17-18 August 2012
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 'Competizione Speciale' by Carrozzeria Allegretti
- Chassis no. 9813
- Engine no. 9813
Sold for $1,485,000
• One-off ‘Speciale’ with aluminum alloy body and six carburetors
• Spectacular restoration and rebuild by leading Ferrari specialists
• Commissioned by noted Ferrari collector Greg Garrison
• Faithful evocation of unique Le Mans class-winning shape
• Matching-numbers engine and chassis
With the success of the 250 GTO in road racing events, the Ferrari factory looked to homologate a version of the new 275 GTB for the GT racing class. As the production car was not designed for competition, a group of special cars were built for that purpose. While they resembled the production 275 GTB, they were actually closer in design and components to the 250 GTO race cars. With aluminum alloy for the bodies and smaller diameter, lighter weight chassis tubes than the production cars, it was intended that they would be able to convince the FIA into thinking they were actually production models. These were the 275 GTB/C Speciales, three cars built by the Ferrari competition department. Each contained substantial differences in specification and design, and of the three ‘Speciales’ built, only chassis #06885 had a notable period competition history, the highlight of which was a win in the GT Class and Third Overall finish in the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ferrari followed up with a series of competition versions of the road car for customers, called the 275 GTB/C. The first ten were alloy-bodied ‘short nose’ cars in 1965, and the next group of twelve ‘long nose’ cars followed a year later. These cars appeared identical to the road cars, their difference being the employment of light alloy panels for the bodywork, less sound proofing, a larger fuel tank, higher lift camshafts, and the fitting of six Weber carburetors. It was then somewhat surprising that when the four-cam engine was introduced in 1966 with the 275 GTB/4, no competition versions were built by the factory. Compared to the ‘series’ 275 GTB/C cars, the ‘Speciale,’ chassis 06885 in particular, stood apart and captured the imagination of Ferrari enthusiasts.
One such enthusiast was television producer Greg Garrison. A pioneer in the medium, having made his directorial debut in 1948, Garrison directed some of the most memorable programs of the fifties, including Your Show of Shows, The Milton Berle Show, The Kate Smith Hour, as well as one of the Nixon-Kennedy presidential debates. The show which made his name, and fortune, as a producer was The Dean Martin Show. It ran for nine seasons and then was followed by another seven years of The Dean Martin Roasts.
Garrison was as well known in many circles as a Ferrari connoisseur as he was as a TV producer. He forged an enduring personal relationship with Enzo Ferrari himself, dating from the mid-1950s. He told a story about their first meeting, at which Garrison’s teenaged son Michael was present. Ferrari remarked how much Michael resembled his own beloved Dino at the same age, further cementing the bond. Garrison went on to assemble an impressive group of one-off Ferraris, working closely with the factory and developing close ties with the company’s inner circles.
Those ties served him well when he began to contemplate a special project. In 1987, he located this car, 275 GTB/4 chassis 09813, in Indiana. The victim of an accident, it had a damaged chassis, and it had been stripped of its body, wiring loom, and seats. Garrison purchased the car and shipped it to Modena, where he commissioned three of the most famed Ferrari shops to rebuild and create the car he envisioned. First stop was Vaccari e Bosi, chassis supplier to the Ferrari factory, which, in six months of work, gave 09813 an as-new frame. During the year, it was required to wait for the artisans at Carrozzeria Allegretti to create a new body for the chassis, all the mechanical components, engine, transmission, rear axle, brakes, and more were rebuilt at the renowned Sport Auto.
What emerged from Allegretti was a brilliant rendering of the body of what is perhaps the most well-known and attractive 275 GTB/C Speciales, chassis 06885, the 1965 Le Mans car. Allegretti gave this car, chassis 09813, the distinctive 250 GTO-style nose and mesh-opening faced hood bulge give that gave the Speciale body a look of power and aggression quite distinct from the standard 275 GTB. The rear fenders show the triple vents and reshaped upper panels that were created to improve air flow at the rear of the Speciale, providing additional downforce.
As befitted to all of Greg Garrison’s cars, the level of workmanship was done to the highest standards, although, perhaps in this case, it might be said that the levels of fit and finish were taken beyond that which could be expected in a race car. Rather, 09813 has the feel of a competition car finished so that the team owner or lead driver could drive it to and from the circuit, as well as to dinner. That it is built on the base of the four-cam model gives this Ferrari even greater appeal, a glimpse into “what could have been,” had the factory chosen to continue down this road. It is intriguing to speculate that it may be one reason Garrison’s creation was so well received by Ferrari insiders.
The current owner purchased this Ferrari in 2007, and it has been sparingly used but superbly maintained since. The six Weber carburetors have been rebuilt and hoses have been replaced in order to keep it in top running condition. It has made few show outings, but was awarded Best in Show at the 2010 FCA Hartford Concorso Ferrari and First Place in the GT Class at the 2011 Sunday in the Park Concours at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
What separates this Ferrari from other re-bodies or re-constructions is its impeccable credentials and pedigree. Greg Garrison’s access to the shops and craftsmen most closely associated with Ferrari and with the company’s personnel, up to and including Enzo himself, allowed him to create a car not only well conceived and executed but equally well received within the inner sanctum of Ferrari itself. This beautifully realized dream, from the long-term ownership of a passionate long-time Ferrari lover, stands ready to excite and fulfill its next caretaker, who can share the vision Greg Garrison brought so vividly to life.
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