The SWB California Spyder Portfolio Slide Show


1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder

Chassis No. 3163GT
Engine No. 924E

The Ferrari 250 Granturismo Spyder California was created in 1957 on the 250GT long wheelbase chassis. An open sportscar version of the successful Tour de France competition car, it was produced with the encouragement of Luigi Chinetti and Johnny von Neumann with their American market in mind. The 'improved' short wheelbase version was built from 1960-63, though only about 55 SWB Californias were produced in total. The details of the 3-litre V-12 engine evolved throughout the years of production, but the chassis was completely revised in the short wheelbase cars. Both the LWB and the SWB were designed for high-performance 'grand touring', yet only the long wheelbase version saw significant competition in the US as well as in Europe.

This SWB California was delivered to its first owner in Rome, Italy, with red paint, a black interior, the elegant covered headlights, and a very rare factory hardtop. Thirty years after its 1968 delivery to the US, we offered it to one of our valued clients, who then commissioned us to perform a complete mechanical and cosmetic restoration, including a change of the body color to the correct period shade of "Fly Yellow" with black interior. Authenticity in detail and workmanship led to high honors at the car's inaugural showings in 2000 at the Cavallino Classic and the Amelia Island Concours.

According to research supplied by noted historian Marcel Massini, this car was registered in February of 1962 on the Italian plates Roma 509295. In keeping with a historically correct restoration, we had the plates authentically reproduced using the original registration numbers. Note the 'official' inscription at the top of the plate.

Driving, tuning, and sorting-out are the final stages of any restoration that delivers a car which will perform authentically. Your driving sensations complete the experience. On the day after showing this SWB California Spyder at the Pebble Beach Concours, the owners drove it up the Coast Highway and across the Golden Gate Bridge to a party in Napa Valley.

A subsequent owner in the United Kingdom changed the exterior color to silver. Today it is back under our care, it's current owner pleased to find it is still winning awards.


Cavallino Concorso d'Eleganza, 2005
Platinum Award

Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, 2000
First In Class
Best Open Car

Cavallino Concorso d'Eleganza, 2000
Platinum Award
La Coppa per Dodici Cilindri

The Cal Spyder was lighter, faster, and sportier than the lusher, more luxury-minded 250 GT Cabriolet model. Mechanically, it was typical Ferrari fare for the day: tubular chassis, Scaglietti body construction of a Pinin Farina design, 60-degree 3.0-liter SOHC V-12 running triple-downdraft Weber carbs rated at 280 horsepower, four-speed manual transmission, Borrani knock-off wire wheels.

“Road Tests: Classic”, Motor Trend