1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale

With a week of lavish automotive events coming up centered around the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August, some of the highest profile auto auctions in the world are about to take place. Hearing about Ferrari Testa Rossas and 250 GTOs going for tens of millions of dollars during these events is commonplace, but Gooding & Company is bringing a unique Prancing Horse to sell in California that could be a record-breaker for the company.

The car in question is the drop-dead gorgeous 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale with just 7,900 kilometers (4,910 miles) on the clock that's pictured above, and it checks all of the boxes to make it incredibly desirable. First off, just look at it. The flowing lines and giant, tinted moonroof really make this Ferrari a head-turner. Inside, it has the distinctive feature of three seats with the driver slightly forward in the middle, kind of like the McLaren F1. And what a view from behind the wheel with all of the expansive glass in front of and above the driver. According to the auction listing, Pininfarina displayed the Speciale at a variety of international motor shows in 1966 and 1967.

If the looks aren't enough, then the provenance puts this Ferrari over the top, for sure. Underneath those gorgeous lines is the chassis from a Ferrari 365 P2 endurance racer. The sale claims that this was the first mid-engine, Ferrari 12-cylinder model created from the start as a road car. After touring with Pininfarina, it went to Luigi Chinetti, the first man to sell a Prancing Horse in the US and the boss of the company's North American Racing Team. He sold it twice, but the Speciale has been in the hands of the Chinetti since 1969.

Gooding isn't offering a dollar estimate on the sale, but it's expecting big things. "The most expensive automobile that Gooding & Company has ever sold at public auction is the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. We expect to shatter that record at Pebble Beach this year," said company boss David Gooding about the car, according to a spokesperson to Autoblog. That Testa Rossa went for $16.39 million after fees. It gives the 365 a lot to live up to. Scroll down to read the entire auction listing.
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Tre Posti: A Mid-Century Masterpiece
The 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (July 23, 2014) - Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance® is honored to announce that it will be presenting a bespoke 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale at its Pebble Beach Auctions on August 16 and 17. Known as Tre Posti due to its groundbreaking front three-seat layout, this exceptional Ferrari represents the intersection of three great names working at the height of their careers: Enzo Ferrari, Sergio Pininfarina, and Luigi Chinetti. Presented in wonderfully original condition and boasting just 7,900 km, the automotive masterpiece has captivated admirers since it was first introduced with its striking and glamorous Gardenia White exterior, black upholstery with bright red carpets, and distinctive moon roof. Never before offered at public sale, Tre Posti has been consigned for auction directly from the Chinetti Family.

David Gooding, President: "The Tre Posti stands alone. This work of automotive art represents the ultimate in 1960s sports car design. In my opinion, Tre Posti is an extraordinary coachbuilt tour de force and by all respects one of the most important and valuable Ferraris ever designed. Its competition underpinnings and special provenance make it one of the finest Ferraris in existence."

Luigi Chinetti Sr.
Luigi Chinetti Sr. was an Italian-born racecar driver who was instrumental in introducing the Ferrari marque to the world. He famously arranged a groundbreaking deal with Enzo Ferrari to become the first, and for many years, the only, Ferrari Factory dealer in the US. A larger-than-life figure, Chinetti's awards and accolades included three wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, two outright victories at the Spa 24 Hours race, and served as captain of the North American Racing Team (NART). He won both Ferrari's first and its last victory at Le Mans in 1949 and 1965. Chinetti's love for automobiles and racing, as well as his appreciation of technology and engineering drove his business choices. Under his guidance he directed the cultivation of many outstanding Ferrari collections, only occasionally keeping a select few gems, including Tre Posti, for himself.

Tre Posti in Detail
The culmination of visionary ideas of proportion and detail resulted in one of the most exquisitely-executed Ferraris of all time. Tre Posti, a powerful three-passenger sporting coupe was a prototype based on the racing Ferrari 365 P2. One of the most distinguishing features and a central element of the design was the Ferrari's three-seat cockpit layout, which places the driver in the center of the car, slightly in front of a passenger seat flanking each side. It is surely among the most remarkable layouts ever created for an automobile. Tre Posti also boasts a lavish interior with a seamlessly integrated chrome roll bar, competition pedal box, and gated shifter, which are further hints at the Tre Posti's thoroughbred bloodline. In addition, the Ferrari is enhanced with numerous unique characteristics including an expansive moon roof with state-of-the-art bronze-tinted glass and other signature Pininfarina styling cues such as covered headlamps, classic egg-crate grille and sweeping rear sails. From one's first look, the 365 P Berlinetta Speciale is in the pinnacle of a long line of coachbuilt Ferraris and leads the most elegant and enduring sports car designs of the 1960s.

Significant History
Tre Posti is the result of a unique collaboration between Enzo Ferrari, Sergio Pininfarina, and Luigi Chinetti. Constructed at the height of the P car program in 1966, the 365 P Berlinetta Speciale, chassis 8971, was the first mid-engine 12-cylinder Ferrari designed specifically for use as a road car. Tre Posti is a prototype model based on the Ferrari 365 P2, a model that was successfully campaigned by Chinetti's NART. According to Pininfarina, the 365 P Berlinetta Speciale has the distinction of being the last car made by the firm for a private client. Before it was purchased by Chinetti Motors, this car was unveiled at the 53rd International Paris Motor Show as the key Pininanfarina show car. A global tour in 1966 and 1967 followed, including engagements at key auto shows in Brussels, London and Los Angeles. Dubbed "a world-wide novelty" in a Pininfarina press release from October 16, 1966, Tre Posti was met with great fanfare on the show circuit and was prominently featured in numerous magazines and publications. Since its delivery to Chinetti Motors in 1967, the car has only been sold twice to important Ferrari clients but returned to Chinetti family ownership in 1969, where it has remained ever since.

By any standard, Tre Posti is among the most important Ferraris of all time. Gooding & Company is honored to offer such a powerful mechanical treasure during our Pebble Beach Auctions this August. (estimate upon request)