Gooding & Company has added a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider to its Amelia Island Auction on March 11. This highly coveted Ferrari is the 22nd SWB California Spider built and one of only 37 covered-headlight examples produced.
Ferrari’s leading US dealers, Luigi Chinetti and John von Neumann, requested from the factory a dual-purpose sports car that was highly capable on the racetrack, but comfortable for use as a daily driver. In 1960, with the introduction of Ferrari’s new short-wheelbase (SWB) 250 GT Berlinetta chassis, Ferrari thoroughly redesigned the California Spider. The new 250 GT SWB California Spider benefitted from a much more sophisticated chassis, along with standard four-wheel Dunlop disc brakes, a refined suspension setup and new outside-plug engines. The renowned Italian coachbuilder, Scaglietti, redesigned the California Spider’s coachwork around the updated chassis, resulting in a much more aggressive and sporting appearance. Despite being a more refined and well-rounded sports car, the SWB California Spiders were true thoroughbreds, with several examples raced at events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Targa Florio. Between 1960 and 1963, Ferrari built just 56 examples of the SWB variant, with only 37 being covered-headlight versions.
Chassis 2871 GT was purchased new in Milan, Italy by famed Italian industrial designer Gianfranco Frattini in September 1961. While in Frattini’s care, chassis 2871 GT was featured in the Italian film Ieri, Oggi, Domani (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow), which starred Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. Frattini owned the car for 17 years. The Ferrari has been with its current owner for the last 30 years.
The Amelia Island Auction
Date(s): Friday, March 11, 11 a.m.
Location: Racquet Park, Omni Amelia Island Plantation, 6800 First Coast Hwy, Amelia Island, FL 32034
Public preview: March 10-11
Auctions catalogues: $75, includes admission for two to the viewing and the auctions
General admission: $30, includes admission for one to the viewing and the auctions
Live auction broadcast: www.goodingco.com
Bidder Registration: $200 includes a catalog, admission for two to the viewing and auction with two reserved seats, subject to availability.
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