A 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competitizione Clienti will be offered at auction for the first time in the automobile’s nearly fifty-year history at the 2014 Rick Cole Monterey Auction, scheduled for August 14-17 during Monterey Classic Car Week.
Built as a special order for American Ferrari patron Alfred Ducato, s/n 7477 is one of ten 275 GTBs built as part of Maranello’s effort to homologate the 275 GTB as the successor to the 250 GTO for the FIA Grand Touring championship in 1965. S/N 7477 has been hidden from public viewing in a private collection for the past twenty-five years, with the total original mileage from new at 9,449 (15,207 km). The Ducato Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti remains in complete and original condition and is being offered publicly for the first time since 1965.
The auction of the 275 GTB, together with about 35 other cars, will be headquartered at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Monterey, California. All vehicle sales will be conducted utilizing complimentary registration afforded to attendees, telephone, internet or smartphone bidders. Bidding will take place during the period between August 14th and 17th, 2014. Winning bidders will be announced at 12:00 midnight PST on Sunday, August 17th. See RickCole.com for additional vehicle and bidding information.
Beginning in 1951, Alfred Ducato owned a sequence of twelve-cylinder Ferraris that began a 36-year love affair with the marque. Most were ordered through Luigi Chinetti, with whom Ducato also formed a close friendship. Among these earliest Ferraris were a 195 Inter Vignale coupe, a 212 Inter Vignale coupe that had been the Geneva show car and a 375 MM Pinin Farina coupe. The Ducato-owned Ferraris are still identified today by their original association.
275 GTB s/n 7477
The Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti was outwardly distinguished by three additional cooling slots in the rear quarters and a racing-style fuel filler mounted on the right side of the car. The ten cars built were supposed to be sold primarily to private teams, who would ultimately race the cars with significant success in 1965, including the Targa Florio, the Nurburgring, Le Mans, and Nassau in the Bahamas. One Clienti finished 3rd overall and 1st in GT at the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Perhaps alone among the ten 1965 competition 275 GTB’s, the automobile purchased by Alfred Ducato was never raced. What it did represent for its new owner was the ultimate 275 GTB for the road.
This 275 GTB was delivered new to Mr. Ducato at Maranello and driven in Europe before being shipped to California. As delivered, and still today, the car is finished in Rosso Corsa red with a tan interior. The car is entirely original other than the paint, which was beginning to show crazing by the early 1990s. It was carefully refinished to a high standard and reassembled using all of the original rubber.
The interior is untouched from new. The seats are finished in tan leather with fabric inserts, intended for racing. The center console and door panels are finished in grained tan leather. The door sills, under dash, kick panels and the bulkhead panel behind the two seats are covered in tan leatherette, as are all GTBs. The carpets are tan with leatherette trim. The dashboard is trimmed in black, surrounding the gauges and switches with matched-grain wood that also lines the center console.
The engine is the Columbo-designed 3.3-liter V-12 with single overhead camshafts. This car is equipped with the six Weber carburetor option, producing approximately 300 hp as originally rated, mated with a 5-speed transaxle. Disc brakes are fitted all around.
Two sets of wheels, alloy Ferrari wheels and polished Borrani wire wheels, are provided with the car. The original alloy spare wheel and tire, mounted vertically in the trunk filled by the 37-gallon racing fuel tank, have never been on the ground.
Alfred Ducato maintained ownership of s/n 7477 for twenty-two years, and it could be considered the penultimate Ferrari he ever purchased. The last was a Daytona Spider Mrs. Ducato saw in Luigi Chinetti’s showroom, purchased on the spot and flown to California so she would not have to wait to drive it.
Terry Price became acquainted with Alfred Ducato while working in the shop that maintained the Ducato Ferraris. One of the cars was the 275 GTB Competizione Clienti. Price never forgot this Ferrari, nor has ever been far from the car.
Following Alfred Ducato’s death Mrs. Ducato asked Gene Babow, a family friend and respected Ferrari authority, to value the unraced, low mileage Ferrari. An arrangement was made between Mrs. Ducato and Terry Price to find a new home for the 275 GTB Competizione Clienti. This was accomplished in a 1987 private exchange that brought s/n 7477 quietly into the conservatorship of Ferrari dealer, Ed Wettach, where it remained until the early 1990s. During this period, s/n 7477 participated in two significant events – the 1987 Chicago Historic and the 1989 Ferrari Club of America National Concours at Watkins Glen, New York.
A second transfer was made in the early 1990s when s/n 7477 passed into a private collection where it remained until 2013.
Terry Price, today a partner in Rick Cole Auctions, arranged both of the car’s ownership transfers.
This Ferrari has been thoroughly inspected and authenticated. Over 400 hours have been spent on the car going over all systems and components that have seen a total of just 332 road miles since leaving Alfred Ducato’s garage. This has been the first comprehensive service performed on the car in decades of careful storage. The car has been road tested and is ready to be enjoyed by a new owner.
Bidders participating in the 2014 Rick Cole Monterey Auction will be given the option to place bids in person on the auction site or by smartphone. Complimentary bidder registration is now available in advance of the auction on the web at RickCole.com or similarly by smartphone, iPad or tablet.
In order to enjoy all of the activities of the Monterey week, bidders will be able to place, review and confirm bids from anywhere they are, eliminating the need entirely to sit or stand for hours in a typical live auction venue. Bidders will be able to inspect the automobiles over a four-day display period and place bids regardless of their location or movements.
The auction will be held at the Monterey Marriott hotel in downtown Monterey, California. The auction begins Thursday, August 14, 2014 and bidding will end at 12:00 pm Sunday August 17, 2014.