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.

Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.
Cars

Ford’s born-again Bronco off-roader will soothe your 1990s nostalgia

Ford confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in 2020. We haven't seen the truck yet, but dealers who got a preview of it during a private event say it's a true off-roader aimed directly at the Jeep Wrangler.
Cars

Is this electric car startup the next Tesla, or will it go the way of Coda?

The electric car startup formerly known as EVelozcity has changed its name to Canoo. It also announced a lineup of four cars including a commuter-friendly model and a lifestyle-oriented car. Its first electric vehicles will begin to appear…
Cars

FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: How the wheels that turn change the way you drive

Let's face it, you've likely heard front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive mentioned before in some context or another. But what do these terms mean, especially in terms of performance? We’ve got the answers.
Cars

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.
Cars

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Cars

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.
Cars

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.
Cars

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.
Cars

Formula 1 is putting data in the driver’s seat, and not all racers are happy

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…
Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.