1968 330 GTS

Location: Ferrari Beverly Hills Collezione

Chassis: 10913

Engine Num: 209/66

Engine Type: 4.0L Colombo V-12

Transmission: Five-Speed Manual

Design: Pininfarina

Coachwork: Pininfarina

Color: Argento | Pelle Rossa

Production Run: 100 for the World

Original Mileage: 27,155 Miles

ABOUT THIS CAR

The twentieth of just one hundred 330 GTS models built (according to the chassis number sequence) left the Maranello factory in late January 1968 directed to its first prestigious American owner: William Fisk Harrah of Reno, Nevada, who was the western region Ferrari distributor at the time. But Harrah did not put the car for sale, quite the contrary; he had big plans for this car and decided to keep it in his personal collection.

It is worth recalling that this self-made multi-millionaire and casino magnate amassed the largest car collection in the world, between 1948 and his death in 1978. Over the 30 year period, the collection grew to a height of 1,422 vehicles, which were housed in a pharaonic 13 building complex outside of Reno. The complex housed showrooms, service and restoration shops, offices, a boutique and dining facilities for the 350,000 visitors it attracted every year. The collection was truly eclectic and ranged from Duesenbergs, to Packards, to fire engines, Bugattis and of course many Ferraris.

 

As the Ferrari 330 GTS arrived to Nevada, Harrah decided to entrust it to his mechanics for a special conversion. The car was ultimately destined to his then-wife and famous country singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry. Owing to the fact that Gentry had a preference towards closed-cockpit cars, the couple was inspired by the successful 1967 Porsche Targa and gave life to the “first Ferrari targa”. The conversion was minimally invasive and involved careful custom fabrication. Conveniently, the top bolted to the car’s existing factory top attachment points and was mated to the extended (and fixed) rear window which simply sat on the rear coachwork. The 330 GTS Targa was such a striking car, that it was selected to be on the cover of the December 1969 issue of Road & Track Magazine as the road test car. The factory even sent an emissary to see the car in person and contemplated a production run of 20 330 GTS Targas, but the car was at the end of its lifecycle and it couldn’t be done. However, Harrah’s first targa inspired Ferrari’s and Pininfarina’s to give the Dino 246 GTS a targa top, which was used in many prancing horses all the way to 1999 F355 GTS.

After divorcing from Bobbie Gentry, Harrah decided that the car held too many memories and put it for sale with only 2,500 miles. Numerous people were interested, but Robert Donner Jr., the son of a long-time friend, became the second lucky owner in 1973. While in Donner’s possession in Colorado Springs, the car was an important part of his considerable collection alongside other significant Ferraris, including a 250 PF Cabriolet Series I, a 512M and a 250 GTO (No. 5575G)! Donner took amazing care of this special car, conserving registrations, service receipts, as well as photos and articles of the car. He also accepted to have the car featured in the 119th issue of the Cavallino magazine, which was published in November 2000. Upon his passing in 2010 the car passed to his son David, who then sold it to architect Mark Haddawy of Los Angeles, with just 24,000 original miles on the odometer.

After removing the Targa conversion equipment, Mr. Haddawy had Beckman Metal Works of Costa Mesa, California, return No. 10913 to its convertible configuration in 2015. They then refinished the car, which until then had never been repainted, in the same factory-correct Argento paint. In 2015, Haddawy decided to part-ways with the car and sold it at the Monterey Mecum auction, where the car set the record for a 330 GTS, selling at $3,300,000 with fees. No. 10913 was acquired by the current and fifth owner at the 2016 Gooding & Co. Pebble Beach Auction.

Today, this 330 GTS remains in highly original condition and with just 27,155 documented miles from new. The car has had engine-out resealing operations performed and features a wonderfully original, undisturbed engine bay and, amazingly, the original factory exhaust system. The red upholstery is also beautifully original, and is augmented with a new canvas soft top and fresh, correct-weave carpet. The car runs wonderfully and has impeccable cold starts. Also included with the sale is the mint, original, and very complete book set and leather pouch, along with the jack inside its correct bag, the original spare keys and a binder with relevant documentation (including factory build sheets).

ABOUT THE 330 GTS

The 330 GTS was introduced at the Paris Auto Salon in October 1966. Like the 330 GTC that preceded it, it was a derivation of the 275 series using the 275’s chassis, the 4.0L/300 HP V-12 engine from the 330 GT 2+2 and Pininfarina-designed bodywork combining the front of the 400 Superamerica and the back of the 275 GTS. This compendium of varying elements came together in a harmonious whole that was immediately recognized as one of the best, if not the best, road-going Ferraris of its time, an assessment that persists to this day.

Like the 275 GTB and GTS, the 330 GTS incorporated a rear-mounted transmission integrated with the differential to improve weight distribution. While this required redesigning the 2+2’s engine block to accommodate different mounting points, the basic internals were unchanged. Four-wheel disc brakes were also featured, and buyers could choose between Borrani wire wheels or slotted alloy knock-offs.

FINAL REMARKS

No. 10913 can be considered the most famous 330 GTS thanks to its title of the “first Ferrari Targa” and having been driven by the likes of Bill Harrah and Bobbie Gentry. Also thanks to this provenance, the car has been embraced by its few successive owners and is now completely road ready and in amazing as-original condition. It must be a prime consideration for the demanding Ferrari enthusiast in search of a high-quality example of one of the all-time best convertible V-12 Ferraris.

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Collezione by MAG

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Beverly Hills, CA 90212

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