1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider by Scaglietti

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider by Scaglietti

The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider by Scaglietti. Few postwar classic cars can match the insanely high prices commanded by the Ferrari 250 in its various forms. And of the forms that the 250 took, it is generally the 250 GTO and 250 GT SWB California Spider that fetches the very highest prices. These are prized because of their rarity, and with RM Auction set to auction off a 250 GT SWB California Spider soon, it has caught the attention of collectors everywhere. Not only were there just 56 units of the Spider produced, but only 16 of these units were built with open headlights, this 1961 model is one of those 16. RM Auctions is, therefore, expecting the car to go for 11-13 million euros.

The California Spider was built essentially at the request of a couple of American Ferrari distributors. It is based on the 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France, but with a convertible top for increased enjoyment of the lovely California weather. Most of these cars were of course sent to the U.S., but a handful stayed in Europe, of which this is one. It was bought by its current owner in 2007 and was sent to Ferrari Classiche shortly thereafter for restoration. This was completed in 2010, and you can see, it is absolutely gorgeous.


1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider by Scaglietti


Year1961Displacement2953 L
MakeFerrari0-60 time6.5 Seconds
$13,500,000  (€ 11.000.000 )
EngineV-12Body StyleConvertible
Horsepower @ RPM226Transmission Four-Speed Manual

In the late 1950s, Luigi Chinetti and John von Neumann, Ferrari’s two U.S. distributors, both realised that a convertible version of the 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France would sell well in the United States, as clients desired the performance of the TdF yet yearned for the excitement that a convertible provided. The California Spider proved to be a success, and as Ferrari updated the 250 GT Berlinetta to ensure that it remained competitive in motorsport, it was only natural that the California Spider received a similar set of upgrades.

The biggest difference between the original California Spider and the newer series that had first been shown at the Geneva Salon in March 1960 was the change in wheelbase. In an effort to improve handling and increase the car’s cornering speeds, the wheelbase was reduced from 2,600 millimetres to 2,400 millimetres. Through utilising the newer Tipo 168 design with new heads and larger valves, the engine was now reported to produce up to 280 horsepower. Additionally, the track was wider than that of the outgoing California Spider, and the car’s lever-type shock absorbers were replaced with newer Koni adjustable and telescopic shock absorbers. Braking was transformed by the inclusion of four-wheel Dunlop disc brakes, and the SWB California Spider became the contemporary of the legendary 250 SWB Berlinetta.

In 1961, a gentleman driver could drive his California Spider to the race track, easily outrun comparable Aston Martins and Jaguars, and drive home again in the early evening with the top-down and in utmost comfort. The car’s dual-purpose nature appealed to many well-heeled individuals, and SWB California Spiders were owned by film stars, such as Alain Delon, James Coburn, and Roger Vadim; European aristocracy, including Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy; and even racing drivers. Jan De Vroom campaigned his SWB California Spider at both the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1961 12 Hours of Sebring, where he finished 12th overall, which is an incredible result for a street-legal convertible.


Image of placeholder transparent


The Spider has its roots in the 250 GT Berlinetta Tour de France in 1956. In 1957, two different convertible versions of the car were made, the 250 GT Cabriolet Pininfarina, with bodywork by Pininfarina (obviously), and the America-bound 250 GT California Spider, with bodywork by Scaglietti. Both of these were superseded in 1960 when Ferrari decided to go with a shorter wheelbase for improved handling. There are some variations in the bodywork between the versions of the car, especially given that the SWB versions were a full 8 inches shorter than the original, but all told, a 250 GT is always pretty recognizable as a 250 GT.

Among the differences are the pronounced “hips” in the bodywork just behind the rear doors. These are not unique to California models, or even to the convertibles, but it is something which not every 250 had, and those that have them are more valuable. The bodywork of the California models is about as curvaceous as 250s get, yet it manages to hold on to the elegant simplicity that makes the whole line still so desirable.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase2,400 MM (94.5 Inches)
Length4,200 MM (165.4 Inches)
Width1720 MM (67.7 Inches)
Height1370 MM (53.9 Inches)




Image of placeholder transparent


In 1961, Ferrari was still mainly concerned with building race cars. Road-going cars were built almost as an afterthought and were always based on platforms designed chiefly for racing.Cabin accessories are essentially nonexistent, and you might have noticed from the pictures that it lacks even a radio. But that’s fine, this was a car that was meant to be driven, and the sound of the engine was all the music you would ever need. There is an ashtray though because we’re talking about 1961 in Italy. And though there might not have been a lot of interior options, the finest materials were used, from the copious amounts of leather upholstery to the big wooden steering wheel.



Image of placeholder transparent


Ferrari used some variation or another of the same 12-cylinder engine from 1947 all the way up until 1995, and the 250s all had them as well. This was the Colombo V-12, and at the time of the 250, Ferrari differentiated models by unitary, rather than total engine displacement. This meant that the 250, rather confusingly, actually had a 3.0-liter engine, with 250 cc per cylinder, times 12 cylinders. Early road-going versions of the 250 produced 217 horsepower, but along with the shortened wheelbase, 1960 also saw improvements to the engine that resulted in more power. The improvements consisted largely of redesigned heads and larger valves, which pushed output up to 280 horsepower.

Image of placeholder transparent


RM Auctions has estimated that the car will likely go for anywhere from 11 million to 13 million euros ($12 million-$14 million). It sounds like a lot of money, but it’s actually probably a fairly conservative estimate, given that an unrestored barn finds 250 GT SWB California Spider just recently went for $18.5 million at auction. But as with anything this rare and valuable, it is a very difficult thing to predict.



Image of placeholder transparent


Maybe my favorite car all-time, though not as rare as the 250 GT SWB California Spider, the DB4 is very much the same kind of thing: a low-volume European Grand Touring machine. And The DB4 does date back to a time in the company’s history before the sales explosion that would result from the DB5’s appearance in the movie Goldfinger. They aren’t cheap, but because they aren’t as rare, you can have one for generally between half a million and one million USD, depending on condition and which variation of the car you’ve got your heart set on. Sporting 240 horsepower, the DB4 isn’t quite as powerful as the Ferrari, but the important thing is that you’ll look at least as cool driving it.

Image of placeholder transparent


Though this is very much open to debate, the 5000 GT is considered by some to be the greatest Maserati of all time. Based on the 3500 GT, but with a 5-liter, 340-horsepower V8 in place of the inline six, only 34 units of this car were ever produced. Not only that, but there is a fair amount of variation in the bodywork from one unit to the next, as eight different coachbuilders produced bodies for various clients, many of whom were royalty. It is therefore literally a car fit for a king, and RM Auctions happens to have one of these going up for auction soon as well. That particular car was owned by King Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and is expected to go for $2.2-$2.9 million.

Note: Maserati 5000 GT by Allemano pictured.




Edited + Format by Asher Hardt


Check out more “priceless” Ferrari Gems plus a ton more fire at Top Speed


House in Shatin Mid-Level by Millimeter Interior Design Limited

House in Shatin Mid-Level by Millimeter Interior Design Limited

House in Shatin Mid-Level (2013) by Millimeter Interior Design Limited located in Hong Kong, Hong Kong | The Hardt


House in Shatin Mid-Level (2013) by Millimeter Interior Design Limited located in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. This design gave a boundless makeover to the structure of an existing 40-year old house, transforming it into a comfortable and modern accommodation. The designer successfully divided the two-story house into a garage, a living room, a dining room, a garden, two guest rooms, two guest bathrooms, one helper suite, a master bedroom suite with a spacious walk-in closet and a study room.


The highlight of this design is that it incorporates a sustainable green approach to reduce environmental impact. The external walls of the house are rebuilt over an old fashion style house preserving the original structure. This not only helps save on building reconstruction cost, but it reduces waste to protect the environment. LED light tubes are used to create a time motion-like garage, springing off a hip and surreal effect. The inclusion of nature indoors or an interaction of ecology and living space is created by planting a small maple tree in the center of the house. The open roof of the maple tree provides sunlight for the tree and also brings in natural light into the glass partitioned study room.




Through the design, technology assists in green living in the following ways: Motion sensors are used for the garage gate and lighting. All lightings in the house are automatically turned off when no one is present. Aluminum panels are installed to prevent solar heat from entering the house and hence, reducing the use of air conditioners. Large solar panels are installed on the rooftop to provide a source of natural power to water heaters, lighting, and backup batteries. Transforming an old-fashioned style house into an urban-style home and yet maintaining the original construction without a trace is something that deserves to be accredited. Now that environmental awareness or being socially responsible has become an increasing trend in society, bringing sustainability into homes is an alternate lifestyle for the new generation. The design adopted in this case breaks boundaries between interior and exterior space and establishes a green and conscious lifestyle, meeting the needs of a growing demand in society today.





Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:



Ferrari 512 BBi “Boxer” at Holger Schubert’s Garage in Los Angeles

Ferrari 512 BBi “Boxer” at Holger Schubert’s Garage in Los Angeles





Ferrari 512 BBi “Boxer” at Holger Schubert’s Garage in Los Angeles | The Hardt


Ferrari 512 BBi “Boxer” at Holger Schubert’s Garage in Los Angeles, The 1,200 square foot space provides a designated spot for the car and a large open area for a couch, a slide-away TV, a built-in bookshelves in front of a large storage room, as well as a small kitchen, a bathroom and a library The house – an old ranch house located in Brentwood – Los Angeles, was redesigned to match the car, the tones, colors, and style – everything was reconsidered. But how do you get the car inside and then back on the streets, as this Ferrari is on a daily base use, not being kept as a museum piece?!? Hogler built a bridge between the house and the road, that features a hydraulic ramp on one end – basically, the car is not turned on when he’s leaving the house but pushed outside by the ramp.
It’s not only a superb, unique, award-winning project – but also quite a bit of expensive – Hogler paid more than 1.5 million dollars for his stunning idea. But in the end, it’s not about money, but satisfaction and the smile that’s written on your face when you see that you have accomplished a dream – your dream. “I enjoy driving the car on winding roads – where it’s not about speed, it’s about being in the right gear, shifting up, shifting down, really getting a feeling for the car”.

In 2009, Maserati shined a spotlight on the place where cars are parked through a nationwide call for entries in their Ultimate Garage competition. Holger Schubert, a renowned architect, and car aficionado took the challenge and designed his garage specifically for this competition. He was awarded first place for the existing garage category. Schubert’s “garage” is an exquisite space that resembles a museum exhibit of the ultimate man cave of the twenty-first century. As an admirer of art and cars, Schubert designed and built the area to be his retreat, with the Ferrari as the focal point.

LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA

STYLE: Modern Contemporary

DESIGNER: Holger Schubert

PRODUCT: Motorized retractable screens


The need


Schubert required a solution that enabled him to shade the sun and prevent the solar heat from entering the room. In addition, the entire screen had to remain completely hidden when not in use to preserve the architectural integrity of the building.


Image of Ultimate Garage 08resize 560x850


Image of Ultimate Garage 01 resize 700x485


The Solution

Phantom motorized screens provide solar protection while maintaining the look of the room. The motorized screens were mounted on the exterior of the windows to absorb and dissipate heat and glare before it reaches the glazing. The openness level of the mesh combined with the darker shade help to preserve the view to the outside and maintain a comfortable level of interior light. At night, the screens are completely retracted in recessed housings, and the car is reflected on three 16-foot glass windows.


Image of Ultimate Garage 04resize 700x485


What makes this project special

The screens on this garage are entrusted to protect the homeowner, architect, and builder- Holger Schubert’s, 1984 Ferrari 512 BBi Boxer- the first mid-engined road car to bear the Ferrari name.

Art Port by Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects

Art Port by Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects

Art Port by Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects located in Water Mill, an affluent hamlet of Southampton, New York, USA | The Hardt


Art Port by Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects located in Water Mill, an affluent hamlet of Southampton, New York, USA. Art Port is free of charge standing pavilion produced for an art dealer as an addition to a present residence. It creates an arrival sequence for the homeowners and their visitor





Formed from a single flat roof that rests on 2 reliable volumes, it is separated from the major residence by a bamboo garden. A wood walkway slices via the garden creating a bodily connection between the pavilion and the primary residence. The basic open prepare of the pavilion gives versatility, simply transforming into an impromptu art gallery. Huge glass openings welcome the outdoors in. The pavilion generates the best backdrop for events, in which the architecture and landscape highlight the installations.

Photos by: Matthew Carbone



Aesthetically and Geographically Related:




The Hardt

Pin It on Pinterest