1958 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder LWB

If Sirus paid a typical 1970 price, he probably paid under $10k for the car-and his selling price in January 1988 was $375,000. But it gets even better



Initially conceived as a gran turisimo, Ferrari’s 250 soon diverged into two paths, the GT coupes and cabriolets and the lightweight competition berlinettas. The berlinettas designed by Pininfarina and built in small numbers by Scaglietti were the ultimate dual-purpose cars, competitive at Le Mans but often driven to races. Nowhere were the 250 berlinettas more at home than on the Tour de France, the legendary marathon where performance, reliability and adaptability made the marque a consistent winner.
Ferrari’s two U.S. distributors, Luigi Chinetti and John von Neumann, recognized the market for a lightweight GT convertible and the California Spyder emerged. The first cars were open versions of the Tour de France berlinetta, with subtle detail changes introduced by the talented Scaglietti, whose experience building Ferrari competition cars made him ideal to produce a lightweight GT.
This 1958 250 GT Spyder is the ninth of 50 long-wheelbase cars built. A steel-bodied, covered-headlight California, it was delivered through John von Neumann’s California dealership. Its early owners are unknown, but in 1970, it entered the long-term ownership of George Sirus and was mentioned in George Carrick’s definitive book The Spyder California, in 1976. It again found a long-term home in 1988 when it was sold to Michael Ferry at a Monaco auction. It was acquired by the present owner in 2002.
Since then the 250 GT has had a complete cosmetic restoration by Carrosserie Binggeli in Switzerland, while the engine, electrical system and drivetrain have been overhauled by the owner’s staff of experienced, full time mechanics. It is in pristine condition throughout.
Liveried in its original, as-delivered, red with black leather interior, 0965GT is a complete, intact, no-stories car with correctly numbered engine, gearbox and rear axle. The ratio of its rear axle is 4.57:1 for startling acceleration. This Ferrari has been sympathetically maintained throughout its life by long-term owners who have appreciated its style, performance, and rarity.

John Apen

John Apen - SCM Contributor - %%page%%

John holds degrees in engineering and operations research from the University of California-Berkeley, New York University, and Johns Hopkins. He vintage raced a Ferrari TdF for 13 years and has been restoring old cars for nearly 50 years. He owned the Atlanta Ferrari-Maserati dealership, FAF, for 17 years. He’s always had an affinity for obscure American cars, and in high school, he drove a 1936 Packard convertible coupe, followed by a 1949 Olds Holiday hardtop that got him through college. Today his garage includes 11 cars, including a Top Flight 1960 Corvette he’s owned since day one, a 1957 T-Bird, and several vintage Ferraris. His automotive library contains over 5,000 magazines and books and 1,800 auction catalogs. He has contributed to SCM since 1996.

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