Mike Maez, courtesy of Gooding & Company
Mike Maez, courtesy of Gooding & Company
Soon after the 330 GTC was unveiled at the 1966 Geneva Auto Salon, Ferrari introduced its exclusive Spider variant, the GTS. The new 330 GTC, GTS, and the contemporary 275 GTB/4 featured the same mechanical layout of fully independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, a rigid torque-tube driveshaft, and a 5-speed, rear-mounted transaxle. Whereas the 275 GTB/4 utilized a 4-cam, 3.3-liter V12, the 330s were equipped with 4-liter, 2-cam V12 that delivered a genuine 300 horsepower at 6,600 rpm. The 330 GTS was one of the fastest open two-seaters of its era, with a top speed approaching 150 mph. Designed and built by Pininfarina, the 330 GTS was the very epitome of mid-1960s GT styling. The harmonious, understated design was a successful update of the popular 275 GTS — with a new frontal treatment inspired by the 500 Superfast, Ferrari’s most exclusive gran turismo. The 330 GTS was built to exacting standards by Old-World craftsmen, and the cockpit was beautifully finished, with bucket seats trimmed in Connolly leather, a three-spoke, wood-rimmed steering wheel, and a simple-but-attractive wood veneer fascia carrying the full range of white-on-black Veglia instruments. This car presented here is one of the most exciting discoveries in years — an exceptional, unrestored 330 GTS that has hardly seen the light of day since 1969. Chassis 9343 was delivered new to Luigi Chinetti Motors and sold new to Dr. Samuel Scher. It was finished in Celeste Blu with Rosso Scuro leather upholstery and matching carpets. It was equipped with Borrani wire wheels, European lighting, and instrumentation in kilometers. Dr. Scher’s car collection spanned all eras. Among his treasures were American Brass Era cars and classics from Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz. He was one of the first to introduce little-known names, such as Cisitalia and Ferrari, to the U.S. Dr. Scher drove his 330 GTS some 20,000 miles in less than two years until it was sidelined by a small engine-bay fire. His insurance company totaled the car and disposed of it through an insurance auction. The second owner gathered a collection of spare parts in hope of returning it to the road. However, the project did not get far. For the past 44 years, the GTS has been parked in a Pennsylvania garage. This Ferrari is truly a time capsule. It wears faded original Celeste Blu paint. The factory-supplied glass, rubber and major trim pieces are in place, as are its original wire wheels. The interior has survived remarkably intact, with moth-eaten dark red carpets and a light patina to the seats and door panels. The odometer displays 36,717 km (22,815 miles). No attempt has been made to return the car to running order. The matching-numbers engine turns freely, and the engine bay is complete with nearly all of its ancillary components intact. Chassis 9343 is a very complete, authentic, and solid example of a particularly desirable Ferrari, making it the ideal candidate for a complete, concours-quality restoration. The 330 GTS is among the most sought-after sports car of the 1960s. Fast, beautiful, rare and exotic, these Ferraris have every quality collectors demand in a classic Italian sports car. To find a 330 GTS like this is nearly unheard of.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Barn Find
Number Produced:100
Original List Price:$16,800
Tune Up Cost:$3,000
Chassis Number Location:Left frame member by steering box
Engine Number Location:Right rear above motor mount
Club Info:Ferrari Club of America
Investment Grade:B

This car, Lot 149, sold for $2,062,500, including buyer’s premium, at the Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, AZ, on January 18, 2014.

Radio commentator Paul Harvey famously based his program on the concept of “the rest of the story.” Of course, that meant you would have to listen to about five minutes of advertising before you got to “the rest of the story,” but Harvey’s delivery was usually worth the wait.

Gooding’s excellent catalog description presents a well-documented history of chassis 9343, but it missed the roller-coaster-ride story of discovering a barn find and getting it from the Pennsylvania garage to Scottsdale.

From chat room to the auction block

On October 12, 2013, a post titled “What to do with a ’67 330 GTS with low mileage” hit FerrariChat.com. The post started with this: “Many years ago my father bought a ’67 330 GTS and kept it in his garage ever since. He passed away several years ago, and my mother doesn’t know what to do with it.”

The writer went on to say that his father purchased the car at an insurance auction in 1969. The car had been totaled due to fire damage. His father was a truck mechanic who bought the car with the intention of restoring it. He partially disassembled the car in preparation for restoration and never completed the task. The son wrote that he never remembers the car being uncovered or worked on.

On November 26, 2013, a new post reported that the 330 was now sold. The reported price of $1m drew some responses, including calling the purchaser a “a predator” for preying on an elderly widow. The son said he thought it was a good — but not great — sale.

On December 20, 2013, a new post announced that chassis 9343 was going to Gooding’s Scottsdale Auction. A prominent West Coast dealer had gotten a tip the car was available and immediately flew out to see it. After some delicate negotiation, a deal was struck, and after 44 years, the GTS had a new owner. A second dealer had struck a deal with the first, and in turn, consigned it to Gooding.

On January 18, 2014, the winning bid on the Gooding & Co. block was $1,875,000 plus a 10% buyer’s premium, for a total of just over $2m.

Rough car, great story

It’s pretty obvious that someone made good money, but nobody was predatory. Up to auction day, high market was a $1.9 million sale that RM got for a nicely restored example in 2013. The RM sale was stunning in that it was double what Bonhams had gotten for a 330 GTS just months before.

Chassis 9343 was a rough car. It was an unrestored car rather than a survivor. It had a broken windshield, missing gauges, bare metal and other defects. The condition was past the point of patina.

With due respect to the preservationists, preserving this car would only be preserving bad paint, bad chrome and a worn interior. The car probably could be made to run with minimal effort, but it had sat too long to be a good driver without major work.

The buyer was a muscle car collector who was dipping his toe in European-car waters. Besides the Ferrari, he bought an unrestored Mercedes-Benz 300SL that was proudly touted as having sat on flat tires for three decades. His taste clearly runs toward unrestored cars.

As it is a barn find, just washing the car moves the value backwards. Chassis 9343 is too far gone to leave alone. It will be difficult to make any improvements without doing everything. The price paid should have bought a great car instead of a great story. This time, the seller got a gift. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of Gooding & Company.)

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