It was quite an occasion, the Ferrari sale in Maranello last Saturday. Auction house RM Sotheby’s had teamed up with Ferrari to put together a sale of a remarkable line-up of Ferrari’s, the oldest from 1950, the youngest a 2017 car. In a press release, RM Sotheby’s reports that it has achieved a 92.5 percent sell-through rate, and all sales together made EUR 63 million.
The highest score was for the 2017 LaFerrari Aperta that made an astonishing EUR 8.3 million, all of which will be donated to Save the Children for an international program focusing on education. It was the highest bid ever made on a 21-century car.
But most of the Ferrari’s on this sale were classic ones. The highest bid among them was for the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider. The buyer paid EUR 7.8 million for this car, that is with auction fee included. The estimate for this car was EUR 7.5 to 9.5 million, so it stayed on the low side of the estimate.
It is interesting to see how this result compares to the sale of similar cars. The Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider was introduced in 1957 by the Italian coachbuilder Scaglietti and was clearly aimed at the North American market. The hood, trunk, and doors were made of aluminum, the rest of the body was steel and the car had the famous twelve cylinder 3.0-liter engine that delivered 240 hp.
The car was built on the long wheelbase chassis of the Ferrari 250. In total, 50 of these cars were built between 1957 and 1961. Among them were a few full-aluminium bodied cars that were built for competition purposes.
Not all of these California Spiders went to America, some of them stayed in Europe. Like the blue 1960 car that once belonged to the French actor Alain Delon. This car turned up in the famous Baillon collection, a barnfind of 60 high-class cars that were found in barns in Northern France in 2014.
This Ferrari clearly was in need of a restoration, but its provenance, having been owned by such a famous actor and on top of that being part of this great collection, proved to be worth a lot of money. The value of the car was estimated at around EUR 12 million, but in January 2015 the car was sold by auction house Artcurial for EUR 16,288 million including auction fee.
Well, that was a unique car of course.
Aren’t all 250 LWB’s unique, you might ask?
Yes, well, they are of course, but they can also be very much alike. For instance, the car that was sold last weekend in Maranello, was a 1959 car, the version with plexiglass covers on the headlights, painted Ferrari-red, with a brown leather interior and overall looking immaculate.
But in January 2015 an almost identical car was sold by auctioneers Gooding & Co in their Scottsdale sale. That car, also from 1959, was painted in the same red color and basically looked the same, except that the interior was black. That car sold at USD 7,7 million dollars, today that would be equaled by EUR 6.4 million.
And it gets even funnier because there is yet another, identical 250 GT LWB California Spider around. That was sold by RM Sotheby’s in January 2014 at their Arizona sale for USD 8.8 million, which would be EUR 7.35 million.
So at least we now know for sure that Ferrari’s 250 GT LWB California Spyder is worth between EUR 6.4 and 7.8 million.
Well, if they’re red anyway…