Considered to be one of the most beautiful cars to ever emerge from the fabled workshop of Ferrari, the Ferrari 250GT California Spyder has been hailed over and over as perhaps the finest motoring experience imaginable, epitomising ‘la dolce vita’, the sweet life. With its stunning bodywork designed by Pininfarina and masterfully executed by Scaglietti, the car was a collaboration of the very best. It was borne out of an idea cooked up in the late fifties by US Ferrari dealers Luigi Chinetti and John von Neumann to cater to the burgeoning market in North America. Realising that a convertible would satisfy the currently mutually exclusive combination of the Tour de France performance and a yearning for the excitement and glamour of an open top Ferrari, Chinetti and von Neumann took their concept to Maranello, and the Spyder variant of the 250GT Berlinetta Tour de France was born.
The Italian stable threw top-drawer styling at the concept, enlisting Pininfarina and Scaglietti with the brief to create an open top design with space for two people and their luggage within the racing bred performance of the Tour de France. The first Spyders were built on the original 2600mm wheelbase, known as the long wheelbase (LWB), before Ferrari introduced a shorter wheelbase version (SWB) of the 250 GT Berlinetta at 2400mm in 1959. Scaglietti revealed the 250 GT California Spyder SWB at the 1960 Geneva Motor Show, its body pulled more tautly over this updated chassis. Like the Berlinetta on which it was based, the revised Spyder also received disc brakes and a 276 hp (280 PS) version of the 2,953cc Colombo Tipo 125 V12 engine. Just 56 examples of the GT short wheelbase Spyders were built and were to be mainly spotted in period on the French Riviera and in Hollywood, in the hands of famed actors such as Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, and James Coburn. The race car on which the whole concept was based represented the most remarkable competition success for the prancing horse, with N.A.R.T. (the North American Racing Team) achieving fifth place overall at the 1959 edition of Le Mans. Driven by Bob Grossman and Fernand Tavano, the car averaged a speed of over 165 miles per hour across the full 24 hours, including pit stops, and was beaten only by two Aston Martin sports racing cars and two Ferrari competition coupes.
On March 11 2016, at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, a 1961 SWB sold for over US$17 million at auction. True dual-purpose automobiles, they were at home on the streets of Beverly Hills and the open roads and racing circuits of Europe and North America, epitomising both style and prestige. The SWB Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder remains perhaps the most sought-after convertible of all time.
This fine 1:8 scale model of the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB has been handcrafted and finished in our workshops with the co-operation and assistance of Ferrari regarding original finishes, materials, archive imagery and drawings. The use of supremely accurate digital scanning of the original car has allowed us to perfectly recreate every detail at scale. Furthermore, it has undergone detailed scrutiny by both the engineering and design teams to ensure complete accuracy of representation. Every Amalgam 1:8 scale model is supplied in a luxury black presentation box and mounted on a carbon fibre or leather base protected by a clear acrylic dust cover. The model title, original branding and edition number are displayed on polished stainless steel plaques mounted at the front end of the base.