A 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione was announced as a lead car for the Gooding Pebble Beach 2021 sale during the annual Monterey Car Week in California, USA.
A magnificent 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione in Italian flag livery, estimate: $10,000,000 – $12,000,000, is a lead car for the Gooding Pebble Beach 2021 classic car auction. This rare competition California Spider is almost solely responsible for all California Spider in-period racing history in Europe. It was actively raced in Italy and unlike most other California Spiders only imported into the USA in 1995. It joins the 1995 McLaren F1 and 1998 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR Strassenversion as the three cars in the Pebble Beach 2021 auction aiming to achieve above $10 million each.
Gooding Pebble Beach Sale 2021
Gooding & Company will hold its traditional Pebble Beach sale on 13 and 14 August 2021 at the Pebble Beach Parc du Concours during the annual Monterey Motoring Week in California, USA. It will be a traditional live auction.
After Monterey Week 2020 was canceled, Gooding earned $14,497,443 in the replacement Geared Online 2020 auction selling 55 of the 77 lots on offer for a sell-through rate of 71%. Five cars sold for more than a million dollar.
In comparison, at Pebble Beach in 2019, Gooding earned $76,824,740 with a sell-through rate of 77% – 108 of 140 lots offered — and 17 cars sold for over a million dollar each. This was already down on the $116.5 million earned in 2018 and the record $129.8 million earned in 2016 at the peak of the market.
1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione
In the lead-up to the annual Monterey Motoring Week in mid-August, no Ferrari is on the list of the top ten most-expensive cars sold thus far in 2021. The 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione, estimate $10,000,000 – $12,000,000, is certainly aiming to change that.
The 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione, chassis 1235 GT, is a very rare competition-specification California Spider with in-period racing history in Europe rather than in the USA. It was originally finished in the Italian-flag livery and with covered headlamps. It only reached the USA in 1995.
The Ferrari 250 GT California Spider is, without a doubt, among the most recognizable, admired, and collectible sports cars of all time. Initially developed at the behest of Ferrari’s West Coast representative, John von Neumann, the California Spider was envisioned as an open-air counterpart to the dual-purpose 250 GT Tour de France Berlinetta and was aimed at the all-important North American market. Between 1957 and 1962, Ferrari built just 106 California Spiders: 50 examples of the original long-wheelbase (LWB) model, and 56 of the later short-wheelbase (SWB) variant. Further, of the 50 LWB California Spiders built, only about 10 were prepared new from the factory with competition features.
These factory hot-rodded California Spiders pulled their weight in racing, garnering wins in the SCCA’s B- and C-Production classes at major venues such as Bridgehampton, Nassau, Watkins Glen, and the 12 Hours of Sebring between 1959 and 1961.
In Europe, where only a few LWB California Spiders were delivered, the model’s competition record was more limited. In fact, much of the model’s racing record in Italy can be directly traced to this particular example, chassis 1235 GT, which Ferrari built on special order for amateur racing driver Dott. Ottavio Randaccio. As documented in Ferrari’s build sheets, 1235 GT was originally intended for competition use and came factory-equipped with the latest, high-performance components.
At the heart of chassis 1235 GT is a tipo 128D engine, the latest version of the classic Colombo V-12, which served as the basis for the engine fitted to the 250 Testa Rossa. Not only did 1235 GT feature exceptional mechanical specifications, but its stylish body, produced by Carrozzeria Scaglietti, was also bespoke. This California Spider came fashioned with the beautiful and now highly sought-after covered headlamps, as well as a competition-type, quick-release external fuel filler. To top it all off, Randaccio fittingly had this Italian thoroughbred finished in the traditional tricolore (tricolor) livery, red with a white and green central stripe.
After it was campaigned in several Italian circuit races and hill climbs, Randaccio entered the car in the final race of his career, the Coppa Inter-Europa di Monza. After this important race for GT cars, where Randaccio placed 5th overall, this example went on to pass through the hands of several Italian owners before making its way to the US in 1995.
Restored 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione at Gooding Pebble Beach Sale 2021
Since 2004, this one-of-a-kind example has been cherished in a private collection, and under the current owner’s care underwent a high-quality restoration by leading Bay Area specialists, including the renowned Phil Reilly & Company of Corte Madera, California. Throughout the past 17 years, this Ferrari has been put to good use on numerous local tours and organized rallies, such as the Colorado Grand – always performing flawlessly in each event. Recently, the consigner decided to return this California Spider to its original livery, entrusting Moal Coachbuilders in Oakland, California with its cosmetic restoration. As a result, in the past year, 1235 GT has received an exacting bare-metal repaint, new upholstery, and fine detailing, all presented in its classic Italian tricolore livery as it appeared new in 1959.
In addition, the consignor’s efforts to research the history of this well-documented example have culminated in a robust history file, including a Marcel Massini report, period photos, registration documents, and restoration records. This sale also includes a rare accessory hardtop in wholly unrestored condition.
Ferrari 250 GT California Spider Prices at Auction
Ferrari 250 GT California Spiders are amongst the most expensive cars in the world. At least six have sold at auction for over $10 million dollar with results accepted below $8 million the exception. The first car ever to have sold for more than $10 million (nominal) at public auction was a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider sold by RM Auctions in Maranello in 2008 for $10.9 million.
Although the later generation short-wheelbase California Spiders generally achieve the highest results, the LWB model record is only around half a million dollar below the SWB record set by the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider sold by Artcurial for $18.6 million at the Paris Retromobile classic car sales in 2015. The long-wheelbase record is $18,150,000 paid for a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione at Gooding Pebble Beach 2016 — at the time of sale the most expensive car ever sold by Gooding.
Monterey Motoring Week 2021
Most of the traditional Monterey Motoring Week events will return in mid-August 2021 after the cancellations in 2020. Top classic car auctioneers with sales during Monterey Week 2021 include Gooding (Pebble Beach), Bonhams (Quail Lodge), RM Sotheby’s, and Mecum.
Monterey 2021 Auction Announcements:
- Bonhams: Mercedes-Benz 26/100/180
- Bonhams: Talbot-Lago T26 Décapotable
- Gooding: Ferrari California Spider Competizione
- Gooding: Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK GTR Strassenversion
- Gooding: Prewar British Cars
- Gooding: Prewar American Cars
- Gooding: Bugatti Type 35B
- Gooding: Ford GT40 Alan Mann Lightweight
- Gooding: Neil Peart’s Silver Surfers Collection
- Gooding: American Racing Cars
- Gooding: Porsche 934 & 935
- Gooding: McLaren F1
- Gooding: Italian Coachbuilt Cars
- RM Sotheby’s: Porsche 917K
- RM Sotheby’s: Le Mans Racing Cars
Previous Monterey Week Auction Results