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1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider by Scaglietti

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1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider by Scaglietti
Sold for $8,500,000 After Auction, Including Commission
RM / Sotheby's Auction, Monterey, CA. 2015
Chassis no. 1307GT
Engine no. 1307GT
Gearbox no. 138 DR
240 bhp, 2,953 cc SOHC Colombo V-12 with triple Weber carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension via A-arms, coil springs, and telescopic shocks, rear suspension via live axle, semi-elliptical springs, and hydraulic shocks, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 102.4 in.
•The sexiest Ferrari of them all; a single icon
•The 23rd of 50 LWB California Spiders built
•Formerly owned by Prince Alvise Hercolani, Wolfgang Seidel, and Ed Niles
•Highly desirable and rare factory-installed features, including Superamerica-style front fender vents, an inset air intake on the hood, and velocity stacks
•Possibly the most uniquely designed California Spider built
•Matching numbers throughout; Ferrari Classiche certified
Depress your right foot on the accelerator pedal and the 12-cylinder engine just inches in front of you comes to life. On a winding coastal road, the car reacts with confidence to your every input and is exceedingly direct, but it is also careful to sweep you through every part of the journey. Sporting yet not exhausting. Exciting yet not stressful. This is most certainly the perfect car for long journeys at high speed. Couple that with the feeling of the wind rushing through your hair, a beautiful woman by your side, and your hands on the wheel of one of the most attractive automobiles ever built. Could life be any better?
This is what life is like for the few fortune owners of Ferrari’s California Spider, a car which stands to this day as the most iconic convertible ever built.
Chassis number 1307GT was constructed in early 1959 and began life as the 23rd of 50 LWB California Spiders built by Ferrari. On March 27, 1959, it was sold new directly from the factory to its first owner, Prince Alvise Hercolani of Bologna. Of course, a Ferrari fit for a prince would have some custom features, and this California Spider is no exception.
To begin to describe in detail how sensuous the looks of this particular California Spider is would be wasting time and words, just as trying to explain how Audrey Hepburn is beautiful. The car is fitted with open headlights, which was a configuration seen only on a handful of California Spiders, including the examples that finished 1st overall at the 1959 12 Hours of Sebring (1207GT) and 5th overall and 3rd in class at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans (1451GT). The open headlight configuration provided greater visibility than closed headlamps, as the covers obstructed the light during nighttime driving. According to noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, 1307GT was originally fitted with highly attractive Superamerica-style front fender vents, an inset air intake on the hood, and a hardtop, giving this particular California Spider a very elegant appearance.
The car’s special features were not only skin deep. Under the hood, the car’s 3.0-liter Colombo engine was topped with triple Weber carburetors, which breathed through factory-fitted velocity stacks contained within a cold air box; these are highly desirable performance options that were fitted to only a handful of examples. Inside, the ignition switch and other controls were relocated from the dashboard to on the transmission tunnel below the dashboard and instrument panel, allegedly in an effort to give taller drivers more leg and knee room.
Hercolani owned chassis number 1307GT for just six months before selling it to Wolfgang Seidel, the German racing driver who had competed in a number of events, including a handful of Formula One grand prix, the Mille Miglia, and the 1958 12 Hours of Sebring, where he and American Harry Schell placed 3rd overall and 1st in class in a Porsche 718 RSK. Appropriately, chassis number 1307GT also saw limited use on the race track under Seidel’s ownership, placing 2nd in class at the March 1960 Pferdsfeld airfield race in Germany, where it was driven by Gerd Koch. The car was also seen at the fifth Brussels Grand Prix in 1961, where Seidel was entered to race a Lotus-Climax yet did not start the race.
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Robert Myrick Photography
Kereta - Car
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