The Special left the factory as a normal 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2, a luxury four-seat coupe powered by a 300-hp, 4-liter V-12, wearing graceful if slightly staid Pininfarina bodywork. Three years after its construction, it was bought by one Norbert Navarro, the wealthy owner of an eponymous night club.
There's precious little surviving evidence for why Navarro disliked the 330 GT's original look, and it's not clear how much of the new design was driven by Navarro's own ideas or that of Piero Drogo, a former racer who ran a sports-car building shop and agreed to do the work for him.
Whatever the inspiration, the results were outré even by the standards of a '70s-era Italian disco. Drogo's team lengthened the front and rear, giving the Ferrari an anteater-like front profile and flying buttresses in the rear that ended in weird, squared-off fins. Across the body, Navarro specified a golden paint color that only added to the effect.
Yet after all that effort, Navarro only owned the car a couple of years, before it was bought by Luigi Chinetti, Ferrari's chief U.S. importer, who hauled the Special to America. Chinetti used it as a show car for a few years before the shine fell off for him as well; at some point it was painted red, then fell into disrepair.
After a lengthy restoration, the car has been making public appearances over the past couple of years before joining the lots at Gooding's auction in Pebble Beach.
While many people might demand a payment to park the Navarro in their garages, its gilded singularity will likely make it more attractive to Ferrari collectors. Where a typical 330 GT 2+2 from 1966 might sell for $250,000 to $300,000 today, Gooding expects the Navarro to bring between $400,000 and $600,000.