The Ferrari GTC is without question one of the finest sports cars ever built. Having advanced well ahead of the mid 60s engineering, the simple and clean lines of the 365 GTC eclipsed the larger and heavier 275 GTB. The GTC was no revelation to Ferrari, rather it was a response to the growing interest in the Lamborghini 350 and 400 as well as the rising sales of the Maserati Mistral. Motivations aside, the stunning Pininfarina coachwork featured thin pillar structure, vast glass, and compact dimensions perfectly paired with fully independent suspension, 50/50 weight distribution via rear mounted transaxle, and the robust 320bhp V12 engine. Today, as has been the case for many decades, the GTC continues to be sought after by collectors who enjoy the driving experience and ease of ownership the GTC offers. Even high-end collectors with multiple exotic cars in their stable find themselves more frequently behind the wheel of their GTC, and rightly so, it is a delightfully balanced performance car of exceptional beauty.
This year, the fourth 365 GTC produced by Ferrari is being offered at RM Auctions.
Chassis number 11969 has been housed in several well-known collections, properly restored, and carries an interesting and important sales history, particularly as the Monterey Auctions begin to offer their catalogs for review. Although the car was delivered new painted Azzurro Hyperion (light blue metallic) with black interior, it is currently finished in red with tan leather.
Offered in 1989 for $400k, again in 1990 for $300k, and in 1995 for $109k, the final blow of $89k in 1998 reminds us of the nature of this market. It is important to note that this nine-year period of depreciation was not exclusive to the GTC as many other cars dropped significantly in value. Looking back at $89k today, even a cloudy crystal ball should have been enough for a collector to take a risk in 1998, but only the wise did, patting themselves on the back when many of them sold their GTC five years later and doubled their money.
1989 offered for $400k
Later in 1989 adjusted to $300k
By 1995 the GTC was back on the market at $109k.
Settling at $89,900. In 1998.
In 2012, this car was offered at RM Amelia but hammered as a “no sale” for $375k. Although not offered, by 2016, 11969 might well have been considered fairly priced at $800k. There were examples of similar cars that sold in the $800k range, however, most sales in recent years have been lower. The 2019 RM Auction estimate for this car is $500-600k, which we feel it should comfortably bring.
So what does all this mean as this wonderfully restored example with interesting early build history and sound provenance, becomes available to contemporary collectors seeking a car of this level?
When buying they key three to consider are Provenance, Rarity, and Condition. No matter how the market swings, a car with high marks in these three will always have a dedicated following.
Ferrari is a vibrant brand. Their current marketing and hypercar prices have a tendency to mint new collectors for their vintage cars. Said another way; Excitement in the new has a tendency to prop up the prices of the old.
Buying anything of exceptional value means accepting that purchase motivations are largely emotional and can often be fickle.
Buy what you love. If the market should flow back and forth you will at least have something you enjoy. For anyone seeking a fine sports car with exceptional history and prominent purchase validations, Chassis number 11969 has been in well-known collections and lavished with consummate care. But it clearly illustrates one of the most important mantras of car collecting; buy what you love and love what you buy.