Gooding & Company’s 2004 Pebble Beach Auction offered top notch cars, attracted buyers from around the world and set records in many important categories. The 2005 auction is already shaping up to be even better with early consignments featuring the Ferrari 275 GTS/4 NART Spyder Prototype.
The NART Spyder was conceived by Ferrari’s Le Mans-winning driver and U.S. importer Luigi Chinetti as the ultimate convertible Ferrari. It is the prototype and the first of the ten car series, chassis number 09437 which will be offered by Gooding & Company at the Pebble Beach Auction has an unmatched combination of history and specifications.
In addition to being the first built, it is one of only two NART Spyders with aluminum coachwork. Completed at the end of 1966, it arrived in the U.S. just in time to be entered in the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring race where it was driven by journalist Denise McCluggage and Marianne “Pinkie” Rollo. Even with little time for preparation the essentially stock but lightweight alloy-bodied NART Spyder came home second in its class in one of the most grueling and hotly contested endurance races of the international season. This was the only period race in which a NART Spyder ever competed.
After its success at Sebring, it was loaned to MGM Studios where it was repainted from yellow to burgundy for a stronger screen presence, and introduced to Steve McQueen for his starring role in The Thomas Crown Affair. No stranger to the excitement of fast cars, McQueen fell for the NART Spyder’s combination of performance and style and placed an order with Chinetti for one of his own.
Still in its burgundy Thomas Crown Affair livery, 09437 was the September 1967 cover car and featured road test in Road & Track magazine where it was described as “the most satisfying sports car in the world.” It turned in a 0-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds, quarter mile in 14.7 seconds at 99 mph and top speed of 155 mph in Road & Track’s rigorous testing procedure, an exceptional performance largely attributable to its lightweight aluminum bodywork.
Now restored in its original Giallo Solare, 09437 is a Ferrari Club of America National Concours winner and was featured in the November 2004 issue of Forza magazine. Its documentation is as exceptional as the NART Spyder itself, even including the original check with which Luigi Chinetti paid for the car, endorsed by Enzo Ferrari.
The 1967 Ferrari 275 GTS/4 NART Spyder will be joined at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auction by several other rare, special, one-off and highly desirable automobiles.
» 1950 Ferrari 166MM/195S Le Mans Berlinetta, chassis # 0060M. Built on the short 2,250mm wheelbase for competition, this beautiful Le Mans berlinetta was bodied by Touring. Its engine was bored out by Ferrari to 2,341cc specifically for competition and was rated by the factory at up to 180 horsepower. It has an impressive racing history when new which was recognized as long ago as March of 1965 when it was featured in Road & Track magazine. More recently it was the cover car for the Ferrari Club of America magazine, Prancing Horse, in 2002.
» 1952 Cadillac Two-Seat Roadster. A custom two-seater created by the GM design department in 1952 for Harold Boyer, General Motors’ Chief Engineer. It is the only one of its kind and has remained within the Boyer family where it has been cherished and meticulously maintained. Unique features include a “disappearing roof”, aircraft style instrument panel with extra dials, heavy bright work and a pop-up taillight that hides the fuel filler.
» 1939 Chrysler Imperial Woodie Station Wagon by Bohman & Schwartz. A unique and meticulously specified one-off custom Woodie, which remained in the family of its original owner until it was acquired by the present owner. Its documentation is comprehensive, including the original Bohman & Schwartz specifications and invoices. It is one of the very few classic era Woodies that was custom built by one of the premiere coachbuilders of the era on a top of the line chassis. The one-off combination of Bohman & Schwartz coachwork matched to the Chrysler Imperial chassis makes this Woodie one of the most sought after examples in the world.
The Gooding & Company auction, known for offering some of the rarest and most important cars in the world, will be held in conjunction with the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center on Sunday evening, August 21, 2005 with viewing scheduled from Thursday through Sunday morning, August 18-21.
Gooding & Company, 1528 6th Street, Suite 120, Santa Monica, CA 90401.
Photographs and estimates are available upon request.