This 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder Is One of the Brand's Rarest Coach Built Road Cars

hace 2 meses, 3 semanas - 29 febrero 2024, autoevolution
1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder
1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder
Over the last seven decades, Ferrari has given the automotive world some of the most beautiful, most expensive, and rarest cars ever.

The Italian luxury sports car manufacturer typically limits the number of units produced per model, but some of its vehicles are significantly rarer than others. For instance, just 14 examples of the Ferrari 365 California Spyder were ever built, making it one of the most exclusive Pracing Horses in history.

Introduced alongside the 330 GTC at the 1966 Geneva Salon, the Ferrari 365 California Spyder was the ultimate Ferrari of its era, and it was offered only to some of Ferrari's most loyal and valued VIP customers. The privileged few included a Marquis and one of the sons of notorious dictator Rafael Trujillo.

The 1960s marked an important chapter for the Maranello-based automaker. It was a decade when they made some of the most elegant GT cars, and the 365 California is a perfect example, designed with a balanced mix of luxury and performance.

The convertible car was designed at Pininfarina by Tom Tjaarda and was based on the same well-developed chassis as the previous 500 Superfast (a 330 GT 2+2 Type 571 chassis). However, the new 365 California Spyder boasted a striking Pininfarina body. The "California Spyder" nameplate, which had been associated with much success to the earlier 250 GT Series of cars, was chosen because Ferrari hoped to capitalize on that success and offer the ultimate GT Spyder.

The car took power from a refined Colombo 4.4-liter V12 engine that produced 320 horsepower (325 ps) and 266 foot pounds (361 Nm) of torque. It was actually the first road-going Ferrari equipped with this engine, which propelled it to a top speed of 152 mph (245 kph). The mill featured a bank of three twin-choke Weber carburetors with a twin coil and was coupled with a limited-slip differential and five-speed manual gearbox with synchromesh on all gears. Four-wheel disc brakes with assistance divided diagonally ensured smooth yet effective stopping power. As for the suspension system, it is hydraulic with double wishbone at the front with coil springs and a live axle held by leaf springs at the rear.

As fast, powerful, and advanced as it was considered to be for its time, it is actually the aesthetics department where this model excels.

The Pininfarina-designed body of the 365 California Spyder is gracious with sleek lines, well-rounded curves, and a low profile. The car sits on a wheelbase of 2,400 mm and has an impressive overall length of 4,630 mm due to the massive front and rear overhangs. The convertible was the longest Ferrari ever built until the brand introduced the four-seater 612 Scaglietti in 2004.

Tjaarda combined familiar lines, such as the elegant nose and large, polished front grille, with unique elements like the covered headlights, the pop-up driving lights, and the crease running over the fenders from front to back. Another standout styling element was the angular tail with distinctive light clusters that was unlike any previous designs developed by Pininfarina for the Maranello company. And then there is the side intake on each rear fender, which would later become a signature feature of the Ferrari 308 series. The car's elegance is further enhanced by a soft and highly refined fabric roof with the classic Spider treatment.

The Ferrari 365 California Spyder unit you see pictured here is chassis No. 9935, which was completed in May 1967 and ordered new by Waldorf Leasing on behalf of the first owner, Nancy Tewksbury of Los Angeles. The client already owned a 275 GTS and ordered the California Spyder with a matching white-leather interior, complemented by a white soft top and contrasting red carpets. The vehicle was also equipped with a passenger headrest, air conditioning, and instruments in miles. The exterior was finished in Rosso Cina paintwork.

The Spyder exchanged hands just a few times, with only three prior private owners. After being acquired by the current owner in 2006, the car benefitted from a detailed, top-shelf restoration that was completed in 2009 and was conducted by the expert team at Paul Russell & Company. What's more, this unit was awarded full Red Book certification by Ferrari Classiche in 2013, meaning the car retains its matching-numbers chassis, engine, gearbox, rear axle, and coachwork.

This fine example of the 1967 Ferrari 365 California Spyder is now offered up for auction. It is scheduled to go under the hammer with RM Sotheby's on March 1 and is offered with 76,330 miles (122,840 km) on the odometer, which isn't a whole lot for a car that is over five decades old.

With only 14 units ever produced, Ferrari's 365 California Spyders rarely become available on the open market, with this unit being the first to come up for auction in more than ten years. As usual, exclusivity comes at a hefty price in the automotive world, so you would need a beefy bank balance to own this beauty, which is expected to fetch between $4 million and $4.5 million. 

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