JUL 31st 2014

Anyone for a centrally‑steered, three‑seater Ferrari?

Look very closely at various auction houses’ catalogues for the upcoming events taking place at Pebble Beach, Monterey in California next month and you begin to unearth some very special cars indeed.

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Take a look at this Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale for example. Not surprisingly given its looks, it was designed by Pininfarina a year after they penned the Dino. With its extended wheelbase and lengthened, sloping rear deck you could argue that perhaps it isn’t as pretty as the little V6 which preceded it, but the 365 P did have a couple of aces up its sleeve.

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First of all it was the first Ferrari ever to be built with a V12 motor ‘mid mounted’ behind the cabin. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the steering wheel was mounted in the middle of the car with two passenger seats set back either side of the driver à la McLaren F1, making it a ‘tre posti’. Cool or what?

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Although two examples were nailed together originally, old man Ferrari himself decreed that to sell such a car to the public with a 380hp motor situated out back was too dangerous. The idea to produce the car, which had been pushed by Sergio Pinifarina himself, was shelved for good.

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At the Gooding & Company auction on the weekend of the 15th-16th we’ll find out what it’s worth. Some estimates have it clearing $20,000,000, but we’re not so sure if it’s quite going to reach that level. That said, if there’s one place it’s going to have people engaging in a to-the-death cash war over something ultra-rare and exotic, it’s Pebble Beach.


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