There are many things that make the Ferrari 250 GTO as special (and valuable) as it is. Not the least of them is that it was the last in the legendary 250 series. But it was far from the last front-engined V12 that Ferrari made, even in the 1960s. So if you’re a millionaire keen on putting one of Maranello’s finest classics in your garage, but can’t quite stomach the prices that GTOs have been fetching, this might very well be your next best bet.
It’s a 275 GTB, but not just any 275 GTB. This is a GTB/C – that last letter standing for Competition (or Competizione in Italian). It’s one of only 12 made, which makes it even rarer than the GTO that preceded it (and from which it derived so much benefit). And it’s coming up for auction, with a value still estimated in the seven-figure range – but just a fraction of what GTOs are going for.
With ultra-thin aluminum bodywork and a plexiglass rear window, the GTB/C was much lighter than most 275s. Its 3.3-liter V12 featured upgraded cams, carbs, crankshaft, pistons, the valves from the mid-engined 250 LM, and dry-sump lubrication.
This example was originally purchased by Luigi Chinetti – Ferrari’s North American importer and founder of the North American Racing Team (NART). Pedro Rodriguez drove it to a first-in-class finish in the 1966 Nassau Tourist & Governor’s Trophy, and subsequently raced three times at Daytona.
Noted collector Albert Orbrist bought it in 1992 and commissioned a full restoration, returning it to its original dark-red Rosso Rubino. And three years later, he sold it (along with much of the rest of his collection) to none other than F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone. The current owner bought it from Ecclestone in 2001, and is now putting it up for auction.
Gooding & Company estimates it will sell for $12-14 million when it hits the auction block at Pebble Beach next month, when it will also sell off a beautiful, dark grey 1959 250 GT Tour de France and a bright blue 166 MM/195 S Berlinetta Le Mans – each valued at around $7 million. Those are hardly small sums by most any standard, but they seem like outright bargains compared to the price of admission to the GTO owner’s club.