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. 

See 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 of attention.”

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 in 1965.

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 entry.

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 built.

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 rubber.

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 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 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, New York.
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 storage.

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 World

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 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. 


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 collectible automobiles.

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
Serving Auto, Art, Music and Media Realms
Phone: +1 480 277 1864 
FAX: +1 925 407-2748
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