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Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB 1961


Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB 1961

The 250 GT California Spyder was released in 1957 initially in LWB format and was Scaglietti's interpretation of an open-top 250 GT. The cars were comprised of a combination of steel and aluminium body panels, designed by Pininfarina and featured the brand's iconic 3.0L naturally aspirated Columbo V12 engine, as found in the highly successful 250 Tour de France.

In 1960, a SWB version of the 250 GT California was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show. Based on the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB, the wheelbase of the California was reduced from 2,600mm to 2,400mm, bringing with it greater handling capabilities and a more dynamic driving experience. The SWB variant was offered with open or closed headlight variant.

The incredible car we are offering is the 13th of the 55 Short-wheelbase California Spyders.

It was completed on March 3, 1961. It featured covered headlights and velocity stacks and is arguably regarded as the most desirable open road car ever made.

The car was delivered on May 5, 1961 by Garage Francorchamps in Brussels, Belgium to a Mr. Damman, who kept it for only a short time and sold it back to the dealership.  After a short while, it was resold to the famous actor James Coburn. Whilst he was filming "the Great Escape" he went into town with Steve McQueen and they saw the car in the showroom and immediately bought it. He used it there until filming was over and then sent it home to California. He held on to the car until 1986 and finally sold it for health reasons having driven it for over 20 years. The car went to a California dealer to be sold and was purchased the next day by a local gentlemen Mr. Cohen

After entering the car into Pebble Beach in 1992; Mr Cohen sold the car in the New Year to Mr Bruce Lustman of Southport Connecticut.

He and his wife Sandy loved the car very much and enjoyed using and showing her at any opportunity at the varied marque, enthusiast and Concours events held through 1994-2000. They finally sold it through RM auctions in 2008 at the Maranello sale in Italy achieving a world record as the most expensive car ever to be sold at auction ($10,894,000) to the famous Disc Jockey Chris Evans.

The car came to the UK for the first time and immediately won the people's choice at Salon Prive.

It went to Joe Macari Servicing in London for remedial maintenance before heading to The Goodwood Festival of Speed to be displayed outside of Goodwood House; returning in 2009 also.

In 2010, Mr Evans and his wife took the car to Brescia, Italy to take part in that year's Ferrari Tribute to Mille Miglia.

The car went to a private collector later that year and the car was fully restored by Joe Macari Classics over the next 2 years.

Once complete it went to Salon Prive and won its class and also the overall award for 'Most Sensitive Restoration'.

The car has been used sparingly since then and mainly shown at events and kept in a private museum.

The opportunity to acquire a 250 California Spyder rarely comes along, particularly one of this pedigree and with such illustrious provenance. Being one of only 37 covered headlamp examples, it is, unquestionably, one of the most important and sought after cars in the world.

This car is probably the most well-known California Spyder in the world. It is UK registered and comes with Red book certification from Ferrari Classiche.

Between 1957 and 1963, Ferrari built just 106 250 GT California Spyders — 50 of the early LWB version and 56 of the final SWB variant.




  • Model: Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB
  • Year: 1961
  • Coachbuilder: Scaglietti
  • Designer: Pininfarina
  • Production nr.: 56
  • Seller: Joe Macari London
  • Contact: http://joemacari.co.uk
  • Tags: 1961, 250, Ferrari, Macari, spyder

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