ALFRED DUCATO 1965
FERRARI 275 GTB COMPETIZIONE CLIENTI
OFFERED FOR THE FIRST
TIME IN NEARLY 50 YEARS AT MONTEREY
A 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competitizione
Clienti, s/n 7477, built as a special order for early American Ferrari
patron Alfred Ducato, will be offered for the first time in the automobile’s
nearly fifty-year history at the Rick Cole Auction in Monterey, California.
This exceptionally rare piece of Ferrari history is one of ten special
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, and is thought to be the most original and complete example to
survive. The car has been in a private collection for the past twenty-five
years and unseen by anyone. The total original mileage from new is
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 rare cars, will be headquartered at The Marriott Hotel
in downtown Monterey. 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. Winning bidders will be announced at 12:00
midnight PST on Sunday, August 17th.
for additional vehicle and bidding information.
Alfred Ducato and Ferrari
Alfred Ducato was an early and prominent
patron of Ferrari, leading to a rare close association with Enzo Ferrari
that included ongoing personal correspondence between the two men, exchanges
of gifts and, reportedly, hosting the Commendatore in Ducato’s Hillsboro,
California home. Writing in the May 2014 issue of Classic and Sports
Car, Mick Walsh described, “A glorious group of such renowned (Ferrari)
customers as Gianni Agnelli, Alfred Ducato and King Leopold.”
Beginning in 1951, Alfred Ducato owned
a sequence of twelve-cylinder Ferraris that began a 36-year love affair
with the marque and the automobiles. Most were ordered through Luigi
Chinetti, with whom Ducato also formed a close and enduring 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 magnificent 375
MM Pinin Farina coupe. The Ducato-owned Ferraris are still identified
today by their original association.
According to Robert Devlin writing in
Cavallino, the 212 Inter Vignale coupe was received by Ducato in San Francisco
the day before the 1953 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The car
had been slightly damaged in shipping, and Ducato worked with friends through
the night to make repairs before driving the Ferrari down to the Monterey
Peninsula with his wife Marie where they represented Ferrari.
Alfred Ducato’s correspondence with Enzo
Ferrari took the form of telegrams, cards, letters, and Christmas greetings.
Some of these were to provide specifications for Ferraris being built to
special order; others typically expressed the buyer’s eagerness in anticipation
of receiving the next new Ferrari and how it was being shipped. But
Enzo Ferrari also came to rely on Alfred Ducato’s correspondence to provide
first hand reports and clippings of early Ferraris being raced in the U.S.
One letter to Ferrari described a young
Phil Hill’s victory in the 1955 Pebble Beach Road Races.
Ferrari’s reply to Ducato read, “Thank
you for the newspapers concerning the race, and if you have the opportunity
to meet Mr. Hill again in the future, please tell him my compliments and
admiration; this young man shows a great skill in every race, and worthy
Ferrari shared detailed information with
Ducato about the racing cars, as well as development of new road cars.
Here, also in 1955:
“The F1 cars in Argentina suggested to
us a lot of modifications for the single seat cars, though they went nicely
in their present condition. As to the sports cars, I decided to send
to Sebring three cars . . .”
“I have decided to build a small series
of Fast Touring, 4900 cc, which derive directly from your car, and from
those of King Leopold of Belgium and Count H. Sonsky, delivered at the
end of last month.
Pinin Farina built on the first chassis
a two-seater, saloon, two-door body, according to the classic line you
know already. I will send you in a few days a picture of this car,
asking you to let me know your valuable point of view.”
The correspondence between the two men
was also remarkably personal at times, such as this 1956 letter from Enzo
Ferrari to Alfred Ducato shortly after the death of Ferrari’s son, Dino:
“My dear friend, Mr. Ducato: I
received your kind letter dated 20th of July, which brought to me your
kind, sincere condolences, as a true friend, for the great sorrow of my
wife and mine. You were among the few who knew my trembling, short hopes
and discouragements for the unsteady health of my beloved son.”
The special bond between the two men,
Alfred Ducato in America and Enzo Ferrari in Italy, lasted to the ends
of their lives, Ducato passing away in 1987 and Ferrari in 1988.
Alfred Ducato was an early customer for
the 250 series Ferraris, beginning with a Pinin Farina designed 250 GT
coupe finished in two-tone silver with a burgundy roof. Others included
a unique 250 GT California Spyder, a 250 GT SWB and a 250 GT Lusso.
These regular orders for the latest 250 series Ferraris continued to 1965…and
the new 3.3-liter 275 GTB.
By 1963, it had become clear to Ferrari
that development of the 3-liter 250 GT had reached its limits. Development
was underway for a new car that was intended to replace both the 250 GT
SWB and the 250 GTO; a new Berlinetta that would continue the tradition
of dual-purpose Ferraris for road and track.
275 GTB Competizione Clienti
The Ferrari designed to replace the 250
GT series was the 275, introduced in Paris in the fall of 1964 as the 275
GTB coupe and the 275 GTS spyder. The aggressive shark-like profile
of the 275 GTB became an icon of 60’s design. Underneath the skin,
the 275 was also a more modern automobile – the first production Ferrari
with independent rear suspension and the first to utilize a transaxle that
moved the gearbox into a unit with the rear axle, providing the car with
almost perfect balance front to rear. The 3.3-liter V-12 produced
275-280 hp in standard trim. A six Weber carburetor option provided an
additional 20 hp.
The 275 GTB was designed to be raced,
but was soon found to be unexpectedly in the midst of one of Enzo Ferrari’s
legendary feuds with the FIA. The 250 GTO successfully brought the
FIA GT championship to Ferrari in 1963 and 1964. The unexpectedly
close competition from Shelby’s Cobras in 1964, however, made it clear
that something better than the GTO was needed to defend the championship
Ferrari proposed the mid-engine 250 LM
– designed for Le Mans – as their entry for the 1965 GT championship.
The FIA rejected Ferrari’s proposal on the grounds that the 250 LM clearly
was designed as a sports prototype racer, leaving Ferrari without a competitive
Ferrari built four special lightweight
275 GTB ‘specials’ that were also rejected by the FIA. Finding his
options quickly narrowing for the 1965 racing season, Enzo Ferrari authorized
construction of an alloy-bodied competition version of the 275 GTB that
was closer to the production car. Outwardly, these cars were distinguished
by three additional cooling slots in the rear quarters and a racing-style
fuel filler mounted on the right side of the car. Only ten cars were
Given his long relationship with Ferrari,
and having already taken delivery of a production 275 GTB, Alfred Ducato
was high on the list when Ferrari offered the ten competition cars to customers
in 1965 – the Competizione Clienti.
275 GTB s/n 7477
The ten 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione
Clienti 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 one could own
for the road. As a result, this car may now be the only complete and original
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti in the world.
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 an extremely high standard and reassembled using all of the original
The interior is untouched from new. The
seats are finished in tan leather with fabric inserts, intended for racing,
and still smelling new nearly fifty years after the car was built. 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
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 Spyder Mrs. Ducato saw
in Luigi Chinetti’s showroom, purchased on the spot and had 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 close 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 sympathetic 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,
A second transfer of conservatorship
was made in the early 1990s when s/n 7477 passed into an unnamed 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 exceptional Ferrari has been thoroughly
inspected and authenticated. Over 400 hours have been lovingly 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
The fuel system, water pump, brake system
and shock absorbers have all been carefully disassembled, inspected, and
rebuilt, taking care that the external components remain original. Wear
components such as the carburetor accelerator pumps, fuel lines, and brake
lines have been replaced for safety and reliability in order to fully enjoy
the original performance of this unique automobile. The disc brakes and
calipers have been disassembled, inspected and rebuilt.
Any original parts removed during the
recent servicing of the car have been retained and will be provided with
the sale of the automobile.
The Ferrari is exceptional in every way.
The car has been road tested and is ready to be enjoyed by a new owner
as a preservation award contender in Concours d’Elegance, or any number
of tours in any of which would be guaranteed to be a first rank participant
in overall appearance and performance.
A New Method of Buying for the Auction
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 www.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 at their leisure 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. The auction begins Thursday, August 14, 2014 and
bidding will end at 12:00 pm Sunday August 17, 2014.
ABOUT RICK COLE AUCTIONS
Rick Cole Auctions is a solely owned,
pioneering collector car auction firm established in 1978. The company
is incorporated in the State of California and its offices are located
in the prestigious high-rise office building, Central Park, directly adjacent
to Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank. The company is internationally recognized,
has decades of history and proven sales performance, and possesses long
and solid relationships with numerous owners of the world’s rarest and
Rick Cole Auctions quickly became and
has maintained a reputation as an industry standard for quality classic
car auctions. The company has conducted over 100 such auctions across the
country in cities such as Chicago, Saint Louis, Reno, Newport Beach, Los
Angeles, and Palm Springs, selling some 25,000 antique, classic, special
interest, sports and racing cars. In 1986, the company created the first
auction of Classic Sports and Racing Cars conducted on the Monterey Peninsula
during the famed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend. This initial
auction was the trendsetter that introduced international commerce to a
sleepy little township by the sea. The Monterey auction is also widely
credited with establishing the classic car auction business as the principal
transaction service for the classic car collector. Today, no less than
five auction companies annually vie for top honors, altogether producing
hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.
The company is not only well-respected
around the globe in collector car circles, but is also well liked and has
an extremely lengthy list of devoted clientele. Knowledge and access are
the keys to vehicle acquisition in today’s worldwide marketplace, and Rick
Cole Auctions is among an elite group of companies one can count on less
than two hands who possess these skills. Not only can the company be invaluable
in acquiring vehicles for the fund, it can also serve as a strong sales
tool in the fund’s de-acquisition process, holding an annual first class
auction at the world’s #1 auction venue…Monterey.
For More Information Contact:
Cindy A. Meitle
CAR PR USA, LLC
Serving Auto, Art, Music and Media Realms
Phone: +1 480 277 1864
FAX: +1 925 407-2748
Facebook: Cindy Meitle
LinkedIn: Cynthia Meitle
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