Mecum is set to place one very special Ferrari under the hammer at its auction running next month in Kissimmee, Florida.
The car is a 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale bearing chassis number 6701, and it's one of just three examples built, making it one of the rarest Ferraris in existence.
It last went under the hammer in 2014, and at the time sold for $26.4 million. Mecum hasn't provided an estimate but a higher figure is likely this time around. In addition to inflation, the current owner also gave the numbers-matching car a thorough restoration, returning it to its original Rosso Cina shade of red, from the Grigio Scurro Metalizatto silver it wore for most of its life.
Following the conclusion of its 250 GTO racing program in 1964, Ferrari was looking to make the switch to the mid-engined 250 LM, which the automaker had already shown in 1963. However, Ferrari was unable to homologate the 250 LM for GT racing in 1964, and thus the company introduced an updated version of the 250 GTO for that season, as well as the 275 GTB/C Speciale based on the 275 GTB road car.
1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale bearing chassis no. 6701 - Photo credit: Mecum
Just three of the 275 GTB/C Speciales were built, between 1964 and early '65, and one of those cars is chassis no. 6701. Another is the example owned by late racer and collector Preston Henn. Henn's car, which bears chassis no. 6885, is the only example that competed, including running at the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans where it finished first in the GT class and third overall. In a race where mid-engined cars became increasingly dominant, that finish remains the best by a front-engined car to this day. The rarity and racing pedigree has led to valuations for Henn's car exceeding the $100 million mark.
Like the more famous 250 GTO, the 275 GTB/C Speciale is both a work of art and a feat of engineering. Its tube-frame chassis is clothed in aluminum panels shaped by Scaglietti. The aluminum panels were about half as thick as those of the road cars, making them prone to denting. The Speciales also used thinner chassis tubes to reduce weight. All told, they weighed as much as 300 pounds less than the road cars.
They also packed more power. Under the long hood sits a 3.3-liter V-12 with six Weber carburetors and a 315-hp output, 69 horses more than the road-going 275 GTB. The car also features double-wishbone independent suspension at all four corners, and four-wheel disc brakes.
The car is lot no. S195.2 for Mecum's auction, which will run from Jan. 2-14.