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This Ferrari just sold for $18million

RM sells ’59 250GT for $17.99million at NY sale. Is it worth it?

Published: 11 Dec 2017

Can a car ever be worth $18million? Apparently so, because that’s precisely what someone paid for this rather fetching 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione at RM Sotheby’s “Icons” auction in New York last week. 

Why so much cash? Chassis 1451GT was one of three cars entered in the 1959 Le Mans 24Hrs by racing driver and Ferrari distributor Luigi Chinetti, and it was built to full-on “competizione” spec. The second of eight Cali Spiders bodied in aluminium, RM says 1451 had “the first outside-plug, Tipo 128F engine, topped with high lift camshafts, triple 40 DCL6 carburetors, and a competition-spec fuel tank with an external fuel filter”. Power was rated at 262.5 bhp at 7,300 rpm. 

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It was owned and driven by a chap called Bob Grossman. Even though the car was only signed-off five days before the race was due to begin, Grossman had never raced at Le Mans before and neither knew nor spoke the same language as his co-driver, he finished fifth overall and third in class. 

After the race 1451 was returned to the factory, finished in metallic silver and shipped to the US. Grossman competed in various races before selling the car a year later. It was passed between various owners and even repainted red before being restored to its original Le Mans livery in 2010. No doubt gorgeous, but worth the money? 

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