Go-fast grocery-getter: the Vignale-bodied 1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 shooting brake

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1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 shooting brake. Photos by Erik Fuller, copyright and courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

Ferrari didn’t build a shooting brake of its own until the launch of the 2011 FF, but that’s not to say that no such animal existed prior to this date. Discounting the Bizzarini-designed “breadvan” racer of 1962, the first road-going shooting brake to carry the Prancing Horse badge was built by Vignale in 1967, from a 1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 donor. Formerly owned by Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay, the one-of-one 1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 shooting brake will cross the auction block at no reserve on December 8, part of the RM Sotheby’s Petersen Automotive Museum sale.

1965 Ferrari 330 GT shooting brake

Vignale may have bodied the car, but it didn’t originate the wagon idea or pen its shape. Sensing that well-heeled buyers might want a sports car with a modicum of practicality, it was Luigi Chinetti, Jr. – known to his friends as Coco – who believed a market existed for a Ferrari capable of hauling four passengers plus luggage. Enlising the help of commercial artist Bob Peak, then best known for his West Side Story movie poster, the duo penned a bold, contemporary shape that featured two doors, 2+2 seating and a hinged rear window that granted access to the enclosed cargo area.

1965 Ferrari 330 GT shooting brake

The donor car was sold new, in 1965, through Chinetti Motors in Greenwich, Connecticut. Originally finished in red with a tan interior, the Ferrari remained with its original owned for less than two years before being acquired by Coco for his shooting brake project. Shipped to Vignale in 1967, the car was completed in time for the 1968 Turin Motor Show, where it appeared in the Vignale booth.

1965 Ferrari 330 GT shooting brake

Under the skin, the car remained a stock Ferrari 330 GT 2+2, powered by a 4.0-liter, single overhead camshaft V-12, rated at 300 horsepower and mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Externally, not a single piece of the Tom Tjaarda-designed 330 GT bodywork was retained, and only the Prancing Horse badge and 10-hole alloy wheels, standard on the 330 GT 2+2 model, gave a clue to the wagon’s origins.

1965 Ferrari 330 GT shooting brake

Following its time on the Turin stage, the car was delivered to Coco Chinetti, finished in a dark green with a gold roof. It isn’t clear how long Coco retained possession, nor is it clear what soured his dream of building custom Ferrari shooting brakes. Perhaps the predicted interest never materialized, or perhaps the sale of Vignale to Alessandro de Tomaso in 1969 also interfered with his plans. Sadly, this was the last Ferrari ever rebodied by Vignale; in 1969, the day the paperwork on the sale to de Tomaso was finalized, Alfredo Vignale was killed in a traffic accident near Turin, Italy.

1965 Ferrari 330 GT shooting brake

The custom Ferrari ultimately passed through a string of American owners, and was offered for sale by Thoroughbred Motors in Northern Virginia in 1977. By the mid-1990s, it had found its way across the Atlantic, and in 1995 was discovered in Europe – in tired condition – by French collector Jean-Claude Paturau. Sensing the car’s potential, Paturau funded a restoration, and the Ferrari shooting brake – refinished in its original green-and-gold motif – reemerged at the 1996 Louis Vuitton Concours d’Elegance.

1965 Ferrari 330 GT shooting brake

In 2008, the car sold at auction for a reported $410,000, and was purchased by Jay Kay in 2011, who reportedly loved the car but not its two-tone livery. Four years later, in 2015, it sold to the consignor, and when the Ferrari appeared for sale at a UK dealer in 2017, it was finished in the silver-gold monochrome livery seen here. In August 2017, the Ferrari crossed the auction stage in Monterey, California, where it reached a high bid of $475,000 but failed to meet its reserve.

1965 Ferrari 330 GT shooting brake

This time around, the shooting brake will be offered at no reserve when it crosses the auction stage in Los Angeles, California, this December. For more information on the Petersen Automotive Museum Auction, visit RMSothebys.com.

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