Once again, it’s a Ferrari 250 GT California Spider that headlines a major auction sale, this time in SWB, covered headlamp form, i.e. the most desirable configuration. Gooding has set the estimate at $16m - $18m, which pitches it squarely between the similar example sold by Bonhams for $15.18m almost exactly a year ago, and the $18.5m ex-Alain Delon ‘barn-find’ car sold in February by Artcurial. The HAGI Ferrari index reports a circa 10% increase year-on-year – we’ll be interested to see whether that rings true on this occasion.
Enter the royals' realm
The Cal’ Spider is joined in the lotlist for Gooding’s two-day 2015 Pebble Beach auction by several of its blue-chip brethren, including the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale, bodied by Bertone with one-off ‘sharknose’ coachwork reminiscent of the marque’s sports-racers of the era. They’re supplemented by two Prancing Horses with royal provenance: the captivating 1957 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series II Coupé formerly owned by Princess Soraya of Iran, and the ex-Aga Khan 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast in a svelte (yet non-original) shade of dark blue.
There’s a healthy serving for the high-end Porsche contingent (as we previously mentioned), including the very Rothmans-liveried Porsche 956 that clinched the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans in one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the race. There’s also one of the 24 Ford RS200 Evolutions built ( ‘possibly the finest example’ due to its rare factory options and performance upgrades, according to Gooding), a 1998 Ferrari 333 SP with a significant two-season race history, and a 2004 Maserati MC12 GT1 campaigned in 2004/5 with support from the factory. But if you prefer your Trident-bearing competition car to have a little more dirt under its nails, so to speak, take a look at the 1956 Maserati A6G/2000 Coupé – the only example that left the factory in full rallying regalia.
The dusty, the sandy, and the downright stunning
Other notable entries include two Lagonda Rapides: an LG45 and a stunning, two-tone V12, both of which have appeared at the Pebble Beach Concours in recent years. There’s also a Fiat 600 Eden Roc by Pinin Farina, one of the two known examples in existence (the other was Gianni Agnelli’s personal shuttle) – a rare opportunity, as it’s finally being released from the ownership of the same family that bought it new. Meanwhile, those looking for a project car with prominence have the option of a 1958 Porsche 356 A Speedster, a Touring-bodied Hudson Italia, a 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE Series 1, or the Bentley R-Type Continental recently found in a Californian garage, which was ordered new by Ian Fleming for his spy friend. Alternatively, if you’re looking for an iconic car at the other side of a complete restoration, how about a desert-spec (soft top; no heater) 1965 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser? If the estimate proves correct, you’ll need to fork out $100,000 – $150,000 for the privilege…
Photos: Gooding & Company