“It is, first and foremost, a serious gran turismo, but it retains the lineage of a race car in the response of the engine and the quality of the handling. The 275 GTB/4 is one of the greatest automobiles created in our time” – Grand Prix driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise writing for l’Auto-Journal in January 1967
Enzo Ferrari might have lost out to arch-rival Ferruccio Lamborghini in the race to build a four-cam V12, but in the 275 GTB/4 he unquestionably produced a classic. It was the logical progression of early 1960s road and racing Ferraris that included Le Mans-winning prototypes and the iconic 250 GTO.
The Ferrari 275 GTB/4 was launched at the Paris Salon in October 1966 and it introduced the first-ever double-overhead-camshaft engine in a Ferrari road car. It was also dry-sumped – standard racing practice, as used in the ‘Hot Rod’ 275 GTB Competizione Speciales. Topped by six Weber carburettors à la 250 GTO, the smooth and flexible motor produced a reliable 300bhp, more than enough for 165mph. It took just 15 seconds to be travelling at 100mph from standstill.
The four-cam looked much as the later 275 GTB ‘long-nose’ cars, except that there was now a power bulge in the bonnet. The mechanical specification was standardised and almost all cars were bodied in steel.
Just 330 were built, from 1966 to 1968, and for bragging rights, not much beats a 275 GTB/4. It will always be the definitive road-going 275 GTB.
This Motor Car
Chassis ‘09783 GT’ was completed in March 1967, had its Certificate of Origin issued on 5 April and was delivered to Rome resident Venanzio Bozzi (born 31/7/1934) on 26 April. It was first registered in Rome as ‘Roma A 54285’.
Sig. Bozzi chose a distinguished combination of Nocciola (ref 106-M-27, ‘nut’ brown-gold metallic) with an all-leather interior of Nero, Connolly VM 8500 and alloy wheels. Ferrari confirms it is one of ten 275 GTB/4s delivered in this colour. The car was subsequently sold to Signora Teresa Brancati, born in Parma 16/02/1933, resident of Naples. History does not record the reasons for the sale, however it should be noted that the tax affairs of ladies in 1960s Italy could be kept off the official radar.
The car remained in Signora Brancati’s possession until 21 October 1971. During that time it returned twice to the Ferrari factory’s Assistenza Clienti at Viale Trento Trieste in Modena: 20 September 1968, 32,876km; 8 November 1968, 37,434km.
In correspondence with Kidston SA, the next owner recalled the fascinating story of how he had bought it. Captain Richard Boyle, a former USAF pilot now flying commercial aircraft for Western Airlines, travelled to Naples to visit a dealer (‘Cosimo’) who was selling the car on behalf of its owner, who didn’t want it to go to Rome.
Cosimo spoke no English, so Richard Boyle’s friend Steve Barney who was married to an Italian helped out. The passenger ride through Naples at 100mph early on Sunday needed little translation. Speaking to Simon Kidston in December 2016, Richard Boyle, recalling the high-speed drive between parked cars, had concluded “If I die, I die in a Ferrari. If I live, I’ll buy it”.
Live he did, becoming the third registered owner of the distinctive hazelnut Ferrari. He exported it to the USA and later changed the colour to Rosso Corsa. In further correspondence, Mr Boyle can be seen in photographs taken in 1984 standing proudly beside ‘09783 GT’, now bearing the California plate ‘F GTB4’. His smile says it all. He reported that the Ferrari was as “totally reliable as a Chevy or a Ford,” and the former fighter pilot needed only to have the valve guides changed – by Dan Gurney’s racing mechanic – in nearly 14 years of trouble-free motoring.
In August 1984 the car was sold to San Francisco resident George Jewett of the Weyerhaeuser Company (lumber), who kept it for a year before it was exported to Yoshijuki Hayashi of Japan. Mr Hayashi owned ‘09783 GT’ for 10 years, selling it to renowned Japanese collector Yoshiho Matsuda in January 1995.
Mr Matsuda’s legendary collection of Ferraris, Porsches and other ultra-desirable European cars needs little introduction. The Ferraris included a 250 GTO (at one point he owned three…), a 250 LM and a 250 Testa Rossa. Chassis ‘09783 GT’ was in good company.
From Matsuda, it then returned to the USA and in 1999 collector Peter Hosmer of New Hampshire took delivery. Together with Timothy Hosmer, he participated in the 2004 official Ferrari 275 GT Factory Tour in Tuscany as entry number 37.
Mr Hosmer’s tenure of the car ended in December 2007 when ‘09783 GT’ returned to Europe where it was restored by long-time Ferrari specialist Axel Urban in Germany. Work included a bare-metal, glass-out respray in red with new black interior, overhauled brakes, steering and water pump, and a comprehensive engine service. All chromework was replated, all door and window rubbers were replaced, and the motor was removed to clean and detail the engine compartment.
Two years later, the then-owner chose to present the car in the configuration in which it left Maranello over four decades earlier. So, from January to March 2009, ‘09783 GT’ was repainted in the stunning livery of deep and vibrant Nocciola, literally ‘nut’, a golden hue it wears today.
At that time Ferrari Classiche certification was requested, and duly granted in July 2009.
The show-stopping result was enough to win the Concours d’Elegance at the exclusive Modena Track Days event at the Nürburgring in 2009. Shortly afterwards the car was bought by a German collector.
In recent years, as part of a world-class collection of Ferraris, ‘09783 GT’ has been meticulously maintained by the multiple-award-winning craftsmen of the Modena region. Autofficina Bonini carried out an extensive mechanical overhaul in August 2013 (€39,075), with further work totalling €4,415 in July 2014. Carrozzeria Cremonini attended to various paint and body details in April 2013 (€15,000), while Tappezzeria Luppi retrimmed the seats in June 2013 at a cost of €4,600.
With its outside-laced Borrani wire wheels (a set of Campagnolo alloys are included), gleaming and distinctive paintwork, flawless interior and sparkling chrome, this 275 GTB/4 is ready for any top-drawer concours, owners’ club event or tour.
Today, chassis ‘09783 GT’, one of only 330 Ferrari 275 GTB/4s built, and one of ten delivered in Nocciola, will stand out in any company.