Bidders pushed the "ultimate" 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Berlinetta to auction victory at Artcurial's sale of sports and GTS classic cars in Le Mans last Friday (July 9).
First presented at the Paris Motorshow in 1966, the GTB/4 was the culmination of Ferrari's hybridisation of racing and road automobiles which began in the early '60s.
The GTB/4 evolved from 1960's 250 GT/E - the first ever 2+2 coupé - built on Ferrari's famous and constantly-improved 'single shaft' V12 Colombo engine from 1947.
As its name suggests, the GTB/4 had four overhead camshafts, a first for a car built in Maranello, which directly attacked the valve pushrods for increased revving.
As a result, beneath the sleek and plunging Pininfarina bodywork was a powerful and aggressive motor capable of 300bhp with superior power, torque, acceleration and smoothness than its predecessors.
In an era of no motorway speed limits, Formula One driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise claimed to have covered 47 miles in 23 minutes during a 1967 test drive, at an average speed of 122mph.
Elsewhere, the car more than proved its mettle on the race circuit, finishing third at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1965 (first in GT class) behind two pure racing cars.
The example auctioned at Artcurial was originally ordered from Franco-Britannic Autos and delivered on November 7, 1967.
According to its paperwork, the car was later entirely re-sprayed (as the paintwork had faded and the bodywork was the worse for wear) and stripped down to 'racing' condition by its fifth owner.
At that time, the engine was taken apart, repaired, and reassembled; while its interior was exquisitely refitted in black leather as per the original specs, with carpet included.
Sold with full documentation and photographs of its restoration history, this "ultimate" GTB/4 raced past its lower €750,000 estimate to bring €837,474 ($1,058,060).
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