1969 Ferrari 365GTS
- Year of manufacture1969
- Car typeOther
- Lot number249
- Exterior colourOther
- Shown at the 1969 Brussels Motor Show
- The first production 365 GTS; one of only 20 examples built
- The only example finished in Avorio Le Tetrach over Nero
- One of the rarest open-top Ferraris of its era
- Ferrari Classiche–certified
As of the mid-1960s, Ferrari’s product line consisted of the 330 GT 2+2, the 275, and the 500 Superfast, which reflected the variety the brand had reached with their road cars. None of these models, however, offered anything quite resembling the unique combination of luxury, performance, and styling possessed by the 250 GT Lusso, which ceased production in 1964. In March 1966 at the Geneva Motor Show, Ferrari finally addressed this shortcoming with the introduction of a new two-seat grand tourer steeped in luxury and speed. The 330 GTC, followed by its GTS sibling, were tremendously popular with more restrained sporting customers, offering elegant aesthetics and classic Ferrari performance.
After two years of production, the 330 GTC and GTS were subtly upgraded to more impressive engine specifications, with the single overhead-cam motor now displacing 4,390 cc, developing 320 hp and a formidable 267 foot-pounds of torque. Each individual cylinder now displaced 365 cc, hence its “365 GT” nomenclature. In this new configuration, the engine delivered a notably wider power band, with significant torque arriving as low as 2,500 rpm, offering drivers a seamless driving experience.
Minor cosmetic changes visually differentiated the two models, with the new 365 cars exhibiting engine-cooling vents on the hood rather than the front fenders, and a modified interior HVAC arrangement. The 365 was also produced in much smaller numbers, with 150 coupes and only 20 spiders built before the model was discontinued in 1970. As the ultimate iteration of the 330 GT platform, the 365 GTC and corresponding spiders combined rarity, beautiful design, and the most powerful single overhead-cam motor ever used on a Ferrari road car.
THE BRUSSELS MOTOR SHOW CAR
Built and completed by the factory in December 1968, chassis no. 12163 was the first of the 20 production 365 GTSs completed. More so, it was the only example finished in Avorio Le Tetrarch with Nero leather interior, as well as the only one with script Pininfarina badges. The car was first imported to Belgium by the renowned Garage Francorchamps SA of Brussels. The following year, the car was exhibited on their stand at the Brussels Motor Show from 15–26 January. Afterwards it was sold to its original owner, fish dealer Jean Leveke of Oostend, a longtime and well-established Garage Francorchamps client who, over his lifetime, would own some 20 different Ferraris. A front over-rider bar was installed in this era to comply with Belgian motor vehicle safety requirements and remains in place to this day.
Later in 1975 the car was sold back to its original owner, a Swiss banker, then in 1984 to Dietmar, a German resident of Geneva. Völker had the car refinished in red with a black interior and drove it on Swiss dealer plates GE 1406-U. He subsequently advertised it for sale later that year with 68,000 km before selling it in 1986 to Jean-Claude Caveng. The car would remain in the Caveng family for over a dozen years before finding its next owner, Pierre Ehret of Starnberg, Germany, in December 1998. It exchanged hands in 2001 to Dr. Wolf Zweifler of Munich. The Ferrari would eventually find its way to the care of Joe Leweck.
In this ownership, the car has received a comprehensive photo-documented restoration by Joe Leweck of Bayberry Vintage Autos over the course of 16 months and at a cost of $500,000. The 365 GTS was returned to its enthralling original Brussels Motor Show color scheme of Avorio over Nero. The car also features a rare factory hardtop, correct Campagnolo alloy wheels, virtually irreplaceable original sun visors, and a correct tool roll, jack, and spare. The original engine having been damaged warranted a correct replacement. As such, the car was equipped with a correct 320 hp 365 GTS engine built by the Ferrari Classiche workshops in Maranello, and in keeping with the authenticity of the car, all drivetrain components are original aside from the Classiche-sourced engine.
Accompanying the car are an extensive variety of original documents and supplements, with items such as the original owner’s manual in the original leather pouch, followed by an original factory parts/repair manual, a complete original tool roll with all original tools, as well as a jack and accessories, including an original period-correct Ferrari key ring with original keys. More so, the car includes correspondence with Jacques Swaters relating to this car, factory build sheets, and ownership history provided by marque historian Marcel Massini.
Possibly the finest 365 GTS offered today, this very special Ferrari exudes an impressive restoration, exceedingly correct original specifications, and all the best equipment. It is a car for which no excuses need be made—an absolute must for Ferrari collectors worldwide.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo19.