Vintage Ferrari could sell for $14M at auction

A trio of prized vintage Ferraris will hit the auction block Saturday, as prices for the Prancing Horse brand continue to gallop ahead of other automakers.

At the RM Sotheby's Lake Como auction, part of the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este vintage car competition, the top three lots by estimate are all Ferraris. The star of the weekend is a dark blue 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, which the auctioneers expect to sell for between $11.8 million and $13.95 million. ( Tweet this. )

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
Source: RM Sotheby’s
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

Ferrari made only 56 versions of the model. While most ended up in the U.S., the one being sold at the Sotheby's auction stayed in Europe—first in Italy, then Switzerland, followed by the United Kingdom and Germany. It was brought back to the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy, in 2010 for a complete restoration by the Ferrari Classiche division, which rebuilt all of the mechanical systems. The car has been displayed at the Museo Ferrari in Maranello since 2014.

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Marcel Massini, a Ferrari historian and adviser to top Ferrari collectors, said the '61 Spider is likely to sell for between $13 million and $14 million, but could go for more. In February, another Spider sold at a Paris auction for $18 million.

The second highest-priced lot is a bright yellow 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione by Scaglietti. The car was one of 45 aluminum-bodied competition versions produced in 1960 and was restored by the famed Wayne Obry at Motion Products Inc. It's expected to sell for more than $11 million.

Porsche's standout headquarters
Porsche's standout headquarters   

Perhaps the most historically important car of the weekend, however, is a 1952 Ferrari 212 Export Barchetta by Touring. The open-air, red racer has a strong racing history and is in pristine condition. Massini said the cars rarely come to market, especially in such good condition. The estimate is between $5.9 million and $7.5 million.

"This is a terrific car with a great ownership history, and it's fresh to market," he said. "This is my favorite of the weekend."

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Even though it's 63 years old, the car can still top 130 miles per hour with its 16-horsepower V-12 engine, Massini said. Of course, since it's open air, the buyer would have to avoid rainy days.

"Or you just drive very fast," Massini said. "That's the best way to stay dry."

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