When you own one of the most desirable cars in the world, offers to buy come with the regularity of trains
One of Ferrari’s greatest strengths was its ability to produce highly specialized niche products. The factory’s artisans could tailor an automobile to the needs of an important client and as such, small runs were interspersed among regular models to respond to national and regional markets. Some of the most desirable, beautiful and charismatic Ferraris of all time can be found among these targeted models, Ferraris like the 275 GTS/4 NART Spyder.
The 275 GTB was Ferrari’s successor to the highly successful 250 GT, applying Ferrari’s racing experience with independent suspension and rear-mounted transaxles to a series of road cars. Over the car’s production run, the 275 GTB would be produced in a whole range of specifications, plus the very special 275 GTS/4 NART Spyders.
Luigi Chinetti, Ferrari’s U.S. distributor, was finely tuned to his market. He appreciated the American love for convertibles and persuaded Pinin Farina to design and Ferrari to produce a convertible version of some of Ferrari’s more popular models. These cars, the 250 California Spyder, 365 California Spyder, and the 275 GTS/4 NART Spyder (named after Chinetti’s North American Racing Team) are some of the most coveted of all Ferraris.
S/N 09437 is the first and by far the most important of the ten NART Spyders. It is one of only two built in alloy and one of four built as a NART Spyder, the other six being built from modified coupe panels. Its history is singular and it is this NART Spyder upon which much of the model’s recognition and reputation is based.
Completed in January 1967, this Ferrari 275 GTS/4 Alloy NART Spyder
was delivered to Chinetti and immediately dispatched to Sebring. It was hastily prepared for the 12-hour race and given to Denise McCluggage and Marianne “Pinkie” Rollo to campaign. In a rather famous result, the pair drove the NART to an impressive second in class, nearly winning its class altogether. This was the only time any NART Spyder competed in a major automobile race.
After the race, a Hollywood movie executive chose 09437 to support Steve McQueen’s lead part in The Thomas Crown Affair. McQueen found the car so satisfying that he ordered one for himself.
But the car’s celebrity was not over yet, as it next went to Road & Track, where it was tested for the December 1967 issue. The car impressed the editors so much that it was chosen as the cover car and featured in an article where it was named “the most satisfying car in the world.”
Chinetti eventually sold the car to Norman Silver of North Carolina. Mr. Silver was a collector of important Ferraris and kept the car nearly 20 years. The car later passed to grocery czar Dano Davis, who had Shelton Ferrari completely restore it including returning it from the dark burgundy color it wore in The Thomas Crown Affair to its original pale yellow. The effort earned S/N 09437 the Best of Show award at the 1987 Ferrari Club of America Annual Meet. It then passed to a German collector, subsequently returning to the U.S. and to owner Bill Bauce in 1993.
The present owner acquired the car in 1996. He carefully preserved its award-winning restoration, making only minor upgrades in the interest of safety. It has since been enjoyed in the 1998 Colorado Grand, 2000 California Classic, 2001 Gauthier Rally, and 2004 Cooper State 1000.
Many historians and connoisseurs recognize this car, with its rich history, beauty and rarity, as one of the most important road-going Ferraris in existence.