Skip to main content

Super-rare 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider could break auction records

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
When it comes to auctions, three major factors that influence a car’s value tend to be its vintage, its rarity, and its prestige. When you have a car that can bullseye each point, like this 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, it’s guaranteed to demand a high price.

RM Sotheby’s is once again preparing for its Villa Erba sale, held at the eponymous estate that sits on the shores of Lake Como, Italy. It’s a fitting setting to auction off one of the most coveted vintage cars ever sought.

This model was born from an idea put forth by two Ferrari distributors in the U.S. who were convinced a convertible version of the 250 Berlinetta would sell like luxury Italian hotcakes. It did  indeed, and, with a few sporty upgrades and a wheelbase shortening, we end up with the classic we see before us.

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

The beautiful Scaglietti designed convertible packs a 2.9-liter V12 engine that routes its roughly 280 horsepower through a four-speed manual transmission. This classic coach rides on an independent front suspension partnered with a solid rear axle rear which sports leaf springs.

While most of these cars, by design, were destined for American roads, this one was one of the few that stayed in its native homeland. As one of only 16 built with the open headlight design, the car was incredibly rare, ending up in private collections in Rome, Zürich, a few towns in Germany, and ending its journey back home in Maranello, Italy in 2007.

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

Ferrari Classiche then began a complete restoration and certification of the car, displaying it in Ferrari’s in-house museum and even seeing use as the car then-Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo drove during the opening parade lap of the 2010 Ferrari Challenge World Finals in Valencia, Spain.

When it goes to the auction block on May 23rd, it could potentially demand an asking price of over 14 million dollars, and that’s just the opening bid. The last time we heard about a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider being sold, it was when one was discovered amongst the Baillon collection, possibly one of the biggest barn finds in recent history. That unrestored model, which spent countless decades literally buried under bundles of magazines, sold for $18.5 Million. The lovingly restored model which Ferrari saw fit enough for its president to drive, could easily ask for more. We don’t have that kind of scratch to try our hand at picking it up, but we’ll be eager to see just how high the price goes when the bidding closes.

Editors' Recommendations

Ready for Prius on Prius racing? NASCAR could go hybrid in 2022
nascar could go hybrid in 2022 reports and rumors

NASCAR is America's most popular racing series, but it's also one of the most conservative when it comes to technology. But that doesn't mean NASCAR is completely resistant to change. The series could adopt hybrid powertrains in 2022, an official said in an interview with TechCrunch.

"We're pushing to go full hybrid," John Probst, NASCAR's senior vice president for racing development, said. "I don't know where the balance nets out for us long term, but some form of hybrid technology is certainly on our radar ... after 2021."

Read more
The 1,000-mph land speed record is back on with test runs starting this month
bloodhound land speed record back from the dead with plans for 500 mph test lsr

The Bloodhound LSR (short for land speed record) was built to break the 1,000-mph barrier for cars. That would make Bloodhound the fastest wheeled vehicle ever. But the project came to a halt in late 2018 due to a lack of funding. Now under the ownership of British businessman Ian Warhurst, Bloodhound is back from the dead, and ready to resume testing.

Previously known as the Bloodhound SSC (for supersonic car), the car will soon depart from its home base in England to South Africa's Hakskeenpan desert, where the team plans to make its record attempt. For now, though the car will only make a series of test runs, with a maximum speed of 500 mph. The Bloodhound team plans to make 13 runs over a period of about one month, increasing the speed by 50 mph each time.

Read more
Watch this Tesla Model S set a lap record at Laguna Seca Raceway
Tesla Model S red

Tesla Model S Fastest Lap at Laguna Seca

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is chomping at the bit to send a Model S around Germany’s famous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in a bid to break the lap record set recently by the new EV on the block, the Porsche Taycan.

Read more