Friday, February 10, 2017

1966 Ferrari 365 P Tre Posti Berlinetta Speciale

Although Ferrari was the first to win the F1 World Championship in the 60s with a mid-engined car, Enzo Ferrari was hesitant to offer road-going versions of these racers, particularly those powered by the big V12 engines. Sergio Pininfarina did see the potential of road going Ferrari with the trademark V12 mounted behind the driver. Although Ferrari was still not convinced, prominent Ferrari clients Luigi Chinetti and Gianni Agnelli were very interested and Pininfarina set about creating a spectacular new mid-engined Ferrari for the 1966 Paris Auto Show.

Ferrari provided the underpinnings for the new car, which were derived directly from the sports 330 P2 sports cars that raced at Le Mans. While these were powered by the latest twin-cam engines, they were usually re-fitted with a slightly larger, single-cam V12 when sold to customers like Chinetti. It was this 365 P specification that was also used for the new Pininfarina project.

Good for around 380 bhp and mated to a five-speed transaxle, the 4.4 litre V12 was mounted in the latest evolution of the familiar sports car chassis. Top speed is 245 kph / 152.2 mph.

The nose incorporated many familiar Ferrari/Pininfarina cues like the covered headlights and the egg-crate grill. At the rear, the 365 P featured the same buttresses that were found on the 1965 Dino show car. What really set the 365 P apart was its three-seater configuration with the driver placed in the middle, slightly forward of the passengers. This was made possible due to the lack of a transmission tunnel, which gave the car a flat floor. The central driving position also added a real single seater (Formula 1) feel to the car. To get in and out of the car more easily, the driver seat swivelled to the left, away from the gearshift lever. The unusual interior was clearly visible through the enormous glass roof fitted to the car. Finished in white, and dubbed the 'Tre Posti' for obvious reasons, the spectacular new show car made its debut at the 1966 Paris Auto Salon. It was subsequently shown at several more events around the world before being sold to its first owner in the United States through Luigi Chinetti.

A second example quickly followed and featured a slightly different tail with added wings (photos below). This made its debut at the Turin Motor Show and was soon after delivered to Fiat supremo Gianni Agnelli. (

A second example featured a slightly different tail with added wings. 
This made its debut at the 1966 Turin Motor Show and 
was soon after delivered to Fiat supremo Gianni Agnelli. 

(Photos from,,

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