Last 1963 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider Built Hammers for $17.8 Million at Mecum Auction

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The final chapter in the legacy of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, a legendary automobile that has captured the hearts of car enthusiasts for decades, unfolded at the Mecum auction in Kissimmee, FL. The curtain fell with a resounding hammer price of $17.875 million, marking a historic moment and setting a new record for the prestigious auction.

Chassis no. 4137GT, distinguished as the very last Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider ever built, took center stage. With the coveted Ferrari Classiche Certification and a detailed Marcel Massini report, this masterpiece was not just a car; it was a piece of automotive history meticulously documented.

Only 55 of these iconic vehicles were produced between 1960 and 1963, making each one a rare gem in the automotive world. The highlighted features of this particular model included its status as a covered headlight version, completed on February 9, 1963. Its journey began with Luigi Chinetti Motors of New York, who imported it, and then it found its first home at Charles Rezzaghi Motors in San Francisco.

Such a vehicle was famously portrayed in the 1986 film, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” which was in fact a replica of the real Ferrari, a 1985 Modena Spyder California.

The meticulous restoration of this automotive treasure was entrusted to Patrick Ottis in Berkeley, California, ensuring that the original chassis and body were preserved. Under the hood, the heartbeat of this beauty was the original 3.0-liter 276 HP Colombo V-12 engine, paired with a 4-speed gearbox. The known ownership history since its inception, along with the inclusion of the tool roll and owner’s manuals, added layers to its provenance.

To understand the significance of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, one must delve into its historical roots. In 1957, Ferrari embarked on a mission to cater to customers seeking a sportier open-top driving experience. The result was the 250 GT California Spyder, with Scaglietti tasked to design and craft the all-new body. The formula was simple yet potent – a 3.0L V-12 engine, a 4-speed manual transmission, all housed in a lightweight chassis with an elegant retractable top.

The evolution of this concept led to the creation of the long-wheelbase (LWB) California Spyder in 1957, which continued production until 1960, totaling 45 cars. The subsequent 55 short-wheelbase (SWB) California Spiders, including the one auctioned at Mecum, became the embodiment of automotive excellence and timeless design.

As the gavel fell on the last 1963 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, it not only marked the end of an era but solidified its place as a pinnacle in automotive history, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of car enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.


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