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February 16, 2016 by Sports Car Digest Leave a Comment Gooding and Company apparently saved the best for last when announcing the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider as a headline offering for the 2016 Amelia Island auction, to be held Friday, March 11 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida. Ferrari introduced the 250 GT California Spider in 1957 on their long-wheelbase (LWB) chassis for the booming North American market. The Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider offered at the 2016 Gooding Amelia Island sale, chassis 2871 GT, is the 22nd short-wheelbase California Spider built and one of 37 covered-headlight examples produced. The California Spider joins the Jerry Seinfeld Porsche Collection as one of the headline offerings at the 2016 Gooding and Company Amelia Island auction.
Bidder registration: $200 includes a catalogue, admission for two to the viewing and auction with two reserved seats, subject to availability. Ferraria€™s leading US dealers, Luigi Chinetti and John von Neumann, requested from the factory a dual-purpose sports car that was capable on the racetrack, but comfortable for use as a daily driver.


Chassis 2871 GT was purchased new in Milan, Italy by the Italian industrial designer, Gianfranco Frattini in September, 1961. In 1960, with the introduction of Ferraria€™s new short-wheelbase (SWB) 250 GT Berlinetta chassis, Ferrari thoroughly redesigned the California Spider. The new 250 GT SWB California Spider benefitted from a more sophisticated chassis, along with standard four-wheel Dunlop disc brakes, a refined suspension setup and new outside-plug engines.
Frattinia€™s care, chassis 2871 GT was featured in the Italian film Ieri, Oggi, Domani (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow), which starred Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. The Italian coachbuilder, Scaglietti, redesigned the California Spidera€™s coachwork around the updated chassis, resulting in a more aggressive appearance.
Despite being a more refined and well-rounded sports car, the SWB California Spiders were raced at events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Targa Florio.


Between 1960 and 1963, Ferrari built 56 examples of the SWB variant, with only 37 being covered-headlight versions. Dalia participated in two Ferrari events in the early-1980s before selling 2871 GT to the current owner in December, 1985.




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