Auction

Fetching Ferrari 250 GT California Spider Sells For $18 Million

It's one of only eight examples built with an aluminium body.

Some of the most valuable cars to cross the auction block have been Ferraris. Case in point: the last ever LaFerrari Aperta to roll off the production line sold for a cool $9.9 million, making it the most valuable 21st century car to ever sell at auction. And now another prancing horse has sold for an eye-popping price. At RM Sotheby’s recent auction in New York, a fetching 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider sold for a staggering $17.99 million, exceeding initial estimates that it would sell for between $14 and $17 million. But what makes it so valuable?

Firstly, chassis number 1451 GT is the second of only eight examples that were built with an aluminium body. It also placed third in its class and fifth overall at the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hours, just to make it more desirable. Combine its racing heritage with its immaculate condition, and it was inevitable that this prancing horse would sell for big bucks when it went under the hammer. Film buffs may also recognize the Ferrari 250 GT California Spider for its appearance in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, although the car that appeared in the film was a red and non-aluminum example. It’s powered by a 262-hp Tipo 128F engine with high lift camshafts, triple 40 DCL6 carburettors, and a competition-spec fuel tank.

After racing at Le Mans, this Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider was driven by its owner, Bob Grossman, at several US race events including the 1959 Watkins Glen Grand Prix and several races in the Bahamas. Since retiring from competitive racing, the car has received a comprehensive Ferrari Classiche-certified restoration. Its exemplary condition earned it the prize for best in class at Pebble Beach and a platinum award at the Cavallino Classic.

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