'The Golden Car' is a 1966 330GT 2+2 #07979 with a very weird looking (not to say ugly) body by Drogo, commissioned by Italian night club owner Norbert Navarro in 1967/1968.
Navarro’s car is known by a series of names, including the “Golden Car,” both for its paint and for its side logo; the “Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Speciale,” perhaps the car’s most generic name; and the “Navarro Special NART,” for its later association with American Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti. Though the body may differ radically from a stock 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2, under the skin the two cars are virtually identical. Power comes from a 4.0-liter V-12, rated at 300 horsepower and mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Layout was front engine, rear drive, and a live axle was used in the rear instead of a fully independent suspension. Disc brakes were fitted to all four corners.
The body of the 1966 Ferrari 330 GT Navarro Special has generated more than a bit of controversy over the years, with some questioning why Piero Drogo’s shop, Carrozzeria Sports Cars, would even undertake such a project. Drogo died in a 1973 car accident, so his ultimate motivation is lost to history, but it likely comes down to this: As a small coachbuilder, it’s never wise to turn away business. Drogo’s firm had experience creating new bodies for other Ferrari models, the most renowned of which is likely the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT “Breadvan,” which was designed by Bizzarini but built by Drogo.
As for the 330 GT Navarro Special, its over-the-top styling and odd proportions effectively accomplished the mission of making the car stand out from the crowd. Details like the exaggerated rear fins, pronounced front and rear overhangs and broad grille were meant to attract attention, something that the original Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 was not particularly good at.
The Navarro Special’s sheer size caught the eye of U.S. importer Luigi Chinetti, who quickly struck a deal with Navarro to purchase the car. Certain its bulk and unusual lines would capture the imagination of potential U.S. buyers, Chinetti imported the car to America, where it passed through a string of owners in the ensuing decades. At one point its gold paint was changed to red, and the Ferrari reportedly fell into a state of disrepair until acquired by a new owner. Restored to its former glory, Gooding auctioned the car at Pebble Beach in 2014.
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