RM Sotheby’s “Icons” auction in New York last week saw the sale of this stunning 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione. The price? A whopping $17,990,000!
I know what you’re thinking – “it is nice, but why so much?”. Well, chassis 1451GT was raced by Bob Grossman, an American racer, at the 1959 24hr race at Le Mans. It came fifth overall and third in class – not bad for Grossman’s first visit to Le Mans. One of eight aluminium-bodied Californias, this one had “the first outside-plug, Tipo 128F engine, topped with high lift camshafts, triple 40 DCL6 carburetors, and a competition-spec fuel tank with an external fuel filter”. Power was rated at 262.5 bhp at 7,300 rpm.
After Le Mans, Grossman had the California Spider shipped across the pond to its new home in New York. As soon as it arrived, it was back on the track picking up victories at SCCA National events in Montgomery and Bridgehampton and at a memorial event in Nassau, all before the end of 1959.
At the end of the 1960 season, Grossman parted company with his Ferrari 250 GT. Since then, it has moved between numerous owners and had success in a variety of concours and vintage racing events. It was even painted red at one point before being returned to its original metallic silver in 2010.
The Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione’s beauty is undeniable, but would you have parted with so much money to own it? If I’m being honest, I’d have been extremely tempted. Let us know what you think in the comments section below or via our Facebook and Twitter pages.