Skip to main content


RM Auctions - Ferrari Leggenda e Passione 18th May 2008 - Review

The ex-James Coburn 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder - Sold for 7,040,000 euros

Now that the stardust has settled from last weekend’s 29 million euro event, let’s have a look at what happened on that rainy day at Fiorano. Top seller – as if you need telling – was the black SWB ‘Cal Spyder’ for a jaw-dropping 7,040,000 euros, the highest dollar (around $11 million, depending on your exchange rate) price achieved by a collectors’ car at auction.

Such was the interest in the ex-James Coburn 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder (to give it its full name) and its British TV celebrity new owner (Chris Evans), that news of its purchase was splashed over mainstream newspapers worldwide. It was a rare, beautiful machine – time will tell if that is the market price for these cars, or if the 2,365,000 euros achieved by the excellent 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder is more the mark.

2004 Ferrari Enzo - Sold for 852,500 euros

2008 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti - Sold for 220,000 euros

1962 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Competizione - Sold for 1,100,000 euros

1971 Ferrari 512M - Sold for 2,090,000 euros

After an extended automobilia section that kept the saleroom slightly restless, the motor cars started almost an hour late. First on the block was a 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT selling low-to-middle-estimate at 104,500 euros. Then came a selection of cars selling at estimate – but no fireworks.

The 1963 Ferrari 330 America (181,500 euros) was a nice example, while the metallic blue 1979 Ferrari BB512 (126,500 euros) made a pleasant change from the usual sea of Rosso Corsa. The red 1976 Ferrari 512 BB sold later for 93,500 euros, while the last lot of the day, a much rarer 1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB, achieved 125,000 euros, a price that includes buyer’s premium, as all our figures do.

It took until Lot 315 before auctioneer Peter Bainbridge announced that it, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Competizione, had been sold ‘the RM way’; achieving, as it did, 1,100,000 euros. It was a very attractive – and potent – car, ably demonstrated on the Pista Fiorano the day before. The other Lusso, a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L, was the talk of the saleroom, achieving a well-deserved 759,000 euros (estimate 480,000-580,000 euros). It was superb.

Featured in Classic Driver, and quite possibly the best example in the world, the navy blue 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4’s arrival was eagerly anticipated. With the audience now warmed-up and ready for action, the exquisite car deservedly sold for 1,320,000 euros. Just to emphasise the rich history of this car, RM had thoughtfully arranged for period footage taken by the car’s young US owner at Le Mans of that year to be projected on the background. A nice touch.

2003 Ferrari Enzo - Sold for 770,000 euros

1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder - Sold for 2,365,000 euros

The ex-Bergman 1952 Ferrari 212 Inter Europa Coupé did not sell; however, we were delighted that the quirky ex-Argentine period racing car, the 1950 Ferrari 166/195 Inter, found a new owner at a strong 517,000. Good luck to you, sir or madam, but as we said in the recent feature on Classic Driver - please leave the spray can alone...

It wasn’t the day to sell a modern racing car. Several of the ex-Scuderia cars failed to sell, as did the 2006 Maserati MC12, despite a stirring demonstration on-track the day before. The question ‘what are you going to do with it?’ is all too easy to pose, especially in today’s colder economic climes and there's the chance to buy a road-going top-notch GT for similar money. The fancy in the saleroom did opine, however, that the unsold 1999 Ferrari 333SP would make a good historic race car in years to come. Start kicking yourself, you heard it here first.

1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder - Sold for 962,500 euros

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 - Sold for 1,320,000 euros

Both Enzos sold, and few at Fiorano were unaffected by the fantastic semi-matt titanium silver finish of the 2004 car. It sold at 852,500 euros, while the more conventional red 2003 Enzo went for 770,000 euros. Both at the high end of estimate.

1964 Ferrari 250LM - Sold for 4,510,000 euros

Historic sports car aficionados liked the mid-engined Le Mans machinery and RM did well to sell both cars at strong prices. Carrying as they did full Ferrari Classiche certification, the ex-Rindt 1964 Ferrari 250LM (4,510,000 euros) and the 1971 Ferrari 512M (2,090,000) would grace any of the premier historic races such as Goodwood (250LM only, please), Laguna Seca, the Tour Auto or Le Mans Classic.

Some of the Garage Francorchamps automobilia including the 1967 Ferrari 330GTC Static Exhibition Display that sold for 23,000 euros

Prior to the motor cars, an extensive selection of ‘no reserve’ automobilia from Jacques Swaters’ Garage Francorchamps came under the hammer. Swaters was present at the sale - looking remarkably sprightly - to see some unbelievably rare artefacts find new homes. Worthy of mention in this section would be the Ferrari Road Map of Italy (7,475 euros), and the Huge Reims 12-Hour Race Photo Profusely Signed for 23,000 euros.

To see the full results of the May 18th Leggenda e Passione auction please CLICK HERE.

RM Auctions, in Association with Sotheby's, will hold its next European sale in London, on October 30th.

RM Auctions in association with Sotheby's
34-35 New Bond Street
London W1A 2AA

UK Telephone: +44 (0)207 293 6336
Fax: +44 (0)207 293 6337

North America Telephone: +1 800 211 4371


Email: [email protected].

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Classic Driver

ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter
Free Subscription!