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Arizona | Lot 243

1969 Ferrari 365 GTS by Pininfarina

$3,900,000 - $4,800,000 USD

United States | Phoenix, Arizona

16 January 2015


Chassis No.
Engine No.
12473
12473
  • A one-year-only model; one of the rarest and most desirable Ferraris of its era
  • The 17th of only 20 produced
  • Formerly owned by Thomas Teves, Erich Traber, and Fritz Kroymans
  • Beautifully restored; twice shown at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering
  • Simply put, the ideal convertible gran turismo Ferrari

320 bhp, 4,390 cc V-12 engine with triple Weber carburetors, five-speed manual transaxle, front and rear independent suspension with unequal length wishbones, coil springs over telescopic shock absorbers, and anti-roll bars, and front and rear disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.4 in.

FERRARI’S 365 GTS

Since its earliest days, Ferrari’s two-seater V-12 convertibles have been the last word in sporting elegance. These automobiles, offering an excellent motoring experience for two plus their luggage, are often the rarest of their respective model. With mountains of torque available from their V-12 engines, these cars were easily capable of high-speed cruising on the German autobahns or idling through New York City traffic along Fifth Avenue in a style all their own. Ownership of a V-12 convertible Ferrari was ownership of one of the finest driving machines made available to man, and they were often cherished fixtures in the garages of tycoons of industry, celebrities, and even heads of state.

While the 365 GTS retained similar styling to the 330 GTS it replaced, the 365 GTS was much improved mechanically over the 330 GTS, and it was the most technologically advanced open Ferrari to date. Its introduction brought with it the regular production of the excellent 4.4-liter V-12 that was first seen in the limited-production 365 California. With a single overhead-camshaft per bank and triple Weber carburetors, the 365 V-12 could produce a respectable 320 horsepower, which was an increase in 20 horsepower over the 300-horsepower V-12 of the 330 GTS. The car was fitted with the excellent five-speed manual and the independent rear suspension with Löbro halfshafts of the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, as these components were sufficiently up to the task of the higher-horsepower 365 engine and were considered to be a substantial technical improvement over the 330 GTS.

The 365 GTS, which was produced only in 1969, was introduced as the replacement of the 330 GTS, and it retained all the same mechanical and cosmetic components as the 365 GTC, albeit with a convertible top. While the 330 GTS was already rare, with 99 built, only 20 examples of the 365 GTS were built, and they are often considered Ferrari’s best driving convertible grand tourer of the decade for their combination of refinement, wonderful looks, courtesy of Pininfarina, and performance. As the 365 GTC was easy to drive both in traffic and on the race track, it could truly be at home wherever it was driven, and it was always eager to please its well-heeled owner. Ten-hole alloy wheels were standard, but the always-desirable Borrani wire wheels were available as options.

CHASSIS 12473: THE 17TH OF 20

Chassis 12473, which was completed in May 1969, was the 17th example of 20 Ferrari 365 GTSes produced. According to noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, this European model was finished in Bleu Ribot (2.443.631) over a Beige leather interior (VM 3218) and was destined for Germany. It was delivered new through German Ferrari importer Auto-Becker in Düsseldorf in June 1969 to its first private owner, Mr. Thomas Teves, the heir to the Alfred Teves brake manufacturer. Teves, an individual with a propensity for high-performance motor cars, retained the car for his personal use at his residence in Bad Homburg, Germany. Following six years of ownership, the car was sold to the Etienne Aigner Leather Manufacturing Company in Munich in 1975, possibly for use by Etienne Aigner himself. Following a repaint in yellow, the car was sold by Aigner to Peter Lorenz, of Koblenz, Germany, in 1980.

Lorenz kept the car for four years and had it restored in traditional Ferrari red over a black interior. In 1984, it was sold to Josef Brunlehner, a hotel owner and resident of Passau, Germany, and then passed to noted collector Erich Traber, of Toffen, Switzerland. Traber kept the car for four years, and then it was purchased by another noted Ferrari collector, Fritz Kroymans of Hilversum, Netherlands, in 1989. In Kroymans’ collection, chassis number 12473 shared garage space with some of the most significant Ferraris ever built. After 20 years in his ownership, it was shipped stateside to its current United States-based collector, who made a trade that included several other significant Ferraris from the same collection.

Chassis 12473 is offered today following a fresh restoration, and it is in excellent condition. It has been comprehensively sorted by the current owner’s private mechanic, who paid great attention to detail on every component. The engine and gearbox were both fully stripped and rebuilt, using new parts where necessary. The brakes and suspension received a similar treatment, receiving new brake lines and a master cylinder, as well as new bushings, ball joints, and wheel bearings for the suspension, amongst other items. The fuel tanks were cleaned, the car was fitted with new electric fuel pumps, the radiator was rebuilt with a new core, a replacement wiring harness was installed, along with a new voltage regulator and alternator, and a new exhaust system was fitted. All parts were sourced from Ferrari specialists, who used replacement parts only if NOS parts could not be sourced.

The car’s current Grigio Fumo finish and chrome were completed by Images Autobody in Campbell, California, and its brilliant Cuoio upholstery was completed by the Franzini brothers in Novato, California. Following its restoration, the car was shown twice at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, once in 2012 and once in 2013. It still retains its matching spare Borrani wire wheel and owner’s manual, and it is important to note that Ferrari Classiche certification for this car has been applied for and is currently pending.

The 365 GTS is considered by many to be one of the greatest drop-top Ferraris ever built, as it is five times as rare as the 330 GTS, with just 20 made, and is much more advanced and refined than all of the California Spiders. The 365 GTS is undoubtedly the most desirable variant of its model range, and it stands tall when compared to many of its more celebrated ancestors. With Italian luxury to match its performance, they are excellent drivers that are ideal for long runs down the California coast and through European mountain ranges. Chassis number 12471 is a fully matching-numbers example, and it would be an ideal acquisition for any significant collection of Ferraris, not only for its rarity but for its wonderful mechanical and cosmetic condition.

All this 365 GTS needs is a new owner, one whom it will surely not disappoint.

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