The Ferrari 250 California Spyder is unquestionably among the most recognizable and beloved sports cars of all time. While the origins of the legendary model have been well established and the entire production run carefully documented by devoted historians, the exceptionally rare competition variants were built to highly individualized specifications and do not fall into a single, all-encompassing category.
By 1950s standards, all that was required to transform a California into a serious racing car was a tuned engine and a lightweight aluminum body. Only nine LWB Californias were constructed with alloy coachwork, and few of those got competition features.
Chassis 1603GT is among the last LWB Californias produced. It was the first example supplied with disc brakes. It was specified with a competition gearbox, a limited-slip differential, and an oversized 136-liter fuel tank with competition-style external fuel filler.
1603GT was also equipped with a Tipo 168 engine developed from a 250 Testa Rossa sports racing car. Just four of these engines were fitted in LWB Californias. This engine developed between 275 and 280 horsepower — approximately 50 hp more than a standard LWB California.
Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s the car was seen at the Bahamas Speed Week and SCCA events. It also raced at the 1960 12 Hours of Sebring, where it achieved an incredible 5th Overall and 3rd in Class.