
In a recent conversation, Mr. Gilbertson recalled that he purchased the long-nose, torque-tube 275 GTB from a gentleman in the Palo Alto area in 1976 or 1977. He then drove the Ferrari home, sorted some electrical issues, and maintained it over the next few years, eventually giving it the pet name “Mario.” In 1979 or 1980, Mr. Gilbertson, who had recently acquired a 250 California Spider, decided to sell 08869 to make room for the latest addition. The 275 GTB was then sold to Marc Mastoon, an advertising and marketing executive from Evanston, Illinois.
An avid enthusiast and long-time member of the Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association, Mr. Mastoon campaigned a number of classic cars in historic events, and the 275 GTB was no exception. In preparing the car for occasional track use, Mr. Mastoon reshaped the nose to give the appearance of a short-nose competition car and installed a four-point safety harness as well as carburetor velocity stacks. Throughout his 20-plus-year ownership, 08869 participated in numerous track events at Road America and was displayed there during the 1988 Ferrari Club of America National Meeting and Concours.
When Mr. Mastoon made the decision to part with his beloved Ferrari in the late 1990s, he stripped the bodywork to bare metal, returned the car to its original long-nose configuration, and then performed an extensive cosmetic restoration that included new red paint, black leather upholstery, and replated brightwork.
From there, the Ferrari passed to the San Diego, California-based Bobileff Motor Car Company, and by early 2006, it was owned by Ron Greene, a collector living in Atlanta, Georgia. The current owner acquired the car from Mr. Greene, and today 08869 presents very well, having been carefully maintained and sparingly used since its restoration was completed in 2001. Not only does this Ferrari make a strong impression cosmetically, it is also important to note that the chassis, engine, and transaxle serial numbers all correspond to Ferrari records and the various stampings appear clear and undisturbed.
Offered with copies of the original factory build sheets and a history report produced by Marcel Massini, 08869 is bound to impress the discerning collector. As the most refined variant of an iconic Ferrari model, this desirable long-nose, torque-tube 275 GTB is a particularly versatile machine that ought to be a perfect candidate for an incredible variety of automotive events – everything from selective concours d’elegance to the most exclusive tours.
This Ferrari possesses all the qualities that an enthusiast looks for in a 275 GTB: the elegant long-nose coachwork, the improved torque-tube driveshaft, a remarkable provenance, and a superb presentation that will allow for many more years of enjoyment. Those in search of an outstanding 1960s Ferrari need not look further than this exceptional 275 GTB, an important Italian sports car that is sure to bring a great deal of pleasure to its new owner.