19-20 January 2017
1969 Ferrari 365 GTS by Pininfarina
- Chassis no. 12489
- Engine no. 12489
- Gearbox no. 143
Sold for $3,602,500
- One of 20 only built; one of the rarest road-going Ferrari Spiders
- Just six caretakers over 47 years
- Matching numbers throughout; Ferrari Classiche certified
- Includes complete tool roll, jack, and factory manuals
- Six-time FCA Platinum award winner; exceptional in every regard
- Exhibited at the Cavallino Classic, Concorso Italiano, and the Quail Motorsports Gathering
- Featured in Forza magazine
By early 1966, Ferrari had several models in production, including the family oriented 330 GT 2+2, the premium appointed 500 Superfast, and the dual-purpose 275 GTB. None of these models, however, offered anything quite resembling the unique combination of luxury, performance, and styling possessed by the 250 GT Lusso, which ceased production in 1964. At the Geneva Motor Show in March 1966, Ferrari finally addressed this shortcoming with the debut of a new two-seat grand tourer steeped in luxury. The 330 GTC, and its open-bodied GTS sibling, were tremendously popular with more restrained sporting customers, offering elegant aesthetics and classic Ferrari performance.
Late in 1968, the 330 GTC and GTS were quietly upgraded to more formidable engine specifications, with the single overhead-cam motor now displacing 4,390 cubic centimeters, and developing 320 horsepower and a formidable 267 foot-pounds of torque. In this new arrangement, the engine delivered a notably wider power band, with significant torque arriving as low as 2,500 rpm.
Minor cosmetic changes visually differentiated the two models, with the new 365 cars featuring engine-cooling vents on the hood rather than the fenders, and a modified interior HVAC vent arrangement. The 365 was also produced in a much smaller quantity, with only 168 coupes and 20 spiders built before the model was discontinued entirely in 1970. Now viewed as the ultimate factory hot rod of the 330 GT platform, the 365 GTC and corresponding spiders combined rarity, exquisite design, and the most powerful single overhead-cam motor ever used on a Ferrari road car.
Benefiting from a premium restoration in the 1990s, as well as just six owners over 47 years, this outstanding late-production GTS is a faithful and minimally driven example of the powerful vintage roadster. The penultimate example of the 20 spiders, chassis number 12489 was ideally equipped by the factory with air conditioning and a dashboard-top interior lamp. Completed in a very elegant and rare finish of Blu Caracalla paint and trimmed with a Grigio Speciale leather interior, this car was delivered new in June 1969 to George Woolley, a dealer in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
A short time later, the Ferrari was purchased by its first owner of record, Lee Morris of Montreal. Mr. Morris sold the spider in 1975 to Thomas Sherman of Berkeley, California, who went on to retain possession for nearly 20 years. The first two owners drove the car rather sparingly and, remarkably, by 1990 the odometer had accrued only 34,850 miles. When Mr. Sherman offered the 365 for sale at that time, it was reportedly completely original except for a new clutch, exhaust, and battery.
The GTS found a buyer in 1992, when Ferrari of San Francisco arranged a purchase by German resident Christian Groenke. After a brief period of storage in Idaho, 12489 was shipped to Europe and entrusted to the esteemed Sportgarage Bruno Wyss in Zofingen, Switzerland, for a comprehensive two-year restoration that was completed in 1996. In addition to a mechanical overhaul, the undamaged body was treated to a new finish in Blu Ultrascuro paint, and the interior was refreshed with cream leather. Shortly after the restoration’s completion, the 365 was exhibited in August 1997 at the OldTimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.
In 1999, the rare Ferrari was purchased by Barry and Susan Konier of Saratoga, California, who in turn sold the car a year later to nearby resident Tim Montgomery. The new owner had become a strong believer in the single overhead-cam 365 range, and to this end he also bought a 365 GTC to match. As his collection manager later described to Forza magazine, “The idea was to make a pair, basically have bookends.” While the coupe was registered with tags reading “150 MADE,” the spider was appropriately registered as “20 MADE.”
Mr. Montgomery exhibited the car on numerous occasions, starting with Concorso Italiano at the Quail Lodge in August 2000, and the X Palm Beach Cavallino Classic in January 2001, where the car garnered an FCA Platinum Award. Eight months later the GTS reprised its Concorso appearance at the Vintage Ferrari Concours, where it won another Platinum Award. In January 2002, a second Cavallino appearance netted yet another Platinum Award, and the car then returned to the West Coast in May for the FCA’s National Meet in Los Angeles, where a fourth Platinum was bestowed. The year concluded with one more appearance at Concorso Italiano.
In August 2004, Mr. Montgomery presented 12489 at the FCA International Meet at Monterey, California, winning a fifth Platinum Award, and the following year he displayed the GTS at the Newport Beach Concours d’Elegance in Southern California. The impressive exhibition run essentially concluded in 2006 with a Gold-awarded appearance at the Cavallino Classic in January and display at the renowned Quail Motorsports Gathering in Carmel Valley, California, in August.
Shortly thereafter, both cars were the subject of a color feature by the noted automotive writer and Pebble Beach judge Winston Goodfellow, which was printed in the June 2008 issue of Forza. As Mr. Goodfellow opined about the car’s mechanical and aesthetic virtues after spirited first-hand use, “The GTS is much like a lighter 365 California on steroids, delivering whoosh-like, linear acceleration . . . . Uninhibited by a roof, [it] sings louder and more throatily than the GTC. Without the 330’s fender louvers, the Pininfarina-penned shape becomes that much more pure . . . it’s a true master stroke of elegance.”
In 2007, the Ferrari was sold to the consignor, becoming a part of his renowned collection. Continuing the car’s longstanding record of ideal maintenance and minimal use, the new owner returned the car to the Cavallino Classic in January 2011, where it won another Platinum Award. He also entered the spider at the prestigious Louis Vuitton Serenissima Run from Monaco to Venice in April 2012, and the odometer currently displays approximately 10,235 kilometers. In July 2016, the Maranello factory issued a Classiche Red Book confirming that 12489 retains all of its original matching-numbers drivetrain components, original-type brakes, suspension, Borrani RW 4039 wheels, and the original coachwork.
Boasting six Platinum Awards and a desirably limited chain of just six caretakers since it rolled off the factory floor, this breathtaking 365 GTS embodies rarity and elegance, comprising one of the most powerful luxury spiders of the 1960s. With only 20 such cars built, significantly rarer than the Daytona Spider, California Spider, and Pinin Farina Cabriolet, the 365 GTS is rarely offered for public sale. This beautiful spider now beacons its next caretaker to indulge in the rewarding torquey performance of the 12-cylinder Tipo 245 C engine, or to continue the car’s exceptional record on the show fields and at FCA events.
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