Ferrari BB512 Straman targa, one of only two manufactured.
Since the arrival of the Dino 206 GT in 1968, the catalog of the firm of Maranello has always been divided into two families. On the one hand the berlinettas or V8 models (V6 in the case of the first range Dino) and on the other side Gran Turismo or models V12. This has always been so, at least until the arrival of the new GTC4Lusso T this year, and usually all the models of street children have been born originally with the body of the coupé, being the versions open to models or editions very specific.
In fact, in its early years, the variants spyder manufactured in Ferrari would be a rarity, despite the fact that the brand used to have this setup for their racing models. So the figures of production of these have always been very low in comparison with the variants closed, namely the case of the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the spyder represents barely 10 percent of the total production.
so these versions open, normally born as the alternative to a coupe already existing, except for models like the F50 (spyder hard top), have always been in the minority in the range of the Italian manufacturer, to be available in just a few lines of product, and therefore, not for all models or ranges, officially at least.
The Ferrari 400 was one of the models most common in this workshop.
By putting a single example, between 1973 and 2001, Ferrari not sold a single convertible with a V12 engine. That’s almost three decades without having a Large open Tourism, if we have the 550 Barchetta Pininfarina limited edition (448 copies) as a model of the catalog regular. During that time, versions open were only available in the ranges of V6 and V8, first with the Dino 246 GTS, when that happened, versions targa of the 308, 328, 348, F355, and the versions open full of the Mondial, 348, F355 and 360. All of the central engine.
however, a glance at the images of this article we find versions open-air models like the Testarossa, Berlineta Boxer or the 400 and 412 models V12 engine in the front or central. So, one can only ask where did they come from these specimens, never referred to in the catalogue of the brand.
The most obvious answer is that it is transformations carried out ex-post, however, that is not the whole truth. Because despite the fact that the vast majority of these models were the work of external workshops, what is certain is that the brand itself prepared at some time these versions convertibles, which we can call “almost official”.
The Ferrari Testarossa Spyder by Giovanni Agnelli, one of only two prepared by the brand, and Pininfarina.
These were performed well by motives very special, as the open version of the Testarossa colored silver made by way of gift to Giovanni Agnelli, pattern Fiat, and made two copies. Or well, it was orders very special to some customers very selected brand, as the Royal Family of Brunei. For the which made all kinds of transformations over models of signature, such as the 456 GT, in versions shooting brake, sedan, or open.
Although these actually represent a minority, because the greater part of these rare specimens that we can find in the market today, are the work of some dedicated workshops. Firms as well known as Lorinser or Koenig, but among the multitude of workshops that came to practice these transformations, there is one that became a renowned specialist in this area and whose works not only have lost value with time, to be transformations, not officers, but are positively valued by collectors, we talk about Richard Straman.
Richard Straman Coachworks was a workshop located in California, which began to engage precisely to transform these Italian models in convertibles almost by chance, when on one occasion he was commissioned to transform a spyder, a Ferrari 275 GTB/4, due to the scarcity of this version in the market.
The Ferrari BB 512 Straman targa is one of the most rare.
specifically Requested by Luigi Chinetti to own Enzo Ferrari of the open version of the 275 GTB/4 as it was only made 10 copies for the u.s. market, of whom only 9 came really to cross the pond, the tenth was sold in Spain. This shortage was the one that caused a client wanted to transform their 275 GTB/4 of 1967 in the image and likeness of the rare, and today, one of the more expensive models of the history, 275 GTS/4 NART Spyder.
The result was good enough for that will continue for decades his work, although not only focused on the models of the Italian brand, but since then, these were the ones who gave it the name that it possesses today.
After the conversion of the 275 GTB/4 came the copies of the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, which as we have said above, also were in short supply. Later would come the versions targa of the BB 512, there are only a few units and already in the decade of the eighties, the catalog was expanded with models like the Testarossa, are built several dozen, or of the 400 GT 2+2 of the mark that time. The latest models in the treatment of this workshop would be the 456 GT and the 550 Maranello, as above, are models that you never would expect to find in open design.
The quality of work is appreciated even with the roof closed, as in this Ferrari 456 GT
Some of the signs of identity of this workshop californian were a great quality and the habitual compliance of the deadlines. As an example of the importance to detail that Straman gave to all his works, serves as an example that you never use hoods that already exist. That is to say, either a rigid panel for a targa or a convertible top piston type apparel, were always designed ex profeso for each model, without counting with spare parts of other models or elements already existing in the market.
it Is true that models of Straman as the classic NART Spyder or Daytona Spyder are not as valued by collectors as the rare original, but the accomplishments of this workshop Straman are not considered as mere works of transformation, but authentic pieces Straman, more quoted than any other workshops or specialist.