Ferrari 275 Fighter: 1967 Vetta Ventura

1967 Vetta Ventura

At first glance you might not know what this Rare Vetta Ventura is, I know I hadn’t ever heard of one before Dennis shared his most recent find with me. This now very rusty, but once beautiful machine is actually a rebadged Intermeccania built Apollo GT. We have featured a few of these amazing machines over the years, but this is the first Vetta we’ve ever come across. Take a closer look at this amazing find here on eBay in Wylie, Texas with a BIN of $19,800 and the option to make an offer.

Rusty 1967 Vetta Ventura

The story of the Vetta Ventura is actually a rather interesting, if not a bit confusing. Frank Reisner, the founder of Intermeccanica had created quite the name for himself and his brand after moving from Canada to Turin, Italy. He started out building performance parts for small European cars and the word got out about his work. Eventually International Motor Cars of Oakland, California approached him about building a car for them. This creation was to be built in Turin, with a Ron Plescia designed body which Franco Scaglione fine tuned. The completed body and chassis were to be shipped to International Motor Cars and fitted with a Buick V8. Sadly, financing just wasn’t there and a new deal had to be worked out to keep the design alive. So 19 chassis were sold to Vanguard Air Conditioning in Dallas, Texas.

1967 Vetta Ventura Hood

Vanguard completed the cars, fitted them with Bendix brakes and renamed them Vetta Venturas. Frank Griffith went on to workout a deal to do a second run of 88 or so Apollos with Intermeccanica, but that’s a whole other story which you can read about here. So let’s get to this particular car. It was first sold to an owner in Maryland, but after 5 years they put it on the market. From there it went to San Jose, California where it spent another 5 years. It then moved back across the country to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and that’s where it has resided ever since. As you can see, the humidity hasn’t been kind to this Italian American. It looks like it spent most of the past 39 years sitting outside.

1967 Vetta Ventura Interior

These cars really did mix the best of Italy and America into one beautiful package. The design really is brilliant and from the front you could almost mistake it for a Ferrari. The interior even looks similar to one, I guess the Ferrari steering wheel and Jaeger gauges might have something to do with that. It even features Borini wire wheels! It would seem they were trying to build a 275 fighter, well at least from a styling standpoint.

1967 Vetta Ventura V8 Engine

The Buick V8 probably doesn’t offer the sound or gusto of a Columbo V12, but it also won’t cost you an arm and a leg to restore or replace. I’ve seen a few Apollo GTs that have had their aluminum Buick 215 replaced with something bigger and more powerful, which could put this on par with a 275 from a performance standpoint. Personally, I’d leave a 215 under the hood. The big question is whether the original engine can be saved or not? Like the rest of the car, it looks pretty corroded. Dennis told me they haven’t attempted to start the engine, so they aren’t sure if the engine is seized or not. With something like a Ferrari, that would be a major issue, but finding a running Buick V8 shouldn’t be a problem!

1967 Vetta Ventura Rear

This car really is going to be a massive undertaking to restore, but it definitely deserves to be saved! Rust is going to be the car’s biggest issue, although finding trim and interior pieces could be a daunting task too. If I had the means to take this one on, I’d absolutely love to restore it! So who else here would enjoy restoring this rare Italian? If you are skilled with a welder and would love to take on this project, be sure to make an offer and let us know if you get it! I’m sure everyone here would love to follow along with this restoration. Special thanks to Dennis for letting me know about his find, I look forward to seeing what other rare and interesting cars he comes across!

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Comments

  1. grant

    Wow. That’s just gorgeous and sad at the same time. Hopefully someone with deep pockets will take pity on it.

  2. sir mike

    Needs to be save but can it be?? Sad…

  3. TRP

    I hope it gets saved. I can almost hear Richard yapping away in my ear as I read that ad. Too bad he’s so annoying. I bet Aaron isn’t a bad dude to hang out with.

    • Rando

      I’ve read on the internet that Aaron has his own shop now and they just do the show together. But yeah, Aaron would be the guy to hang with. Maybe Dennis. Not Richard.

  4. Steven C

    Looking at the condition, puddle in front, and shipping containers in the background; looks like a fresh bay find instead of barn find. Is that a trailer hitch? Who would put a trailer hitch on something like this?

  5. Willy C

    I’m not sure you know what and arm and a leg costs in this day and age. It’ll be all that plus a kidney.

  6. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    Great looking cars but I can’t see it, unfortunately. The car needs everything, and a lot of that everything will need to be replicated from scratch. Rebuilding and fixing the probable cylinder liner movement problems of the aluminium V8 will be the least of it.

    For less than the $20K for this car plus the big expense of restoring it you could have a very nice Intermeccanica Italia Coupe—probably way less, since the SCM Guide says the median price actually paid recently at auction for them is $55K. And a lot of people think the Italia looks better than the Apollo GT, which was the older brother of this Vetta Ventura before Intermeccanica had to give up making cars.

    And you could be driving years sooner.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      I agree and this is definitely at least a 30 grand restoration.

      • dcthompson

        Not 30 grand. More like 300 grand. Go to the Bring a Trailer site for a more honest assessment of its condition. Basically the entire body has rusted away, and will need to be fabricated from scratch. A frozen 215 would be the least of your worries.

  7. MIkeG

    I’d say that there is not much left of the metal here to salvage. A shame such a pretty car was left to rot outside.

  8. Bruce

    I would rather invest my money in the Calypso Coral 70 BOSS 302 behind it.

    LJ

    • Cassidy

      Your Mustang will be ready in 20 years, please be patient, rusty metal takes time

  9. Irish Bill

    Isn’t that Denns Collin’s firm from ” Gas Monkies Garage? He knows his cars and when to run from one.

    • skloon

      yep, this one looks like it may have fought Ferraris but lost to iron oxide

  10. Dan h

    Pretty car but boy, she’s rusty and crusty!
    At $140k for a condition 1 car, there is no way one would be able to break even.

  11. hhaleblian

    Ain’t no 275GTB. And yes I wish I still had mine.

  12. Alan Brase

    I don’t think every car needs a complete resto at a $120/hour shop. There’s plenty metal to weld back together. The BIN might be a little high, but the final product might be neat.
    I’m not at all familiar with any cylinder movement problems with the B-O-P 215, but junkyards have a few Rover 3.5’s which might be a nice modern upgrade. Or any of about 15 other modern alloy V8’s.
    This particular example the engine is not the big problem.
    Still, in the hands of a good amateur restorer, it could be one of a kind Italian.
    Certainly a good poster child for good roofs. (In your storage building.)
    If you have a car outside, just get a roof over it today! Even those hoop buildings will cover 2 cars for about $500. (Lasting maybe 5 years before they fail.)
    Al

    • Dolphin Dolphin Member

      Al, this site talks about “dropped” or moving cylinder liners in Rover V8 engines:

      http://robisonservice.blogspot.ca/2009/10/all-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-land.html

      I was ready to buy a TR8 (at a distance) but first asked the owner to send me a video of the engine idling. What I heard were clicking sounds as the engine idled that were very different from any tappet sound I have ever heard. They were deeper and more irregular than regular. That makes sense if only some liners are moving, maybe only some of the time. The problem can be fixed but it is expensive and only a few people with the experience can do it.

      Also, many of the early production aluminium V8 blocks had porosity problems that eventually let oil and antifreeze mix. The blocks were gravity, not pressure cast.

      I would be very careful when buying a car with one of these aluminium V8s, and would do it only if I could thoroughly test drive it and evaluate it for these problems.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      How many amateur restorers could even take the hood adequately?

    • Dave Wright

      This would be a wonderful opportunity for an amature to learn to use an English wheel and welder

  13. Van

    What a fantastic car.
    Never heard of it
    It’s worth saving but the amount of work jeez.
    It needs a rover engine that looks the same but has more power, and 4 webbers.
    Everything will have to be fabricated.
    How about say the hell with it and use aluminum? Probably wouldn’t effect value if done to the highest standards.

  14. kman

    Look, you’ve got a common as dirt buick V8 that may or may not be viable and a beautiful body that’s so rusty and eaten away, one sneeze would blow it into the harbor. So what’s the point? None. If it had and aluminum or glass body you’d only have to put a chassis under it. As it is you got nothin’. End of story, next.

  15. Joe Nose

    “…it spent most of the past 39 years sitting outside…” the ship it sank with.

  16. Van

    This car would be worth taking to Steve Moal for an aluminum rebuild.
    I don’t know if he will do restoration without customizing.
    250 DP Maranello
    “Dino Prototipo.”

  17. Julles

    An XKE had a baby with a Ferrari 250. Could you just stabilize it and put it in a museum or elsewhere as a piece of art? The design is beautiful.

  18. Julles

    Van found a great youtube link to a guy that restores them. https://youtu.be/Sr5ENr6UxQM
    The guy said that there were only 40 of them made.
    If they were going with an American powerplant, I wish they had used something other than a Buick 215 which sounded good but didn’t produce like they thought. Why didn’t they at least put the turbo on it which they had already made?

  19. Ed Willaims

    I remember reading in some car magazines “back in the day” as they say now about this car and I wished I could buy one but such things are unobtainable at $3.50 at hour and that was not washing dishes in a restaurant. I was Technical Illustrator.

    Would a Buick Grand National engine fit?

  20. Charles

    For what this rust bucket would cost to restore, you could buy a top of the line 2016 Corvette and be tooling down the road and still have money in your pocket!

    • Van

      Yes but would the Ferrari guy’s be scratching their heads.
      Anybody can buy a corvette, there are over 1.6 million corvettes built and hundreds are considered rare, maybe thousands are rare.

  21. AlphaRoaming.com

    Barn find or Bermuda triangle find? I think only salt water could do as thorough a job of corrosion as I’m seeing here…

  22. Bill Wilkman

    This car is nothing more than a parts car, and not much of a parts car at that. For a car to get that rusty, it would have had to have spent time underwater. And, if I’m right about that, the chances of arresting its rust would be very remote. When I was a teenager, I used to see these cars on the showroom of Frank Millard Sports Cars in Sherman Oaks, California. They were indeed beautiful and a great combination of Italian styling with American reliability in the mechanicals. IMHO, this one is pretty much a total loss.

  23. PAW

    Always amused to read people to think engine options to a car that needs zillion things before engine. Example I bought some years back a project car that had the steering wheel restored, but the body was only marginally better than on this one.Think priorities before you start

    Average Pep Boys catalog readers or Web- surfers should not bother either. Or the ones who’s only option for a car project is to carry the car to one of the USD120/hour shops to be done

    This is definitely doable as a labor of love project for a skilled fabricator. Friend of mine has one. Really pretty and unique car.

    • Van

      Yes the point is this car is beyond restoration.
      Sometimes you just have to do it anyway.
      This project is for a professional fabricator only, or a team of dedicated type As. That’s why I recommend Steve Moal. You may not have much left of the original car.
      I’m sure at least one Ferrari race car today can be found in a photo of a burned mangled track side hulk with only the block remaining in the current car.

  24. slickimp

    Wow were was this sitting that it got so rusty what a shame

  25. Jesse Bowers

    I have an owners manual for it. How unreal is that? 19 made and somehow, I get an owners manual from one http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2009/02/vetta-ventura-brochure-and-ownners.html

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Very cool. Thanks for sharing!

      • Jesse Bowers

        welcome… I think you’d rather not have the entire gallery here in the comments, but might get a kick out of the cover. So, hit the link if you want to see the rest. I was shocked to see one on BarnFinds.com, so, thanks to you as well!

    • Bobsmyuncle

      VERY cool!

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