My Car Quest

September 16, 2019

The Bespoke Ferrari Station Wagon: Forever Wandering The Earth, Will It Ever Find Love?

by Wallace Wyss –

Some new to Ferraris think the FF was the first “station wagon” shape applied to a Ferrari. By the factory, yes, but there’s been others by other coachbuilders. One I recall is back in the Sixties, there was a perfectly good Pininfarina-bodied Ferrari V12 that was cut down and rebodied into a station wagon.

Oh, yeah, I forgot Europeans like to call cars this shape “estate wagons” forgetting that us Yanks, most of us, don’t have estates. But in the Forties we did start driving our wagons to the station to take the train, hence the American name for this boxy caravan. The British also called this style, on some expensive cars anyway, “shooting brakes.” It took me decades to connect “brake” with the use of a wagon hitched to a too rambunctious horse as a way to tame the horse down (“See what we have you drag around if you act up,” etc. etc.)

1965 Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake

1965 Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake – photo by Bonhams

Whenever I see a picture of the Aston Martin shooting brakes I always envision m’Lord getting up, loading his matched set of Purdeys and gun dog into the brake and proceeding hither and yon on his estate in search of grouse. Why a high performance car? Why not? It is not for us commoners to reason why but only to admire the life style.

This car, based on a 330GT, was commissioned by the importer of Ferraris back then, Luigi Chinetti Sr. and Jr., who had ordered it up for an American client named “Desi” who said he wanted something “spacious” and “original.’

Before delivery,it made its debut at the Salon Turin, where it confused the show goers. Nobody ordered a duplicate.

The coachwork was by Alfredo Vignale and was the last car he ever built. According to Octane Magazine, he had bodied over 100 Ferraris. He had sold the firm to DeTomaso and, soon after, in 1969, Vignale died in a car accident.

But the design was by an American, clothes ad and movie poster illustrator Bob Peak, who the younger Chinetti had partnered with in a short-lived venture to create custom bodied Ferraris.

When you look at the design through today’s eyes, you have to admit the front end design is cleaner and more modern than the 330GT which is among the most pedestrian looking of all V12 Ferraris. The side also presents a modern view, although perhaps the roof is too tall. The rear is a bit busy. But one thing that made the design hard to take was its later deep emerald paint job with yellow accents, though I am not sure who we can blame for that. At one time it was a nice metallic brown.

1965 Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake

1965 Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake – photo by Bonhams

The car is a bit of a handful to drive in the city with non-assisted power steering. It has an all steel body which means it weighs at least 250 lbs. more than an aluminum bodied Ferrari (though most of the Pininfarina 330GT was also steel).

The car changed hands many times, at one point in the 1970s sinking to a low of $27,000 when offered by Ed Waterman’s Thoroughbred car dealership in Arlington, Virginia.

Around 1995 it was discovered in the Netherlands by Jean-Claude Paturau a Frenchman, who bought it in rather derelict condition (but still with all its parts) and took it back to France to be restored. He eventually showed it at both the Louis Vuitton concours and at Villa d’Este. The reception to it was so good that he decided, what the hey, he will collect a series of estate wagons, and later added others of the same genre, including three Aston Martins, a Ferrari “Daytona” also bodied by Vignale from a commission by Chinetti and the fabled Lamborghini “400 GT Flying Star II” built by Touring and shown at the Turin Motor Show in 1966. He is in the aircraft business and used the cars for daily commuting.

It sold again, and, at one point , you can find on the internet that it went through a Bonhams auction, and was hammered “sold” at $410,000. Then still later on, it was bought at a Gooding auction, that probably when it was bought by Jay Kay, a musician with Jamiroquai. His actual name is Jason “Jay Kay” Luís Cheetham, and for awhile it joined his other cars in his garage, including a Kermit Green LaFerrari. But he put it up for sale in 2015.

Those who want a Ferrari estate wagon today have an authorized one they can buy in the FF or its successor (Lusso-GTC4) but those aren’t Sixties and that’s what makes this one special, it being done back in the age of innocence, y’might say.

After designing half a dozen cars (some on lowly Ford chassis) Bob Peak eventually went back to full time commercial art, deciding he really wouldn’t make even a small portion of what he made as an artist if he switched over to full time designing cars.

1965 Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake

1965 Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake – photo by Bonhams

But what’s it worth? When trying to attach a value to a one-off car like this, you have to give it major points for being:

1.) The last Vignale-built car when Alfredo was still in command.

2.) The only Ferrari estate wagon existent at that time.

But on the downside, back then and even now, when folks think “Ferrari” they don’t think of wagons.

By the way the French owner particularly detested the phrase “station wagon” for the genre of cars he was collecting.

1965 Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake

1965 Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake – photo by Bonhams

I’d like to feature this car in my next Incredible Barn Finds book but need to know, does anybody out there who collects old Road & Track classified ads remember what was rock bottom on this car?

I have $27,000 listed as the lowest price on the 330GT Register (which is a site listing the history of various 330GTs) but maybe it was offered for even less. A bargain price increases its barn find point score, if there was such a thing! If you have an ad to prove it, contact me and I’ll quote you. Ciao! I can be reached at Photojournalistpro@gmail.com – click here to connect.

By the way the car is now at the dealership of Graeme Hunt Ltd. in the UK. So this is your chance, Ferrari guys with grouses that need hunting….

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss’ Incredible Barn Finds series can be ordered from Enthusiast Books, Hudson, WI.

 

 

Ferrari Logo

Summary
The Bespoke Ferrari Station Wagon: Forever Wandering The Earth, Will It Ever Find Love?
Article Name
The Bespoke Ferrari Station Wagon: Forever Wandering The Earth, Will It Ever Find Love?
Description
The first Ferrari Station Wagon.
Author

Comments

  1. i saw the car in a body shop in London last week! Thought it was a Maserati at first then saw the Ferrari motor, a very interesting car…

  2. Great article! I’d like to contribute another favorite “shooting brake” Ferrari (at least in my opinion) – the 365GTB4 (Daytona) shooting brake, originally commissioned by Luigi Chinetti Jr. https://www.classicdriver.com/en/article/cars/ferrari-daytona-shooting-brake-one-winged-wonder

    This is not a factory build but is still (subjectively) gorgeous to look at. And those rear trunk gullwing doors…

    • Apologies, Mike. I just noticed “my” Chinetti commissioned Daytona is already mentioned in the article!. at least i provided a link to some nice photos…

  3. proper people drive shooting brakes

Speak Your Mind

*