The Italians ride into town

Riley Riley

Like something out of a spaghetti western, three of Italy’s big guns ride into town for Shannons next auction later this month.

The fastest gun in the west is a factory, right-hand drive 1972 Ferrari 246 GT Dino Coupe, offered by its long-term female owner.

Riding sidekick is a 1984 De Tomaso Pantera GT5 Coupe with a 1974 Maserati Merak Coupe in the shotgun position.

Often described as one of Pininfarina’s most beautiful designs, the Dino evolved from a series of racing prototypes powered by V6 engines in the 1950s.

It was named as a tribute to Enzo Ferrari’s son, who proposed this layout as an alternative to the existing V12s before his death from illness in 1956.

The Dino being offered for sale is one of just 235 thought to have been delivered to the British market in the early 1970s.

It is believed to have arrived in Australia by the early 1990s, before it passed into the hands of its current owner 20 years ago.

Although the Dino was originally painted metallic blue, the Dino was stripped back to bare metal and repainted in classic Rosso Corsa red.

Its original beige leather interior was also changed to black leather.

Why? Well, because a Ferrari just has to be red.

The car has been maintained by a Sydney Ferrari specialist and comes with a bucket load of receipts.

For those intersted in the car as an investment, Shannons say the value could be increased if it was returned to its original paint scheme.

As it is, this one is expected to go for more than half a million dollars.

Also Italian and racing red, but ultra-rare, is an Australian-delivered 1984 De Tomaso Pantera GT5 Coupe, that is expected to sell for a relatively affordable $240,000 – $280,000.

Styled by Ghia’s Tom Tjaarda and engineered by Giampaolo Dallara, Alejandro de Tomaso’s Pantera (Panther in Italian) arrived in 1971 as a successor to the under-developed Mangusta.

Powered by a Cleveland 351 V8, it evolved into one of the world’s best-selling supercars.

With a production life spanning 19 years, the Pantera stayed true to its original concept — a Latin exotic powered by a powerful and reliable American engine.

As a result, it’s become a practical and appreciating classic.

The GT5 being auctioned was originally owned by De Tomaso Australia, but has been in the hands of its current Sydney enthusiast owner for the past two years.

He has spent approximately $60,000 bringing the car up to its current cosmetic and mechanical condition.

Recent work has seen the car professionally repainted in its original Rosso De Tomaso red, while its black leather cockpit and optional Recaro seats, appear to be original — with a fabulous patina.

Mechanical upgrades include an upgraded 351 V8, including the fitting of quad Webers and electric power steering.

The latter transforms the car’s useability in modern traffic, despite its massive, dyno-tested 700Nm of torque.

All the Pantera’s original mechanical components are included, which Shannons expect to create international interest.

The car is expected to sell in the $240,000-$280,000 range because of its rarity, collectability and exceptional condition.

The last member of the Italian trio is a 1974 Maserati Merak Coupe.

Sharing its basic architecture and floorplan with the V8-powered Bora, the mid-engined Merak is powered by a jointly-developed Maserati-Citroen 3.0 litre V6.

It was similarly penned by the Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Ital Design studio in Turin.

The factory right-hand drive Merak spent many years in the hands of its previous owner, a founding member of the Maserati Club and was maintained to a high standard during his tenure.

The Merak was repainted an attractive metallic burgundy at some stage, which is showing very few blemishes.

The cream leather upholstery has a lovely patina found only on well-kept and regularly exercised cars.

The car has been in the hands of its current owner since 2015 who has continued to improve the Maserati mechanically.

The result is a well-sorted example of Maserati’s mid-engine V6 supercar and a fabulous driver.

It’s being offered for sale with ‘no reserve’ and is expected to sell in the $65,000-$75,000 range.

The Shannons Classic auction is being held in conjunction with the Hot Rod & Custom Auto Expo at Sydney’s Rosehill Racecourse on Sunday, May 27.

CHECKOUT: Ferruccio just wanted his Ferrari fixed

CHECKOUT: Half a million bucks for number plate!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *