The Cart and the Horse

08 December 2022

Enzo’s creed was, ‘The Horse has to pull the cart, not push it.

So when the idea of a rear-engined motor car was mooted, Enzo Ferrari was not enthralled with the concept.

That is, until Sergio Pininfarina, the master of Italian style and Luigi Chinetti, the Italian race car driver, presented the concept of the Ferrari 365P Berlinetta Speciale Tre Posti.

Enzo lived a modest, frugal life. Despite showing disdain for the engine behind the driver theory, he became more interested when he was assured the new abstraction would not cost the company a lira, as Chinetti would pick up the bulk of the tab.

Ferrari finally launched the one-off car at the 1967 LA Motor Show.

Some people think McLaren pioneered the three-seat centre steering with their F1 Supercar in 1992; however, 27 years earlier, Ferrari debuted their one-off 365P Berlinetta Speciale Tre Posti. It was fitted with a central steering wheel and a middle seat slightly forward with marginal rotation to ease driver access.

The Tre Posti is an artefact that takes its place as a symbol of mid-century Italian design; The nickname comes from the car’s three-abreast seating with the steering wheel in the middle.

The car used a leftover V-12 4.4-litre mid-engine matched to a competition chassis.

However, Gianni Agnelli spotted the ‘only’ Ferrari 365P at the Paris Motor Show and asked, no, commanded Ferrari should build a sister for him.

And so it was. There are two ‘one-offs.’