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Automotive of the Week: This Uncommon 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder May Fetch $4.5 Million at Public sale

Automotive of the Week: This Uncommon 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder May Fetch $4.5 Million at Public sale

In the wine world, they say Bordeaux is the wine of millionaires, but Burgundy is the wine of kings. Anyone with good taste and enough money can acquire the former, but it takes some clout to get an allocation of DRC. There was a time, in the 1950s and 1960s, when there were two tiers of Ferrari, and Ferrari customer, too. The merely affluent could, for instance, perhaps buy a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, but it took real connections to acquire a new 400 Superamerica. The last of the great “coachbuilt” Ferraris was the 365 California Spyder, and the ninth of only 14 ever built is coming to the RM Sotheby’s Miami auction in Coral Gables, Fla., being held March 1 and 2.

In their day, the Superamerica models represented the ultimate coachbuilt Ferraris, with only 47 examples of various styles made until 1964. Meanwhile, in 1957, Ferrari’s 250 GT series was juiced up with motorsport components to power a convertible racer made for the American market—in particular, California. Called, fittingly, the 250 GT California Spyder, its various iterations are today regarded as among the most desirable Ferraris ever made. But Ferrari had one more coachbuilt trick up its sleeve—a swan song of sorts, it was the 365 California Spyder unveiled on the Pininfarina stand at the 1966 Geneva Salon.

The 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder, bodied by Pininfarina, being offered at the upcoming RM Sotheby’s Miami auction.

Jasen Delgado, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Its designer was Tom Tjaarda, a true gentleman with impeccable taste, and as modest a person as I have met, especially considering his colossal accomplishments. He passed away in 2017 at the age of 82, leaving his signature on more than 70 cars, some of which count as among the most influential of their age. Working for Ghia, Pininfarina, and independently, Tjaarda designed, among others, the once-ubiquitous and forever classic Fiat 124 Spider, and the radical-for-its-time De Tomaso Pantera. The 365 California Spyder wasn’t Tjarrda’s first design for the Prancing Horse. He penned the 1964 330 GT 2+2 Series 1, featuring his signature twin-headlamp design, which found no favor with Il Commendatore and was quickly replaced by the single-headlamp Series 2.

The interior of a 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder.

The fully restored interior with leather dressed in the color Bianco Molitan.

Jasen Delgado, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

No one could deny the 365 California Spyder’s aesthetic attributes. Notable are the car’s grand proportions and elegant, mile-long profile. The front end, with faired-in headlamps, is punctuated by two pop-up driving lamps, while the side intake on each rear fender would soon become a hallmark of the Ferrari 308 series. The bodywork’s slight creases and Kamm-tail rear end were a Tjaarda flourish. The body was built on the Ferrari chassis used for the 330 GT 2+2, and it was powered by that car’s single-overhead-cam, Colombo-designed V-12 engine, enlarged to 4.4 liters. That successful engine would later be used in the 365 GTC and GTS, and be subsequently adapted as a dual-cam design for the 365 GTB/4 Daytona and 365 GTC/4.

The single-overhead-cam, Colombo-designed 4.4-liter V-12 engine inside a 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder.

Under the hood is a single-overhead-cam, Colombo-designed 4.4-liter V-12 engine.

Jasen Delgado, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Of the 365 California Spyder, chassis No. 9935 was completed in May of 1967, and ordered new by Waldorf Leasing on behalf of Nancy Tewksbury of Los Angeles. The white-leather interior matched the owner’s 275 GTS, and the California Spyder was equipped with a passenger headrest, air conditioning, and instruments in miles. The interior was complemented by a matching white soft top, contrasting red carpets, and paintwork in Rosso Cina (China Red). Oddly, Mrs. Tewksbury kept her Spyder for only a few months, after which Waldorf sold the car in 1968 to its second private owner, Charles Garretson of Detroit, Mich.

A 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder by Pininfarina.

This Prancing Horse retains its matching-numbers chassis, engine, gearbox, rear axle, and coachwork.

Jasen Delgado, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

With only three prior owners, chassis No. 9935 was acquired by the consignor in 2006, who then commissioned a full-tilt restoration by the noted experts at Paul Russell & Company. The bare-metal rebuild respected the original color scheme of Rosso Cina paint over a Bianco Molitan leather interior. The car was authenticated by Ferrari Classiche in 2013, its Red Book certification verifying that the car retains its matching-numbers chassis, engine, gearbox, rear axle, and coachwork.

Documentation includes factory build-sheet copies, a 1971 sales invoice and title, a prior owner’s notes and correspondence, paperwork and photos from the Paul Russell restoration, and the coveted Red Book with associated Certificate of Authenticity. The vehicle is accompanied by owner’s manuals, a toolkit, a tire jack kit, and other accessories. Exclusivity has its price, and so this eternally elegant Ferrari—the first of this model to come up for auction in more than a decade—is estimated to fetch between $4 million and $4.5 million when it glides across the auction block later this week.

See Also

Click here for more photos of this 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder by Pininfarina.

A 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder by Pininfarina.

The 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder, bodied by Pininfarina, being offered through RM Sotheby’s.

Jasen Delgado, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Source: Robb Report

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