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Chichester Auction to Offer Ferrari Formerly Owned by Sir Elton

Written by Chief Editor.

On April 7, the Bonhams Goodwood Members' Meeting will include a special vehicle.

This was once owned by Elton.

The description for Lot 53 reads:

''Unquestionably one of the greatest cars Ferrari has ever built, the 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer debuted at the 1971 Turin Show in prototype form and commenced production in 1973 almost unaltered. An entirely new model and the first road-going Ferrari not to have a vee-configuration engine, the 356 GT4 reflected Ferrari's motor racing heritage; its 4.4-litre, four-cam, 'boxer' engine drew on experience gained from the Maranello firm's World Championship-winning, flat-12 F1 and sports-racing units and developed no less than 360bhp at 7,700rpm. Rumours abounded that the prototype Boxer had run at over 180mph, and even though the production version managed 'only' around 175mph, there can have been few disappointed customers. The mid-located engine gave near-perfect balance and ensured that the Boxer's handling matched its stupendous straight-line speed.

''A combination tubular/monocoque chassis housed the mid-mounted engine/five-speed transaxle package that ingeniously placed the motor above the gearbox and final drive, thus avoiding an overly long wheelbase. The ensemble was clothed in elegant, low-slung Berlinetta coachwork by Pininfarina. The result of extensive wind tunnel testing, Pininfarina's masterpiece was assembled at Modena by Scaglietti and comprised a superstructure mixing aluminium-alloy and steel panels, complemented by matt black-finished glassfibre elements beneath the front and rear overhangs. At the time of its introduction the 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer was the world's fastest and most expensive car. Only 367 were constructed between 1973 and 1976 and it remains one of the most desirable and sought after of all Ferraris.

''The rare example offered here is one of only 58 built in right-hand drive configuration for the UK market. This car was originally ordered in 1973 through H R Owen in London for Elton John (later Sir Elton John). The Ferrari was delivered to him in 1974 with the options of air conditioning and a Voxson radio. At this stage of his illustrious career Elton had just formed his own record label: the Rocket Record Company. The year 1974 would also see him collaborate with John Lennon on various projects, and the two superstars performed on stage together that year at Madison Square Garden, New York.

'' '98 BOX' comes with the official Ferrari Classiche folder and certificate together with a history file that includes MoTs dating back to the first of 1977 and the original factory and dealer invoices. In 2012 this car underwent a major engine-out service at a leading Ferrari specialist, with cam belt replacement, complete engine bay detailing, and works to the suspension, exhaust, and wheels. Having covered only some 9,700 miles from new, this wonderful Berlinetta Boxer has to be one of the very best currently available.''