SOLD | 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder
The Ferrari 250 California Spider
The two worlds that get any tifosi’ blood flowing, “California Spider”. Considered by many to be the most beautiful car to leave the Maranello factory gates, the California Spider certainly had the performance to back up its spectacular presence.
Designed primarily for export to the North American market, the California Spyder was Scaglietti’s interpretation of an open-top 250 GT and a total of 50 long wheelbase examples were manufactured before production was moved onto the short wheelbase 250 GT chassis.
This LWB 250 California Spider
The car we have pleasure in offering here, chassis 1379 GT, was delivered in June 1959 via Luigi Chinetti in New York and the Rome Ferrari dealer Vincenzo Malago & Co. The first owner was Mr Lorenzo Scapone, an Italian-born singer, often known by his Broadway name ‘Enzo Stuarti’. This is the 24th car built and was supplied new with a steel body, and as standard in period, aluminium bonnet, doors and boot and specified with covered headlights. Recording for labels such as Epic and Colombia, Scapone was also a regular on popular TV talk shows including Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson. His success in the New World allowed him to indulge in his great passion: motor racing, fast cars and Ferraris in particular.
This car was assembled using the later specification 508 D chassis frame with a Tipo 128 D engine, featuring ‘inside plug’ heads. The triple Weber 36 DCL 3 carburettors were topped by velocity stacks and as with all examples of this era, it was fitted with drum brakes.
After Scapone’s ownership, 1379 GT was fully restored by Berlinetta Motorcars Ltd, completing the project in Spring 1982 where it was quickly entered in the New Hope Concours in Pennsylvania, taking 1st place. Later in 1982 this car continued its success and won Best of Show at both the Prancing Horse Farm Invitational and the Vanderbilt Invitational.
1379 GT continued to enter Concours events before joining the esteemed collection of Mr Joe Hayes of Chicago, a collector known for his appreciation of the finest cars from Maranello. During Mr Hayes ownership, this car won the Ferrari GT class at the 1984 Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance.
The current owner purchased this car from a long-term collector, (since the early 1990’s), in the USA where the car has resided the majority of its life. As with all the cars within his collection, the owner chose to prepare this car for Ferrari Classiche Certification at the official agent, Ferrari & Maserati Orange County. In preparation, the car was entrusted to marque specialists Charles Betz and Fred Peters (Vector Industries), both of Orange, California. Betz and Peters have built great reputations as car restorers and historians with a barn-find 375 MM and 250 Testarossa to their credit. The pair assessed 1379 GT and set about the preliminary work, costing $27,000, which included a complete brake system rebuild, before the car was inspected for Ferrari Classiche Certification in late-2011.
On February 15th 2012, 1379 GT was granted its Ferrari Classiche ‘Red-Book’ Certification with only the change from velocity stacks to the more practical air cleaner being noted as the sole variation from its original configuration.
Once the car had returned from Ferrari the owner chose to carry out a complete body and interior restoration, changing its colour to the Blu Sera Metallizato, as seen today. The interior was fully stripped with the relevant components being replated in either nickel or chrome, the Borrani wire wheels were also refinished. All carpets were replaced at the same time and the interior being fully retrimmed. On the bodywork, the bumpers were re-chromed and the iconic early LWB California Spiders slim exhaust tips were replaced.
The works carried out by Vector Industries totaled $145,000, and the results are spectacular, the car is presented in truly stunning condition. Since 2012, further service work at Ferrari & Maserati Orange County, 2013 totaling $2,700, has kept the car ‘on the button’. In November 2014, world-class Ferrari engineer Patrick Ottis rebuilt the cylinder heads at a cost of $10,300. He reported that “the valves and pistons in this motor are original and from 1959” – testament to Ferrari’s high standards, and further proof of the provenance of this car.
A long wheelbase, covered headlight 250 California Spyder is a fabulous proposition, but a car offered in this condition is even rarer, adding its Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance winning pedigree make this car all the more special. A crown jewel yearning to return to the open roads and show fields.
Price upon request: