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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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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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1965 Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake

1965 Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake

The Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake by Vignale is as radical a departure from the production 330 GT 2+2 as one can imagine. It is a two-door station wagon Prancing Horse from the ‘60s that can sit four and reach 150 mph. You will not see another one like it, ever.

The ‘60s were an era when coachbuilding was still happening and it’s when many designers took it upon themselves to create unique reinterpretations of already outlandish sports cars. Such an outlandish reinterpretation was the Ferrari 330 GT Shooting Brake. It was based off of Ferrari’s then-new 330 GT 2+2, the Italian automaker’s fledging long-distance Grand Tourer that replaced the 250 GTE 2+2 and the 330 America in the lineup.

The bodywork you se now on the car, though, has nothing to do with the Tom Tjaarda-penned original coachwork. The shooting brake design was a joint effort between Luigi Chinetti, Jr. who acquired the car for this project and Bob Peak, the man commonly cited as being behind the way movie posters look nowadays.

Mechanically, chassis #09763 is broadly identical to any other 330 GT, but the clothes it wears are what sets it apart. The Vignale-built body, which has almost none of the components from the donor, is an acquired taste, which may be why the car’s been struggling to find a buyer for a few years now. It was once part of Jay Kay’s collection of Ferrari but has since seen the premises of many auction houses and dealers and is currently up for grabs again at The Petersen Automotive Museum auction on December 8th.

The asking price for what is, by all accounts, the last Ferrari to be bodied by Vignale – and one of the wackiest of the lot – is that of two Ferrari 488s full spec’ed out. Is it worth it? Read on to find out!

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1968 Ferrari Dino 206 GT

1968 Ferrari Dino 206 GT

Maranello’s answer to the Porsche 911

In 1968, Ferrari had been on the market as a road car manufacturer for 21 years and was already enjoying massive success. It had already won the Formula One championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans and launched iconic cars like the 250 GTO, 275 GTB, and the 400 Superamerica. However, the cars were very expensive, and Ferrari was looking for a shot at the more affordable sports car market. And it created the Dino for this exact purpose.

Launched in 1968, the first Dino was called the 206 GT. Powered by a 2.0-liter V-6, it was designed by Pininfarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti and produced until 1969. The Dino was updated in 1969 and renamed the 246 GT. A convertible model called the GTS was also introduced. The original Dino was phased out in 1974, but a redesigned model called the 308 GT4 was launched in 1973 and kept into production until 1980. That’s when the Dino brand was dropped altogether, and Ferrari’s next affordable sports car was called the Mondial.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari Dino 206 GT.

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1960 - 1963 Ferrari 250 GT 2+2 (GTE)

1960 - 1963 Ferrari 250 GT 2+2 (GTE)

A genuine four-seater sports car

While the Prancing Horse is best known for its top-shelf performance vehicles and winning racing machines, even Maranello’s finest must occasionally bend to the whims of the passenger vehicle market. But don’t see it as a compromise - rather, it’s best seen as a combination of speed and usability, catapulting the commonplace people mover to the extraordinary realm of apexes and checkered flags. Such is the case with the Ferrari 250 GT 2+2, the brand’s first genuine four-seater model.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1960 - 1963 Ferrari 250 GT 2+2 (GTE).

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1968 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 and GTS/4 “Daytona”

1968 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 and GTS/4 “Daytona”

A Prancing Horse hungry for miles

These days, if its front-engine Italian grand touring that you’re after, the Ferrari 812 Superfast is the latest and greatest. While impressive in and of itself, the new 812 hails from a long line of F/R GT cars from the highly celebrated marque. In fact, we can trace its roots all the way back to this – the Ferrari Daytona. Originally dubbed the 365 GTB/4, this angular classic was popularized as the “Daytona” after Ferrari swept the podium at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967, and the name stuck ever since (even though Ferrari still insists on calling it the 365 GTB/4). First introduced at the 1968 Paris Auto Show, the Daytona was ushered in as a replacement for the Ferrari 275 GTB/4, and came equipped with a larger Colombo V-12 engine, independent suspension, and the right stuff for high-speed cruising.

The Daytona was offered in two distinct body styles, including the GTB/4 Berlinetta, and the much more rare GTS/4 Spider. A handful of racing versions were created as well. Production lasted until 1973 with nearly 1,300 units built in total, after which the mid-engine 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer replaced the Daytona in 1973. Now, the Daytona is a classic collectible automobile, with some examples easily eclipsing the seven-figure mark at auction. So what makes it so great? Read on to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 and GTS/4 Daytona.

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1947 Ferrari 159 S

1947 Ferrari 159 S

The late ’40s were something of a mad scramble for European race car manufacturers. WWII had only just ended and those companies that were able to rebuild quickly would have an advantage on the track, up against the prewar models being run by their competitors. For Ferrari, this problem took a slightly different form. Since the company had existed only as a racing team up to this point, it wasn’t looking to rebuild, but rather just to build. The company had no previous models to use as a jumping off point, so the first several chassis were just prototypes, having changes made as needed, and even undergoing model name changes.

What it was exactly that happened to which chassis is the matter of some debate, but what we can say is that the first car built was the 125 S, and this was in turn followed by the 159 S, of which apparently two existed. After the 159 S came the 166 S, and Ferrari actually stuck with this version of the car long enough to build a few dozen of them, including actual road-specific versions with roofs and everything. The 159 S was essentially an evolutionary step on the way to the 166.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 159 S.

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1989 Ferrari Testarossa Convertible

1989 Ferrari Testarossa Convertible

An ‘80s icon goes topless

In the mid-‘80s, Ferrari introduced the Testarossa, a two-door berlinetta created as a replacement for the Berlinetta Boxer 512i. The name was a nod to the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa race car that ran in the World Sportscar Championship in the late ‘50s, but the new model was anything but old school. Occupying the top of the Prancing Horse model lineup, the new Testarossa was subsequently well received amongst critics and the buying public. Not only was it popularized by the show Miami Vice, but several prominent celebrities owned one, and eventually, the Testarossa became a well known symbol of ‘80s culture. Considering the popularity, you’d expect Ferrari to be eager to produce a drop-top version of the 12-cylinder sports car, but not so – only one “official” Testarossa convertible was ever produced, forcing custom builders to make their own roofless variants after the fact. This car is one of those rare custom Testarossa convertibles.

At its heart, the car you see here is a 1989 model. It’s nearly identical in every single way to the Testarossas that rolled out from Maranello and into Ferrari dealerships nearly three decades ago, save the infinitely expanded headroom.

This Testarossa convertible is on offer from Paris Prestige Cars, a French dealer of high-end sports cars, and it’s a rare convertible example of one of Ferrari’s most popular models.

Continue reading to learn more about this Ferrari Testarossa Convertible.

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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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1973 - 1976 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB

1973 - 1976 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB

By 1972, Ferrari was actually a little bit behind the times, and for a company whose reputation was staked on performance and technological prowess, that just wouldn’t do. Although a mid-engine layout had all but become a requirement for Grand Prix and sports-GT prototype racers in the early 1960s, Ferrari still lacked a mid-engine road car. This absence was made more glaring by the success of the Lamborghini Miura and then the Countach, which became an instant icon when it first hit the streets in 1971 in spite of a lack of racing pedigree.

The challenge could not go unanswered, and Ferrari’s return shot was the 365 GT4 BB. Ferrari’s first mid-engine flat twelve-cylinder road car made its debut in 1971 and hit the streets two years later. The car was based on the Pininfarina P6 concept car that appeared in 1968, and replaced the wildly successful front-engine Daytona. The new chassis was combined with a new flat-twelve engine, and this pairing would set the tone for Ferrari’s twelve-cylinder road cars for years to come.

There was a good reason for this: the 365 GT4 BB delivered on all of its promises, with interest. Capable of over 175 mph, it was easily among the world’s fastest road cars. Racing success wasn’t quite as forthcoming, and the racing 365 GT4 BB fielded by Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (NART) was not particularly competitive. That didn’t stop the 365 GT4 BB from becoming one of Ferrari’s most iconic cars, however. What it gave up in showmanship to the Countach, it made up in athleticism.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 365 GT4 BB.

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