A family blessed 'with a steady stream of amazing Ferraris'
Sure, more modern versions might be more dynamically capable, but they’re bloated behemoths in comparison to the lean 993
For many (including those in the Classic Driver office), the 993 is one of the sweetest spots in the 911’s half-century of existence. It was not only the last air-cooled, last hand-built 911 – but also the last to retain the diminutive footprint with which the model began its life.
Well, the bad news is that the internet is awash with stories on the dusty hoard of American-spec cars, most of which would certainly warrant the description ‘barn-find’... another sure-fire way of generating interest.
The Type 2 Microbus, as it’s now officially known, has been produced in Brazil since September 2, 1957, making it the longest continually produced model in automotive history.
In those 56 years – and despite the more than 1.5 million Kombis produced – it has managed to avoid the growing 'nanny laws' that have seemingly gripped the rest of the western world. But now, perhaps inevitably, the loveable Camper’s time has run out, due to new safety regulations in Brazil itself.
Unlike Canadian RM Auctions or British Bonhams, Santa Monica-based Gooding & Company holds just three sales a year: Scottsdale, Arizona; Amelia Island, Florida and Pebble Beach, California. The latter, of course, is The Big One, and just summarising some of the entries takes up some time.
We are up to it, though, so here’s a quick ‘Classic Driver top pick’ of Gooding’s 17-18 August Pebble Beach sale:
As a berlinetta, Ferrari’s first 275 GTB is now highly prized and considered by many to be superior to the rare, more expensive four-cam. The great Maranello company never made a convertible version, so it took the persuasive powers of its North American distributor Luigi Chinetti to entice Ferrari to produce just ten convertible 275 GTB/4s, forever known as ‘N.A.R.T. Spiders’, N.A.R.T. standing for the North American Racing Team.
In period, as a Shelby entry, it competed at Sebring, the Targa Florio, Spa and the Nürburgring. It was also hillclimbed in late 1964 as, in those days, some rounds were part of the World Championship.
The car, chassis CSX 2301, had been delivered by AC Cars to Shelby American at the beginning of 1964, unpainted as a ‘race car with wide rear wings’. The American team then prepared it to full FIA racing spec with a hot 289 motor and cutback racing doors. A coat of Viking Blue and a maroon identification stripe completed the transformation to factory Shelby racer.
It was delivered in January 1965 to a customer in Italy. As an ‘SC’, it featured not only all-round disc brakes but the most powerful regular production engine fitted to a 356. From the company born in Gmund, in the Central Eastern Alps, it’s no surprise that one of the requirements of its very first model was good performance in the mountains.
So anyone tackling one of the famous passes such as the Grossglockner, with perhaps a hotel stop at the end, will like this little Porsche with its tough four-cylinder engine, and useful storage space with rear seats folded.
The convertible version of Ferrari’s potent 275 GTB/4 Berlinetta was the result of American importer Luigi Chinetti recognising the popularity of open cars in the USA. Just ten were built, all carrying Chinetti’s famous North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) rectangular badge.