1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder Competizione

Cymon Taylor ©2017, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The late 1950s and early 1960s was the golden era of sports car racing. Every weekend, privateers and manufacturers alike would take to racetracks around the world, racing everything from home-built specials to the latest and greatest in handcrafted, exotic Italian sports cars.

One of the major players in the sports car racing scene in the United States was Luigi Chinetti. Chinetti was a highly successful racing driver — having won the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright in 1932, 1934 and 1949. He was also the Ferrari distributor for the United States and the man behind the fabled North American Racing Team. NART entered a trio of cars for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959. They included 250 GT LWB California Spyder chassis 1451 GT — the car presented here.

This car finished 5th overall and 3rd in class, making 1451 GT one of the most significant Ferraris in existence, a high point for NART’s career, and one of the more important cars from the most celebrated eras in motorsport.

 

Steve Ahlgrim

Steve Ahlgrim - SCM Contributing Editor

Steve taught high school auto shop before moving to Atlanta, GA, where his love of sports cars led him to FAF Motorcars, the former Ferrari dealer where he served as General Manager and Vice President. He has been a self-proclaimed “one-trick pony,” coveting the Ferrari marque. He has been involved in concours judging for over 25 years and is a member of the IAC/PFA, an international committee overseeing high-level Ferrari concours judging. He is chief judge of the Celebration Exotic Car Show in Celebration, FL.

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