Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Pininfarina
Formerly the Property of Al Garthwaite and Steve Hamilton
The 365 California
By the late 1960s, the fundamentals of the automobile business were such that boutique firms, such as Ferrari and Pininfarina, were forced to turn from exclusive handmade series to volume production. The effort, expense, and talent required to build limited-production models, such as the Superamerica and the Superfast, were monumental and the 365 California Spider was truly the last in a line of elite Pininfarina-bodied Ferrari gran turismos.
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1966, the new Ferrari Spider represented yet another brilliant collaboration between the two Italian houses and captured the very essence of 1960s motoring.
In keeping with a tradition dating back to the 342 America of the early 1950s, the 365 California combined design cues from production Ferrari models with fashionable bespoke details inspired by the latest Pininfarina show cars.
The elegant nose, similar to the 500 Superfast and 330 GTC, incorporated Plexiglas headlamp covers and pop-up driving lights for an exciting variation on a well-established design. The hood featured a central raised section, like the contemporary 275 GTB, and the distinctive triangular side vents were previewed on the one-off Dino Speciale. At the rear, a flat, functional Kamm tail positioned the triple taillight arrangement of the 500 Superfast beneath a unique directional “eyebrow” peaked at the fender line. The chic styling was carried through to the interior, where signature Pininfarina characteristics, like the large circular instrument pods, were combined with striking wood-grain trim.
Writing for Sports Car Graphic, legendary photojournalist Bernard Cahier called the design, “typical, smart, well-balanced Pininfarina.”
Mechanically, the 365 California chassis was the ultimate development of the traditional Ferrari GT, with independent front suspension, live rear axle, five-speed in-unit gearbox, four-wheel disc brakes, and Borrani wire wheels. Up front, the robust 4.4-liter V-12 engine was tuned to deliver smooth, seamless power that made the car a pleasure to drive in town and at high speed. Not until the 365 GTB/4 Daytona did Ferrari offer a more powerful road car.
To many Ferrari enthusiasts, the most remarkable part of the California is its name. The only previous use of the California moniker had been reserved for the lightweight Scaglietti-built 250 GT Spiders of the late 1950s and early 1960s. By comparison, the 365 California Spider seemed to belong more to the “America” series, with its exotic Pininfarina coachwork, luxurious appointments, and large-displacement engine.
In total, just 14 of the $20,000 Spiders were ever built. As the only top-of-the-line model produced exclusively as an open car, the 365 California will always maintain a special place in the lineage of the coachbuilt Ferrari.
Completed on July 27, 1967, 10327 was the penultimate 365 California Spider built and the last of five examples allocated to North American distributor Luigi Chinetti Motors Inc.
Originally finished in maroon with white leather upholstery and a black soft top, this 365 California was nicely appointed with US instruments, airconditioning, power steering, safety belts, and a deluxe Blaupunkt Köln radio. According to the research of Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, 10327 is one of only two examples originally built without the distinctive pop-up headlights.
Originally ordered for a Mr. Plumb, the exclusive Pininfarina Spider was first sold to James Ettinger of the Electric Regulator Corporation in Norwalk, Connecticut. On October 3, 1967, Mr. Ettinger made an agreement with Chinetti Motors that allowed him to trade in his lightly used Jaguar E-Type Roadster and pick up the new Ferrari at the factory, thereby reducing the purchase price from a staggering $21,500 to a more palatable $13,000 balance. Later that month, Mr. Ettinger flew to Italy and stayed at the Palace Hotel in Modena while making final arrangements for the California Spider.
Between November 3rd and 9th, the 365 California made the journey from Livorno to New York aboard the Maria Costa and, upon its arrival, was collected by Chinetti Motors.
In early 1968, less than three months after taking delivery, Mr. Ettinger damaged the left front section of the Ferrari in a road accident. So as to properly repair the coachwork, Chinetti Motors purchased a complete left front fender, bumper, headlight assembly, parking light, front grille, and upper and lower nose panels from Pininfarina’s parts department, Pinincar. Over the next few months, the Ferrari was carefully repaired and returned to Mr. Ettinger in as-delivered condition.
Throughout the next decade, the 365 California remained in Mr. Ettinger’s care. After 1971, it shared the garage with a 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider.
On February 17, 1978, Harley Cluxton III of Scottsdale, Arizona, purchased the 26,000-mile 365 California Spider from Mr. Ettinger through former Chinetti service writer and Amerispec founder Dick Fritz. Over the next year, the Ferrari was freshened by Grand Touring Cars Inc. and, in January 1979, it was sold to Ed Superfon of Santa Monica, California.
That summer, 10327 was pictured in Cavallino magazine, issue number 6, as part of a feature article by Gerald Roush. These same photos later appeared in Antoine Prunet’s popular book, The Ferrari Legend: The Road Cars.
In 1980, after passing through Palm Beach Motorcars, the 365 California was sold to Al Garthwaite of Paoli, Pennsylvania. As the founder of Algar Enterprises, Al Garthwaite was among the most respected and influential Ferrari dealers in the world. There is no question that his enthusiasm for the Italian marque helped the relatively small manufacturer establish a foothold in the allimportant North American marketplace. Over the years, Mr. Garthwaite owned an impressive array of automobiles, from a Bugatti 57C to an Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Spider, and he was an active participant in the early Northeast sports car scene.
Throughout Mr. Gar thwaite’s lengthy ownership (1980–1993) the California was meticulously maintained by Algar Enterprises, Inc. and was registered on Pennsylvania license plates that read “ALGAR 3.” With the exception of its appearance at the 1989 Turner Ferrari Festival in Mitchellville, Maryland, the 365 California was rarely seen in public and accumulated less than 2,000 miles during its time with Mr. Garthwaite.
In February 1993, Mr. Garthwaite sold 10327 to well-known collector Steve Hamilton of Reno, Nevada. In the mid-1990s, Mr. Hamilton commissioned noted restorer Michael Regalia to install pop-up headlamps in the nose section. All receipts and records documenting this process are included with the sale.
By 1997, the 33,000-mile Ferrari had been sold to a private collection in the Seattle area; and, between 2001 and 2002, Alan Taylor performed a sympathetic restoration, refinishing the California in its present color scheme.
In 2005, noted collector Eric Zausner of Berkeley, California, acquired the Ferrari and during his brief ownership entrusted the 365 California to Patrick Ottis for general maintenance and upkeep.
Over the past five years, 10327 has been a fixture in a private collection in Washington state, where it has continued to benefit from minimal use. Consistent with its well-documented service history, this ultra-rare Ferrari displayed less than 40,000 original miles on the odometer at the time of cataloguing and retains its correct matching-numbers engine.
Significantly, this 365 California Spider has never been shown in any major concours and offers its new owner the opportunity to display an unusual, coachbuilt Ferrari that has not been previously exposed to the contemporary concours circuit. Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, Villa d’Este, and the Cavallino Classic are the domain of a Ferrari of this caliber. In addition to its potential as a successful show car, this 365 California would be an exciting choice for high-speed touring, where its ample performance, refined road manners, and modern features would be put to best use.
The rich history of this special Ferrari is suppor ted by an impressive file of documentation, with copies of receipts and correspondences dating back to August 29, 1967. Important and rarely seen documents, including a copy of the original Bill of Sale, are included with the file, as are service records that span Ettinger, Cluxton, Garthwaite, and Hamilton’s ownership.
One of the most rare, exclusive, and expensive automobiles of its day, the 365 California Spider is often the missing piece in an otherwise comprehensive collection of coachbuilt Ferraris. Of the 13 surviving examples, few can claim the outstanding qualities of 10327.
Those with an appreciation for the prestige, glamour, and sophistication embodied by the fashionable Pininfarina-built 365 California Spider should recognize the appearance of this exceptional 1960s Ferrari as an opportunity not to be missed.