Ten years ago, this classic Ferrari racer crossed the RM Sotheby’s block in Monterey, selling for $4.95 million. Much has changed since then. Most notably, the demand for revered, classic race cars with a Le Mans pedigree has skyrocketed. That is why RM Sotheby’s specialists believe this 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione —with a body by Carrozzeria Scaglietti—could sell for as much as $17 million.
Ferrari built only eight aluminum-bodied California Spiders in 1959, with this privateer example being the second constructed. In addition to finishing third in its class and fifth overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year, this car was raced in numerous Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) events, including Thompson, Bridgehampton, and the Watkins Glen Grand Prix. Its owner, Bob Grossman, also drove it during the Nassau Speed Week races in the Bahamas. “It’s a spectacular looking car and a spectacular driving car, and it’s been returned to its Le Mans livery,” says Kelleher. “In terms of its history, this car embodies the spirit of what most Ferrari collectors identify with.”