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1962 Ferrari 250 California SWB Spider by Scaglietti

1962 Ferrari 250 California SWB Spider by Scaglietti

Maybe the most beautiful open-top car that money can buy

The entire Ferrari 250 line seems to have secured its place in the palace of automotive royalties for generations to come. With unmistakable lines, a variety of powerful but also reliable Colombo V-12s, and limited-run production, almost all of the late-50s to early-60s Ferrari 250 models command astronomical values at auction nowadays.

There are, of course, some stars that shine brighter than others, such as the 250 GTO, the 250 GT SWB, and, lastly, the 250 California SWB Spider built between 1960 and 1962. This is one of those short-wheelbase California Spiders but, despite its originality, it lacks the aura of the ex-Alain Delon ’barn find’ that sold for $18.5 million four years ago.

Besides the fact that Alain Delon once owned and thrashed that particular 250 California SWB Spider, what made it even more desirable were its covered headlights. Amazingly, the more sought after variant is, actually, the one Ferrari made more of: a total of 37,250 California SWB Spiders left the factory with covered headlights and just 19 were optioned without the glass over the twin circular headlamps. Read on to learn more about the strange case of a buyer-induced trend that goes against the otherwise untouchable principle of rarity.

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1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy by Scaglietti

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy by Scaglietti

The mid-’60s Ferrari that dreams are made of

The Ferrari 275 GTB is widely considered to be one of the prettiest grand touring cars built during the sizzling ’60s. Displaying an evolutionary design language influenced by Ferrari’s glorious 250-series models such as the 250 GTO and the 250 GTE 2+2, the 275 GTB came in both short-nose and long-nose specification, with the 3.3-liter Colombo V-12 first featuring two overhead camshafts before Ferrari introduced, in 1967, the 275 GTB/4 with four overhead camshafts. This here is a Series II 275 GTB or, in other words, a long-nosed version built towards the end of the GTB’s production run in 1966. It’s one of the last of just a few dozen 275 GTBs with an all-aluminum body shell that makes the car both lighter and rust-proof. Too bad it’s as expensive as a handful of Ferrari F40s.

Even fans of modern supercars and wedge-shaped obscurities from the ’80s would oftentimes come together and agree that the GTs made in the ’60s are a sight to behold: elongated noses, low rooflines, and a tail that usually ends with a stubby Kammback. It’s a well-known recipe and few applied it better than Ferrari. Designed by the house of Pininfarina, by now an integral part of the Maranello-based manufacturer, the 275 GTB came to sweepingly replace all of the 250-series models. It was designed to be more user-friendly, more practical, but without giving up on performance or the unique feeling of being behind the wheel of a Ferrari. Included by many publications on shortlists of the prettiest Ferraris of all time, the 275 GTB was also a successful race car and it also spawned an open-top version in the N.A.R.T.-commissioned 275 GTS/4 Spyders built between 1967 and 1968 (the 275 GTS featured a completely different Pininfarina body while the N.A.R.T. cars featured Scaglietti bodies in the style of Pininfarina’s Berlinetta design).

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1962 Ferrari 196 SP by Fantuzzi

1962 Ferrari 196 SP by Fantuzzi

The shark-nosed sports prototype from Maranello

The Drake, a man who honed his craft as the team boss of Alfa Corse in the ’30s, carried some of the old adages over when he started his own automotive company. It’s no wonder, then, that he was reluctant to jump on the rear-mid engine train when it boomed two decades after the last pre-war Grand Prix but when his Prancing Horses finally rolled out with the engine aft of the driver they proved overwhelmingly good: in F1, the 156 steamrolled its way to both the Constructor’s and the Driver’s F1 title in 1961 and, in long-distance racing, the 196 SP, as a direct descendant of the 246 SP, foresaw what was to come in sports car racing.

The 196 SP is an incredibly rare and incredibly gorgeous beast. With a low-slung body and a nose very similar to that of the 156 F1 car, it carried what was good about the 246 SP, the first Ferrari mid-engined sports car that was unveiled in 1961, and improved on the formula. Under the rear deck, there was, effectively, half of a Colombo V-12, and not the Dino V-6 although the 196 SP has been referred to as the Dino 196 SP in some circles. Five were built for 1962 and this one, chassis #0806 is the only that has survived. RM/Sotheby’s tried selling it during the Monterey Car Week but failed. Still, the car is valued at anywhere between $8 million and $10 million. Keep reading to find out why this V-6-engined Ferrari is worth more than twice the price of a LaFerrari, Maranello’s V-12 hybrid wonder.

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1955 Ferrari 375 MM Coupé Speciale by Ghia

1955 Ferrari 375 MM Coupé Speciale by Ghia

A one-off coupé based on the Ferrari 375 MM race car

The 1955 Ferrari 375 MM Coupé Speciale is a one-off version of the iconic 375 MM bodied by Italian coach builder Ghia. The Ferrari 375 MM was built from 1953 until 1955. It was developed as a race car, but some were converted to road use. One of only nine road-going coupés built on the 375 MM chassis, the Coupé Speciale is also the only 375 design by Ghia and the last Ferrari built by the company. The car was showcased at the 1955 Torino Motor Show and was then shipped to Robert Wilke, owner of the Leader Card Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

A racing fan, Wilke, who sponsored an IndyCar team from the 1930s until his death in 1970, was also a personal friend of Enzo Ferrari. The 375 MM Coupé Speciale was one of seven unique vehicles that Ferrari built for the businessman, but it’s the most historically significant vehicle owned by him. Also one of the most documented Ferraris in existence, the Coupé Speciale changed hands several times since the 1970s. Come 2019 and it’s going under the hammer to find a new owner at RM Sotheby’s car sale in Monterey on August 15-17.

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1995 Ferrari F512 M

1995 Ferrari F512 M

The final hurrah of the Ferrari Testarossa

The Ferrari F512 M was the last evolution of the Testarossa, unarguably one of the legendary cars of the ‘80s. The F512 M was lighter than its predecessor, featured more modern styling, and boasted improved handling characteristics.

Everyone knows the Testarossa. With its red cam covers, its long “cheese graters” on the sides, and angular design, it’s a staple of its time and one of Ferrari’s modern icons. At the time, it was every bit as fast as a Countach, if not slightly faster. It handled slightly better and, more importantly, was a more relaxed tourer in that you could actually drive the Testarossa for 500 miles at a time and not drop dead from back pain afterward.

The F512 TR continued the trend and refined the recipe, but the ultimate expression of this body shape came in 1994 and was christened F512 M, where M stands for “Modificato.” Indeed, there were many modifications done to the F512 M even in comparison to the F512 TR, but the same spirit was still there. It was to be the rarest of all the Testarossas since only 501 were built through 1996 when Ferrari rolled out the front-engined grand tourer called 550 Maranello.

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1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta by Touring

1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta by Touring

A classic open-top Prancing Horse, ready for export

The Ferrari 340 America was the first model in the America series conceived with export in mind, used as a means to increase Ferrari’s footprint in the United States. The 340 featured a brand-new Lampredi V-12 which made its way to Formula 1, with this particular car racing at Le Mans twice in the early ’50s.

The Ferrari America series was launched at the dawn of the ’50s to appeal to American customers who wanted less rugged interior premises, bigger engines, and more performance. The first car of this lineage was the 340 America, which debuted at the 1950 Paris Motor Show in full racing trim. Granted, most Ferraris back then were as much race cars as they were road cars, but a customer could personalize his car to be more friendly on the road with softer suspension, different gearbox ratios, or new engine settings.

As this is a Ferrari from the early days of the company, it was made in very few numbers, on order from importers or customers. Barely 23 cars were completed between 1950 and 1952, with three coachbuilders taking care of the body. Carrozzeria Touring built six Barchetta and two Berlinetta bodies, Vignale crafted five Spyder bodies, five Berlinetta bodies, and one larger Convertible, while Ghia built only four fixed-head Coupes.

The car seen here is chassis #0116/A, the third 340 America built, and one of the 6 Barchettas by Touring. It ran briefly in period, its highlights being a couple of entries in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Owner Pierre-Louis Dreyfus shared the car in 1951 with well-known Grand Prix driver Louis Chiron and, in 1952, Rene Dreyfus. While the car didn’t reach the finish line on either occasion, it went on to sell for $8,430,000 during the 2016 RM Sotheby’s auction in Monaco.

Read on to understand why the 340 America commands such high prices.

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1964 - 1967 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2

1964 - 1967 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2

If only James Bond was Italian...

The 330 GT 2+2 was actually an update to the 330 America that Ferrari built in 1963 only. It also replaced the 250 GT/E 2+2, but it was larger and sportier. Introduced in 1964, the 330 GT 2+2 was upgraded in 1965, when the Series II model with a new design was launched. Production lasted until 1967, with 1,099 examples built until the Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 was introduced as a replacement. The cool thing about these cars is that they’ve remained somewhat affordable compared to other million-dollar Ferraris from the era.

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1966 Ferrari 500 Superfast by Pininfarina

1966 Ferrari 500 Superfast by Pininfarina

Maranello’s flagship GT in the 1960s

One of the most iconic Ferrari nameplates, the America is also one of the longest standing badges from Maranello, being offered in various cars from 1951 through 1967. However, none of the Americas stand out as the top-of-the-line 500 Superfast model, which was built between 1964 and 1966 in only 37 units. As rare as they get, the Superfast is next to impossible to buy, but one example is going up for auction in Monterey this month.

Bearing chassis no. 8459SF, this specific car was the 33rd Superfast built and the eighth of 12 Series II models. It was also the seventh of only eight Superfasts built with right-hand drive. It was delivered in 1966 to British sportsman Jack Durlacher and was sold in 1976. Restored in 1981, it remained with the Manoukian Brothers for 15 years until 2007, when it was sold to the current owner. While not in mint condition, with minor dents and sign of use inside and out, the 500 Superfast has held up well, and it’s still fitted with the original engine. Let’s find out more about this fantastic grand tourer in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 500 Superfast Series II by Pininfarina

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2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta #210

2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta #210

Could this be the hypercar that sells for $10 million?

The last Ferrari Laferrari Aperta is headed to the auction block this weekend. That alone should be enough to warrant headlines, but as most of you already know, the auction-bound LaFerrari Aperta is special in its own right. This unit isn’t supposed to exist in the first place. This is the 210th LaFerrari Aperta, a last-second creation by Maranello that isn’t a part of the initial lot of 209 units that the automaker planned to launch but was nonetheless built as an auction piece to benefit the “Save the Children” charity.

The auction is set to take place at Ferrari’s Fiorano track and is part of RM Sotheby’s “Legend e Passione” event being held as part of the Italian automaker’s 50th anniversary. Befitting the event on September 9, Ferrari gave the LaFerrari Aperta a unique look no other model of its kind had when they all came out of production. These features firmly establish the 210th model as a legitimate one-of-a-kind LaFerrari Aperta, the kind of car that Ferrari collectors will trip over themselves to get a hold of. It’s no surprise then that neither Ferrari nor RM Sotheby’s has released an estimate for the car. Considering that the 500th LaFerrari – the precursor of the 210th LaFerrari Aperta – fetched $7 million in a similar auction setting last year, the sky really is the limit as to how much the 210th LaFerrari Aperta is going to sell for this weekend.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider

1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider

Gorgeous, immaculate, and historically significant

Ferrari built the Monza between 1953 and 1957, producing one of the world’s top collector cars in the process. In that timespan, this open-top sports racer collected a wide variety of trophies and accolades, offering up impressive capabilities for any driver willing to tame it. The 750 variant of the Monza dropped in 1954, making its competition debut at the Italian racetrack from which it draws its name. The model is also important because it marks the transitional period from the Colombo V-12 to the Lampredi four-cylinder engine, the latter of which would play an integral role in Ferrari’s competition history.

However, some 750 Monzas are considered more desirable than others, and this particular vehicle you see pictured here is one such example. It was recently put on the block at the RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterey, trading hands for well over $5 million.

Why so expensive? For starters, this car came from the personal collection of the great American race car driver Jim Hall, who had the car in his possession for 60 years before it was auctioned off. This example also won a slew of races at the hands of legends like Carroll Shelby and Phil Hill, and it arrived in Monterey in a pristine, unmodified condition.

Long story short, this is quite likely the most desirable Ferrari 750 Monza in the world. Read on for all the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider.

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1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico

1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico

In the days before the F40, Ferrari still made very special, very limited-production production models that sold for huge sums of the money. The difference was that in those days, the cars were grand tourers instead of sports cars, belonging to a series known as the America cars. These were usually big GT cars with engines that were much bigger than those found in the rest of the Ferrari lineup. They had special styling and interiors that were much more luxurious than even the 2+2 Ferrari models. The 400 Superamerica fist debuted in 1959, with the Series II version debuting in 1962. And despite the name similarity, it bears no relation whatsoever to the later 400 2+2 of the ’70s and ’80s.

The 400 Superamerica sat at the very top of the Ferrari lineup during its lifetime, an era that also gave us the bulk of what are today the most valuable Ferrari models, and therefore the most valuable cars in the world. But unlike the more mainstream (if that is ever the right word for a V-12 Ferrari) models, the motorsports pedigree isn’t so obvious with the Superamerica, but that in itself is something that makes the Superamerica unique, at least in this era of Ferrari.

Update 02/04/2016: The Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico sold for $3.3 million through RM Auctions. That price falls perfectly in line with RM’s predicted selling price between $3.2 and $3.6 million.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico.

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1957 Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti

1957 Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti

With an estimated auction price of $30 to $34 million, the Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti could become one of the most expensice cars in the world

In the early days of Ferrari being a carmaker in addition to a racing team, cars were evolving so quickly that Ferrari would end up developing two different cars just for the 1957 Mille Miglia. The first of these was the 315 S, built at the beginning of 1957. But Ferrari was unable to make it all of the way to the Mille Miglia in May without fiddling with it, and the 335 S would end up being brought out before the race. Both cars are in fact evolved versions of the 290 MM, and cosmetically they are practically identical.

The 335 S has a bit of a dark history. When it raced at the 1957 Mille Miglia, a blow tire caused one of the car to careen off the road and into a crowd of spectators. The driver, co-driver and 10 spectators (5 of them children) were killed in the crash. With this accident coming just two years after the even more horrific 1955 Le Mans disaster, public outcry shut down the race after 1957, making the 335 S the last Ferrari build specifically for this event. But despite the grizzly association, the 335 S is today one of the most valuable cars in the world.

Updated 02/08/2016: The highly anticipated auction of a 1957 Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti finally went down, and true to form, it fetched an incredible amount that even surpassed what auction house Artcurial Motorcars Retromobile thought it would go for. Valued between $30 to $34 million, the 335 S sold for a staggering $35,711,359 - making it one of the most expensive Ferrari in history.

Note: Image credit: Artcurial Motorcars / Christian Martin

Continue reading to learn more about the 1957 Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti.

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1956 Ferrari 290 MM

1956 Ferrari 290 MM

As the FIA was preparing to gather the most important sports car, endurance, and road racing events in Europe and North America under the World Sportscar Championship banner, Ferrari shifted from using the Colombo-design V-12 engine in its smaller racers to a new family of four-cylinder units Aurelio Lampredi developed for Formula One. Thus the Ferrari Monza series was born, which included models such as the 625 TF, 500 TR, and the 860 Monza.

With the larger 340 MM, 375 MM, and 375 Plus backed by the Monzas, Ferrari was able to sweep the first two runnings of the World Sportscar Championship against competition from Jaguar, Aston Martin, and Lancia. Things changed, however, in 1955, when Mercedes-Benz introduced the 300 SLR — the race car that went on to win the championship in its maiden season. Having won only one race in 1955, Ferrari commissioned Vitorio Jano to develop a new V-12 engine for the lightweight 860 Monza. Maranello replaced the four-banger with a 3.5-liter V-12 and the car was renamed the 290 MM.

Raced alongside other Ferraris, the 290 MM helped the Scuderia win the World Sportscar Championship in both 1956 and 1957 before being replaced by the infamous 250 Testa Rossa.

Often overshadowed by the fact that it was built in a transition period for Maranello, the 290 MM is arguably one of the most important Ferraris of the mid-1950s, especially for enabling the Italians to win against iconic race cars such as the Maserati 300S and Jaguar D-Type.

Updated 12/11/2015: A very unique 1956 Ferrari driven by Formula 1 world champion Juan Manuel Fangio was sold at RM Sotheby’s Drive by Disruption sale in New York on December 10th, 2015.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti.

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1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta

1949 Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta

Ferrari was not originally founded with the intention of making road cars. Scuderia Ferrari was founded in 1929 as a privateer racing team, and was later made the Alfa Romeo works team. Due to friction between Alfa and Enzo Ferrari (surprise!), Ferrari would produce its first car in 1940. But this was just for racing, and it was only after rebuilding the factory following its destruction by Allied bombing in WWII that Ferrari expanded into building road cars. But, these early road cars only happened to be road legal. They were still built primarily for racing, and Ferraris from the ’40s were mostly built in small numbers and with almost no amenities.

Early cars were built in very small numbers, with just two units of the first car, the 125 S, being made. And the second model was nothing more than a prototype, the 159 S. The first real production model was the 166, which existed in a few different forms. There was an actual touring car, Ferrari’s first, and a couple of racing models. The first racing model was the 166 S, but this was soon replaced by the car you see here, the 166 MM, an evolved version of the S.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta.

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1953 Ferrari 340 MM

1953 Ferrari 340 MM

Back in the days when Ferrari developed engines quicker than they could do gearboxes or bodies, as per Enzo’s belief that those who rely on aerodynamics can’t put together proper engines, many memorable roadsters were built using the 4.0-liter Lampredi V-12 as the centerpiece. Other configurations sprouted from this 1951-designed powerplant as the company continued to use this layout all throughout the decade. One of the most emblematic models of the 340 series is the 340 MM, which appeared as an evolution of previous 340 iterations in 1953.

As with other Ferrari cars, MM stood for Mille Miglia, the race for which the car was originally conceived and which its forerunner, the 340 America, had won in 1951. In truth, the MM was the real replacement of the America, being a real step forward from the so-called 340 Mexico from which it evolved.

With only 11 examples built, the 340 MM is an extremely rare car, especially since both Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera and Carrozzeria Vignale dealt with building spyder bodies while Pininfarina crafted the coupes. This means that nearly each example is unique in its own way. Couple this with the racing history of certain chassis and you get part of the reasoning behind the prices for which these cars change hands. One of the many in the myriad of Ferrari ultra-exotic rarities.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1953 Ferrari 340 MM Competition Vignale Spider.

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1968 Ferrari Testarossa Spider

1968 Ferrari Testarossa Spider

In 1984, Ferrari wowed the sports car industry with the Testarossa, a mid-engined, V-12-powered model developed to replace the aging Berlinetta Boxer. Created to fix the faults of its predecessor, which included a cabin that got increasingly hot from the plumbing that ran between the front-mounted radiator and the mid-mounted engine, and a lack of luggage space, the Testarossa became famous for its side strakes and ultra-wide rear track. In just a few years, it became an iconic figure of 1980’s pop culture, especially after staring in the third season of Miami Vice.

Like its forerunner, the Testarossa was conceived as a coupe only, with all the 7,177 units leaving the Maranello factory with a metal top. Except for one Testarossa Spider that was built in 1986.

Although Maranello never intended to produce a drop-top version, it made an exception for Gianni Agnelli, the man who at the time was the main honcho at Fiat, which had purchased Ferrari in 1969.

Nearly three decades have passed since Agnelli received his unique Testarossa, and the sports car is off to find a new home at the Artcurial Retromobile Sale in February 2016. Until the Spider goes under the hammer, let’s have a closer look at the only factory-built Testarossa in existence.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1968 Ferrari Testarossa Spider.

Note: Images credit Artcurial.

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1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Vignale

1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Vignale

Ferrari was still very new to the world of building road cars in the early ’50s. Enzo had been involved in racing and the design and building of race cars for decades, but translating that into something for regular people (albeit wealthy regular people) to buy was still being figured out. It was the 250 that would change things for Ferrari, but in the early days of the model line, Ferrari was still figuring things out. It was an era when coach-built luxury cars were starting to disappear, but Ferrari was determined to keep using them for the 250 line, first launched in 1953. Most 250s were built by Pininfarina, including early examples like the Europa, but a handful were built by Vignale.

These early 250s differ from the later models, particularly those of the ’60s, in a number of ways, but it is most notable that at first there were only two versions of the car, the Europa and the Export, obviously intended for different markets. Many more varieties of the 250 would come later, but in 1953, the only way to get something different from the other 250s was to get a coach-built one.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1953 Ferrari 250 Europa Coupe by Vignale.

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1958 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione 'Tour de France' by Scaglietti

1958 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ’Tour de France’ by Scaglietti

Today the words “Tour de France” are usually associated with a grueling bicycle race, the highest-profile and most important race in the cycling world. But from 1899 to 1986 it was also a car race, and like the bicycle race, it took place over several days and in a wide variety of conditions. Since it included circuit races, hill climbs and a drag race, it required a thoroughly well rounded car, and Ferrari had just the thing in the mid-’50s. The 250 GT LWB Berlinetta would dominate this race during the second half of the ’50s, and racing versions of the 250 GT LWB would adopt the “Tour de France” name.

The 250 GT LWB Berlinetta Competizione was the most successful racing model of the whole 250 series, taking more wins than even the legendary 1962-1964 Ferrari 250 GTO. The Tour de France cars also served as the inspiration for the GTO; the GTO was essentially just an updated version of the same idea a few years later. And even though it is a Competizione model, sold to be a race car and bought new by a racing team, it is still absolutely beautiful.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ’Tour de France’ by Scaglietti.

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