Ο οίκος RM Auctions στο φετινό Pebble Beach, εκτός από την Aston Martin DB3S του 1955, θα βγάλει στο σφυρί μια Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder 1962. μια Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, όσο και μια σπάνια Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion . Η Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder του 1962 είναι αυτή με το κοντό μεταξόνιο και μια από τις 37 που έβγαλε ποτέ η Ferrari. Είναι βαμμένη στο Rosso Corsa κόκκινο χρώμα και στο εσωτερικό φορά μαύρες δερμάτινες επενδύσεις. Κάτω από το καπό της υπάρχει ένας V12 3,0-λίτρος κινητήρας με τον οίκο να αναμένει να πουληθεί έναντι 7,5 με 9 εκατ. δολαρίων.
Η Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion (Street version), είναι μια από τις 20 που κατασκεύασε η Porsche. Αποτελεί την έκδοση δρόμου της αγωνιστική 911 GT1, η οποία κατασκευάστηκε από τους Γερμανούς το 1996 ώστε να συμμετάσχει στην GT1 κατηγορία της FIA, καθώς και στον 24-ωρο αγώνα του Le Mans. Το ομολογκαρισμένο αυτοκίνητο στην ουσία πρόκειται για ένα αγωνιστικό αυτοκίνητο το οποίο έχει δεχτεί τις απαραίτητες αλλαγές έτσι ώστε να πάρει άδεια να κινείται σε δημόσιους δρόμους, όπως ψηλότερη απόσταση από το έδαφος, ατσάλινα φρένα και όχι carbon-κεραμικά του πρωτότυπου. Στο εσωτερικό τοποθετήθηκε μοκέτα, σπορ καθίσματα και ένα πλήρες ταμπλό.
Για να πληρεί τους Ευρωπαϊκούς νόμους σε ότι αφορά της εκπομπές CO2, η Porsche έκανε τον 3,2-λίτρων κινητήρα να αποδίδει “μόλις” 544 άλογα. Ζυγίζει 1.149 κιλά και τα 0-100 χλμ/ώρα τα κάνει σε 3,9 δευτερόλεπτα με τελική ταχύτητα 307 χλμ/ώρα.
Το συγκεκριμένο αυτοκίνητο έχει κατασκευαστεί τον Ιανουάριο του 1988, έχει αριθμό σασί WP0ZZZ99ZWS396005, είναι το μόνο που έχει πάει στην απέναντι μεριά του Ατλαντικού και έχει διανύσει μόλις 7.180 χλμ. Ο οίκος πιστεύει ότι θα πουληθεί έναντι 1.25 έως 1.4 εκατ. δολαρίων.
Τέλος η Mercedes CLK-GTR, είναι ίσως το καλύτερο αγωνιστικό αυτοκίνητο που φόρεσε το αστέρι της Mercedes. H Mercedes-Benz την παρουσίασε για πρώτη φορά το 1996. Δημιούργημα της Mercedes-AMG, η CLK-GTR αρχικά είχε σχεδιαστεί ως αγωνιστικό αυτοκίνητο για το πρωτάθλημα GT του 1997 της FIA. Για να ομολογκαριστεί όμως, η Mercedes έπρεπε να βγάλει στη παραγωγή 25 αυτοκίνητα τα οποία θα μπορούσαν να κινηθούν σε δημόσιο δρόμο, όπως και έκανε. Τότε είχε τιμή 1.120.000 ευρώ, καθιστώντας το, το ακριβότερο αυτοκίνητο του κόσμου.
Η Mercedes CLK-GTR μπήκε στο πρωτάθλημα και τέθηκε απέναντι από άλλα αγωνιστικά αυτοκίνητα θρύλους, όπως η Porsche 911 GT1 και η McLaren F1 GTR, κατακτώντας δύο φορές το πρωτάθλημα, το 1997 και το 1998.
Τελικά η Mercedes κατασκεύασε 35 CLK-AMG αυτοκίνητα. Τα 2 από αυτά ήταν πρωτότυπα, τα 7 χρησιμοποιήθηκαν για αγωνιστικούς σκοπούς ενώ τα 26 πουλήθηκαν σε πελάτες, με τα 20 να ήταν coupe και τα 6 roadster. Η έκδοση δρόμου φορούσε τον V12 6.0-λίτρων κινητήρα απόδοσης 600 ίππων με 775 Nm ροπής. Τα 0-100 χλμ/ώρα τα κάνει σε 3.2 δευτ. με τελική ταχύτητα 320 χλμ/ώρα.
Το συγκεκριμένο που βλέπεις, είναι ακόμα πιο σπάνιο από τα “απλά” CLK-GTR. Είναι ένα από τα μόλις 2 από τα 26 αυτοκίνητα δρόμου, που μετατράπηκαν σε CLK-GTR Super Sport, την δυνατή έκδοση η οποία φορούσε τον 7.3 λίτρων V12 κινητήρα προερχόμενο από την SL73 AMG. Ο κινητήρας αυτός απέδιδε 720 άλογα και τα 0-100 χλμ/ώρα τα έκανε σε 3δευτ. και είναι ο ίδιος που χρησιμοποιεί η Pagani στο Zonda. Έχει διανύσει μόλις 2.148 χλμ και ο οίκος πιστεύει ότι θα πουληθεί έναντι 1.25 έως 1.5 εκατ. δολάρια. Περισσότερες λεπτομέρειες και για τα τρία αυτοκίνητα, μπορείς να βρεις στο δελτίο τύπου που ακολουθεί.
Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder 1962
Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion
Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
[Πηγή: RM Auctions | Photos Copyright: Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions, Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions]
1998 Porsche 911 GT1 ‘Strassenversion’ (Street Version)
Estimate: $1,250,000-$1,400,000 US 544 bhp 3,163 cc twin-turbocharged dual overhead cam horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine with sequential multipoint fuel injection, six-speed manual rear- transaxle, four-wheel independent double wishbone suspension with coil springs and anti-roll bar, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 98.4″
• One of approximately 25 examples produced • The only example known to be imported into the United States • Homologated roadgoing street version of the 1997 911 GT1 Evolution Race Car • A pristine, low mileage example
As much as it was a benchmark moment for the English company, McLaren’s dominant performance at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans may have actually had a greater long-term impact on Porsche, for it was only after the lauded McLaren F1 GTR finished in three of the top four positions, including First Overall and 1-2-3 in class, that Porsche felt the need to fully reinvest its energies into sports car competition. For the previous few years, with GT car racing once again returning to Le Mans, Porsche had submitted factory 962 prototypes to the Dauer racing team for competition, though Zuffenhausen retained control of the cars’ technical development and supplied the drivers. Despite the veiled corporate effort, these so-called Dauer 962 GT examples performed quite admirably, even claiming a Le Mans victory in 1994. But the thirteen-year-old 962 platform was clearly outclassed a year later at the Sarthe race when faced with the prodigious McLaren.
Six weeks after the 1995 loss, seemingly affronted by the defeat, Porsche management declared its intent to jumpstart its factory-based GT racing program with the development of a brand new car that could squarely match the McLaren F1. Renowned Porsche Engineer Norbert Singer was tasked with building the new machine, with a mandate to retain basic 911 characteristics. In the interest of avoiding the prolonged process of crash testing that an all-new platform would require, Singer started with the front end of the 993-based 911 and essentially grafted it to the rear-end of a 962, constructing a new tubular frame designed for mid/rear engine placement and a rear transaxle. Into this frame, Singer dropped a twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter water-cooled flat-six engine capable of developing 600 hp. A futuristic 911-inspired carbon fiber shell finished the exterior packaging.
The resulting first-generation 911 GT1 race car debuted at the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans to great effect, with the two works cars finishing Second and Third Overall and First and Second in Class. Following the 1996 season, the FIA recognized that GT racing was alive and well, and thus, acquired the upstart BPR Global Endurance Challenge, renaming it the FIA World GT Championship. Eligible for the series merely by having customer car orders in hand, with physical homologation yet to take place, Porsche further prepared the GT1 for the 1997 season with aerodynamic tweaks to the bodywork and a revision of the suspension. Now referred to as the 911 GT1 Evolution (Evo), the modified racer featured the headlights that would define the 996-platform 911 and faced a daunting new competitor in the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR. While victory eluded the GT1 Evo at the 1997 Le Mans, one more season of development, which notably included the incorporation of a weight-reducing carbon fiber chassis, culminated in a blistering showing at Sarthe in 1998, with the redesigned 911 GT1-98 taking a commanding one-two finish over teams by McLaren, Toyota, and Panoz.
As 911 GT1 Evo development continued during the 1997 season, Porsche began in October to build in earnest a short run of homologated customer cars, originally intended not to exceed 30 examples. These so-called street versions, or Straßenversion, featured some minimal modifications from the Evo race car, including a higher ride position for improved ground clearance, a slightly softer suspension, more practical roadgoing gear ratios, and a milder state of tune for the engine. The most obvious difference lay in the interior, which featured upholstered sport seats and carpeting and a trimmed dashboard borrowed from the 993-platform 911.
Taking delivery by early-1998, the Strassenversion GT1 was capable of 194 mph and 3.6-second 0–60 mph sprints and retailed for $912,000. Contemporary journalists noted the model’s dialed-in performance at speed, with Automobile Magazine’s reviewer relishing, “The 911 GT1 is a racing car tuned for road use, not vice versa.” Far rarer than the McLaren F1 that originally inspired it, the Porsche GT1 Straßenversion was ultimately built in a sparing quantity of only roughly 25 examples, and the superlative performer occupies a unique historic link in Porsche’s supercar lineage, sitting between two of the marque’s greatest road cars: the 959 and the Carrera GT.
This outstanding 911 GT1 Straßenversion finished assembly in January 1998 and was soon delivered to its initial buyer, a Porsche customer based in Germany, who likely used it at some of Germany’s great tracks. In 2003, it was acquired by Don Wallace, an unabashed collector of modern supercars whose fortune was built from founding Lazy Days RV, a leading superstore of recreational vehicles based in Florida. It is believed that Mr. Wallace imported this GT1 to the United States and registered it under EPA and DOT “Show and Display” restrictions, and that the car is the only such GT1 Straßenversion to legally enter the U.S. and receive the unusual exemption.
In Mr. Wallace’s climate-controlled facility, this Porsche enjoyed the equally dignified company of his other supercars, including a Bugatti Veyron, McLaren F1, Mercedes-Benz SLR-McLaren, and a Ford GTX1, among many others. Mr. Wallace exhibited the 911 GT1 with his other cars at the Festivals of Speed in St. Petersburg, Florida for several years and likely experienced some track time in the car, as well. When acquired by current ownership more recently, this Porsche still displayed under 7,100 kilometers and was soon treated to a few bouts of minor maintenance, as demonstrated by accompanying service orders. In September 2010, the factory alarm system was disabled, while in the following May, the valve cover gaskets, o-rings, radiator fans, and low-speed fan resistors were replaced. The car has experienced very sparing use during the consignor’s recent period of care, with the odometer now displaying approximately only 7,180 kilometers.
Combining minimal use and select care by very few fastidious collectors, and accompanied by its original manuals and tool kit, this Porsche 911 GT1 Straßenversion is a pristine example of one of the most fabulous street cars every manufactured. It is an extremely rare version of the direct predecessor to the Le Mans-winning 911 GT1-98, one that will doubtlessly constitute a singular and unique presence at any event it attends. Beautifully suited for the highest level of concours d’elegance, supercar exhibitions, PCA events, or racing tributes, this arresting Straßenversion beacons serious sports car collectors and Porsche connoisseurs to bask in its brilliant design or to indulge in its rapturous performance.
Lot 140 – 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Estimate: $1,250,000-$1,500,000 US 720 bhp, 7.3-liter dual overhead cam naturally aspirated V-12 engine, six-speed sequential manual gearbox with paddle-shift operation, double wishbone with push-rod, actuated coil spring with shock absorber front and rear suspension, and four-wheel vented carbon fiber disc brakes with anti-lock braking system. Wheelbase: 105.1″
• The first of only 25 built • Major performance upgrades by AMG partner H.W.A. to the most desirable “SuperSport” 720 bhp, 7.3-liter V-12 specification • Only 1,335 miles from new • Numerous extras, including luggage
AMG Motorenbau und Entwicklungsgesellschaft was founded by former Mercedes engineers, Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, in the late-1960s, near Stuttgart. The company’s acronym was derived from Mr. Aufrecht and Mr. Melcher’s names, as well as the town of Grossaspach, where they were headquartered.
After earning considerable respect tuning and racing Mercedes’ durable engines, most notably in the European Touring Car Championship, AMG became an official corporate partner. Heretofore, the relationship between the two had been rather informal, with AMG supplying aftermarket cosmetic and performance upgrades for more discerning, performance-oriented drivers.
For the 1988 DTM season, however, the new Mercedes-Benz AMG team unveiled the sensational W201 touring race cars. The importance of AMG to Mercedes consequently increased, resulting in the acquisition of the tuning shop by the three-pointed star and the production of a limited number of AMG 190E 3.2 road cars. At $90,000, the diminutive sedans carried an S-Class price tag and were capable of Autobahn-worthy speeds in excess of 250 km/h. This project evolved into the highly successful C-Class DTM cars that earned an impressive 84 wins in the 1990s. Such was the fabled start of AMG’s entrance into production sports car manufacturing.
FIA GT and the CLK GTR
By the mid- to late-1990s, however, there was ever-growing interest from Mercedes-Benz and Porsche to return to an ultra-exclusive form of racing, featuring homologated race cars in the tradition of the great Gran Turismo racers of yesteryear. The result was the FIA GT Championship, which commenced in 1997 to great fanfare and eager enthusiasm. Mercedes-Benz AMG would have to enter the top-level GT1 class and compete head-on with the astounding Porsche 911 GT1 and BMW-powered McLaren F1. In this sense, the upper echelon of FIA GT racing was essentially a battle between Germany’s top three automotive competitors. In order to participate in FIA GT, however, 25 homologated road cars had to be produced by each manufacturer. Not surprisingly, these limited production cars were instantly collectible and highly sought-after.
The task was a monumental one; AMG had only four months to design, build, and test a viable and competitive race car and its road-going brother, with the intent of winning and doing so repeatedly. As there is no replacement for simple pencil and paper, the original designs were crafted as such and then perfected through the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) before being translated into 1/5 scale three-dimensional clay models. Early in 1997, the proposed engine for the CLK GTR, a 6.9-liter V-12, was already undergoing rigorous testing from AMG’s expert engineers.
By March of the same year, the other two components of AMG’s three-pronged racing campaign were in full swing: the American CART series kicked off in Homestead, Florida and the new McLaren-Mercedes MP412 made its debut at the Formula One Grand Prix of Melbourne, where its victory marked the first win of a Silver Arrow since 1955.
AMG, however, saved the best for last, as its mechanics worked round the clock on their most impressive product to date. Finally, only 128 days after the first sketches were conceived on paper, the very first CLK GTR took to the track in Spain.
Mercedes veteran Bern Schneider, along with AMG’s young gun, Alexander Wurz, tested the car with extremely successful results. Norbert Haug immediately called Hans-Werner Aufrecht from the pits at the Brazilian Grand Prix to see how testing was proceeding in Spain. Mr. Aufrecht, grinning, understated the car’s performance and said, “Er fährt…sieht gut aus” (It runs…and looks good). Needless to say, the project was green lighted by Mercedes’ board of directors. AMG had declared all-out war that the likes of which the motorsport world had never seen.
The CLK GTR did more than just run. After only four months, AMG had produced two race-ready CLKs and one homologated road version, with 300 prospective buyers eagerly waiting in line. This first CLK GTR for the streets was presented to FIA Head of Constructors Gabriel Katringer on Monday, April 1, 1997, only six days before its race-ready brethren would make their debut at Germany’s home track, the Hockenheimring. Bernd Schneider not only picked up fastest lap honors but also pole position in the CLK GTR’s maiden voyage. After a slightly staggered start to the season, the new AMG supercars reigned victorious at the A-1 Ring, Suzuka, Donington, Sebring, and Laguna Seca, taking the team championship back home to Affalterbach, while Schneider secured the Driver’s Championship.
For 1998, however, the CLK GTR saw rather limited use, as the 630 horsepower behemoth was being fazed out by its descendent, the CLK LM, which was conceived with victory with the 24 Hours of Le Mans in mind. Race regulations and conditions at Le Mans required that Mercedes’ entry receive certain upgrades in preparation for the world’s most famous endurance race. Unfortunately, the race-proven M120 V-12 was replaced by another naturally aspirated engine, the M119 V-8. Surprisingly, the V-8 produced equal amounts of horsepower and was believed to be better suited for long-distance racing. Additional aerodynamic modifications were made in the way of a lowered roofline and nose and redesigned air intakes. Ironically, the two CLK LMs retired early in the race due to engine failure.
AMG returned to the FIA GT series unfazed, however, scoring six 1-2 finishes and securing the team championship, as well as driver’s championship for Ricardo Zonta and seasoned Mercedes racing driver Klaus Ludwig. In 1999, the FIA GT1 class was cancelled due to lack of interest from Mercedes’ competitors. As a result, Mercedes set about designing and building its CLR, a car that owed much of its design to the CLK GTR but was unrestricted by homologation requirements. Its debut at Le Mans would prove equally dramatic as Mark Webber’s #4 car became airborne due to a rise in elevation on the Mulsanne straight.
McLaren’s entrance into the FIA GT1 class required that its already outstanding McLaren F1 road car be outfitted in racing trim. By contrast, the AMG solution to homologation was quite the opposite. Instead of building a race car from an existing sports car, AMG set about creating an all new GT1 contender whose homologated variants were essentially nothing more than road going race cars.
As per FIA regulations, Mercedes ensured construction of 25 of these legendary machines, typically painted the historical German racing color: silver. AMG produced every car in Affalterbach, Germany with minimal additional creature comforts, ensuring that each owner was delivered the next best thing to the race-proven CLK GTRs. Up front, next to the inboard suspension and radiator system, rested an air conditioning unit, while an Antilock Braking System was added for additional safety. The obvious lack of trunk space was slightly alleviated with two small storage compartments under each upward swinging door, while interior comfort was improved with leather appointments. Although no major aerodynamic changes were made, the car’s rear wing was sculpted to fit the body more smoothly, and the front air dam was also redesigned. Unlike the McLaren F1, the CLK GTR behaved like a bona fide race car on the street. Gear changes were lightning-quick, thanks to a paddle-operated six-speed sequential manual gearbox lifted directly from the GT1 cars. The mid-mounted 6.9-liter V-12 rested directly behind the driver, producing an utterly raw and menacing exhaust note. With the exception of four round headlamps and distinctive taillights, the CLK GTR shared little with its concurrently introduced passenger car, the Mercedes-Benz CLK.
This particular CLK GTR is arguably one of the two most desirable examples. Of the 25 road-going CLK GTRs produced, two were built and heavily modified by AMG’s sister company, H.W.A. GmbH, so named for its president and AMG co-founder, Hans-Werner Aufrecht. H.W.A. did the unthinkable, by replacing the CLK’s already potent 6.9-liter V-12 with Mercedes’ newer and more powerful 7.3-liter V-12 engine, producing a blistering 720 horsepower.
This specific car is number 1 of 25, as evidenced by its commemorative plaque. It received SuperSport badging from H.W.A., indicative of its status as the most exclusive and powerful CLK GTR ever built. This is the only car of its kind fitted with a non-retrofitted factory power kit, delivered by AMG. With only 1,335 accident-free original miles, car #1 is an absolutely outstanding example. It remains in immaculate condition, as it has been properly maintained and tuned since its original construction.
In addition to this specific SuperSport, the other H.W.A. example, #17, was originally painted red with a tan interior. It was later repainted silver. Five other roadster variants were also produced but did not receive the 100 horsepower upgrades.
Also of note, this CLK GTR is offered with numerous additional items, including two pieces of luggage, a first aid kit, a Mercedes-Benz tire pump, battery charger, and spare tire inflator. Several of these pieces are also marked “1 of 25,” further confirming this car’s production number. Additionally, the car comes with a spare exhaust manifold and two smaller pouches containing everything from flares to white gloves.
As presented, the CLK GTR SuperSport is the closest a road-going car will ever come to its race-ready sibling. Its performance figures are downright mind-blowing; surely even Steve McQueen would have pulled over on the Mulsanne straight. Considering its status as one of the rarest German sports racing cars ever produced, it holds true to the valued traditions of homologated GT racing and, in spite of its 21st century technology, has solidified its place in history as a classic among classics.
Lot 240A – 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder
Estimate: $7,500,000-$9,000,000 US 280 bhp, 2,953 cc single overhead camshaft V-12 engine, three Weber carburetors, four-speed gearbox, independent front suspension via A-arms, coil springs, and telescopic shock absorbers, live rear axle with semi-elliptical springs and telescopic shock absorbers, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,400 mm (94.5?)
• One of only 37 covered headlight examples built • Unquestionably one of the most attractive and desirable Ferraris in existence • Matching numbers and Ferrari Classiche certified • Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance class winner
Without a doubt, the 250 GT SWB California Spyder is one of the most beautiful cars ever to pass through Ferrari’s fabled gates on Via Abetone Inferiore. With its stunning bodywork designed by Pininfarina and masterfully executed by Scaglietti, the car was a collaboration of the very best.
As with all other road cars, the California Spyder’s design was based on the experience gained from the Scuderia’s sports and Grand Prix racing efforts. Convertibles, in particular, were readily marketable to a select clientele in Europe and were especially attractive to the burgeoning market in North America, served by Luigi Chinetti and John von Neumann. To respond to this market, Ferrari created two legendary series of road cars: the cabriolets and the spyders.
The 250 GT Pininfarina Series II Cabriolets were based upon one of Ferrari’s earliest volumes of series-built production cars, the 250 GT Pininfarina Coupes, and like the PF Coupe, they were nicely trimmed and fitted for everyday use and long trips. Combining the exciting performance of Ferrari’s race-proven 3.0-litre V-12 engine with the excellent handling and supple ride of the 2,600 mm wheelbase chassis, the Series II 250 GT PF Cabriolet had a well-earned and highly justified reputation as a superb, elegant, and understated touring car with quality interior appointments, soundproofing, and classic Ferrari styling.
On the other hand, there was the California Spyder. Also designed by Pininfarina, it was based upon the 250 GT Tour de France, Ferrari’s dual-purpose berlinetta, and it shared its character: lighter, more responsive, and faster, with characteristics closer to those of a racing car than its more luxurious stable mates. The California Spyder, first offered on a 2,600 mm wheelbase, was developed for a group of performance-oriented drivers who wanted both the pace of the berlinettas and the open-air feel of a convertible.
In 1959, Ferrari introduced a short wheelbase 250 GT Berlinetta that offered quicker, more responsive handling, followed a year later by its California Spyder variant, introduced at Geneva in 1960. While the SWB Berlinetta got a newly designed body, the SWB California Spyder continued with its LWB sibling’s coachwork, with its styling drawn and executed more tautly and sharply over the shorter wheelbase. True dual-purpose automobiles, they were at home on the streets of Beverly Hills and the open roads and racing circuits of Europe and North America, epitomizing both style and prestige. Many of Ferrari’s clients were wealthy, famous, and titled patrons. In Hollywood, a number of leading actors owned Ferraris, including such famed actors as Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, and James Coburn.
Apart from the French Riviera and Hollywood, however, the California Spyders were also mainstays on racetracks around the world, as privateer teams and customers soon saw the competition potential of these open top Ferraris. American driver Richie Ginther co-drove with Howard Hively in a LWB version to win the GT Class at the 1959 12 Hours of Sebring. The most remarkable competition success, however, was undoubtedly N.A.R.T.’s 5th overall at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. Beaten only by two Aston Martin sports racing cars and two Ferrari competition coupes, the N.A.R.T.-entered Ferrari California Spyder of Bob Grossman and Fernand Tavano covered 3964.491 km at an average speed of 165.187 km/h, including pit stops.
All told, Ferrari produced a total of just 106 California Spyders, 56 of them on the short wheelbase chassis. Of those 56, only about 37 were delivered in the most desirable of all configurations: the very attractive covered-headlamp variant. The stunning SWB 250 GT California Spyder on offer, chassis no. 3119 GT, is one such example. It was sold new in March 1962, through official importer Jacques Swaters’ Garage Francorchamps SA, of Brussels, Belgium. The first owner was Fredy Damman. Enthusiasts will recall Damman purchased another SWB California Spyder, chassis no. 2377 GT, through Swaters, which was then purchased in 1964 by James Coburn and sold in 2008 at RM Auctions’ Ferrari Leggenda e Passione auction event.
Like the ex-Coburn car, 3119 GT also found its way to the United States, and by March 1970, it was owned by Philipp Cole, of California. Walt McCune showed the car at the Newport Beach Concours d’Elegance in October 1989 before it was restored in the 1990s at Luigi Menerella’s shop. McCune and Luciano Fabbio showed the car at the 40th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it was presented along with other cars influenced by Ing. Giotto Bizzarrini and won its class. A class award at Pebble Beach is quite inarguably one of the most sought-after honors for any collector car, and one that confirms this Ferrari’s superb restoration, authenticity, and extraordinary desirability.
Bill Bauce purchased the car in the mid-1990s and showed it at the 29th Annual Ferrari Club of America national meeting in Palm Beach, where it was a class winner, before going the year after to the Ferrari Club of America International Concours in Monterey, California.
The current owner, a knowledgeable and highly-respected Ferrari enthusiast, has maintained the car in his world-class collection since acquiring it a number of years ago. It is on the button and ready to be toured or shown in the most exclusive venues around the world. As one of only about 37 covered headlamp examples, it is, unquestionably, one of the most desirable open top GT cars ever made and is equally as rare as its mighty sibling, the 250 GTO. The opportunity to acquire a California Spyder rarely comes along, particularly one of this pedigree and exceptional rarity.