Custom Cars: Does Big Money Equal Great Taste?
Sometimes you just don’t question a 12-year-old.
“Hey Dad,” my son said, “have you heard about the 3-seat Ferrari?”
Of course I told him he was wrong and that Ferrari has never built a 3-seater. A Ferrari with a bench seat wouldn’t make any sense—it would be like a pickup without a bed.
Well, the little guy proved me wrong by directing me to an article describing a rare Ferrari 3-seater, which will be up for auction next month at the Pebble Beach Concours. The 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale has earned the nickname of “Tre Posti” for its three front seats.
Then my little guy shocked me again with news of a 4-door Prancing Horse.
European Car has a little more detail about the V12-powered, 380-hp Tre Posti:
The three front seats are only the most obvious innovation in this car, which allowed Pininfarina to play with several new ideas. One glance confirms that the 365P is a stylistic sister to the Dino prototype which debuted a year earlier, but the 365P is larger, as it’s built around the engine and chassis of the 365P2 and 365P2/3 racers. Ferrari developed those powerful race cars for Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (NART) and other non-factory teams. Like the Dino, the 365P has the high rising front fenders and the prominent side air scoops. The convex rear windscreen is another Dino echo, while the roof sports a unique feature: a specially tinted non-heat-transmitting glass.
With the steering wheel in the center and a seat on either side, the Tre Posti is the perfect car for entertaining your two BFFs for an evening of theater and ice cream, because I’m sure that was the original intent.
And that 4-door Ferrari?
We have to go back to 1996 and check out the 456 GT Venice. Only seven of the station wagons were built, all of them as a custom order for a client who wanted the performance of a Ferrari but the utility of a shooting brake. The result is a beast that looks like a Ferrari from the front, but morphs into a 2004 Lexus RX 330 in the back.
The existence of these two cars proves two things:
- Having money means you can have whatever car you want, even if it doesn’t currently exist.
- Doubting a 12-year-old’s car knowledge will usually end up making you look like a doofus.
If you had the money, would you have a custom car built?