Unique coachbuilt 1966 Ferrari ‘Tre Posti’ offered for first time at Gooding’s auction at Pebble Beach

The 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale is a one-off design by Pininfarina | Gooding & Company
The 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale is a one-off design by Pininfarina | Gooding & Company

Another fantastic Ferrari has been added to the auction docket for Monterey with the announcement that the unique and groundbreaking 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale “Tre Posti” will be featured at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach sale.

The one-off prototype – Ferrari’s first mid-engine V12 road-going supercar – is considered an artwork of automotive design, the result of collaboration between three towering figures at the height of their careers: Enzo Ferrari, famed designer Sergio Pininfarina, and Luigi Chinetti, the larger-than-life racing star turned importer and impresario for Ferrari in the U.S.

The three-seater coupe is driven from the middle position | Gooding & Company
The three-seater coupe is driven from the middle position | Gooding & Company

As well as being a masterwork of styling and performance, the 365 P pioneered a three-seat layout with the driver placed in the center and the two passengers on either side and slightly behind the driver. Thus the name Tre Posti, Italian for three seating positions.

The sports coupe was based on the highly successful Ferrari 365 P2 race car but was designed for use on public roads. Power is provided by a race-bred 4.4-liter V12 producing 380 horsepower.

The car is in excellent original condition, Gooding says, with only 7,900 km (about 4,900 miles) on its odometer.

“The Tre Posti stands alone,” said David Gooding, founder and president of the auction company. “This work of automotive art represents the ultimate in 1960s sports car design.

“In my opinion, Tre Posti is an extraordinary coachbuilt tour de force and by all respects one of the most important and valuable Ferraris ever designed. Its competition underpinnings and special provenance make it one of the finest Ferraris in existence.”

The Tre Posti was built for Luigi Chinetti, who counted three victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans among his many racing accomplishments before becoming the Ferrari factory’s first and, for a time, only U.S. importer. Significantly, the hand-built 356 P was the last car Ferrari built specifically for a private client.

A broad moonroof is one of the car’s unique features | Gooding & Company
A broad moonroof is one of the car’s unique features | Gooding & Company

Before Chinetti took possession, the bespoke Ferrari was unveiled at the 53rd annual Paris Auto Show, where it was presented by Pininfarina as the design company’s featured car. The Ferrari was a show stopper with its gleaming Gardenia White paint, black upholstery and bright-red carpets, and its distinctive moon roof. The Pininfarina styling cues are strongly evident in the covered headlights, egg-crate grille and sweeping rear buttresses.

The 356 P was owned briefly by two of Chinetti’s special clients but reclaimed in 1969 by the Chinetti family, which has held ownership ever since. The Gooding sale marks the first time the Tre Posti has been offered for public sale, consigned directly by the Chinetti family.

The Gooding & Company auction takes place August 16-17 at the Equestrian Center adjacent to the world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

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