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Will this Ferrari 250 GT California Spider fetch $18m?

Gorgeous, short-wheelbase Cali is coming up for auction. For a lot of money

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In the new issue of Top Gear magazine, new TG telly host Chris Evans heralds the Ferrari California Spider as ‘the most beautiful car ever created’. Look at that picture above. We defy you to disagree.

This rather astonishing red example is coming up for auction at Gooding’s Pebble Beach sale on August 15 and 16. Yes, it’s another 250 GT Cali Spider at another classic auction. But it’s a 250 GT Cali Spider.

Specifically, the SWB version. Ferrari made some 106 California Spiders in the late Fifties and early Sixties, with 56 of them on the short-wheelbase chassis. And of those 56, just 37 were finished with the ‘covered headlights’. This, as you can see, is one of those 37.

And because it’s a 250 GT Cali Spider, it comes with a luscious 3.0-litre V12, though how many of its 280 horsepowers from 1961 remain is a matter for the new owner to discover.

Auction house Gooding & Co informs us that it’s the first time this particular SWB 250 GT is being offered up for sale since the 1960s. It’s not been restored, nor has it been shown off at any concours events either. Meaning it’s an utterly authentic period piece.

Now, here’s the kicker. You know the provenance. You know that it’s rare, utterly gorgeous and will garner a significant amount of money at auction. After all, a few years back, another covered-headlight, 1962 SWB 250 GT Spider – chassis number 3119 GT – sold for $8,580,000.

Gooding reckons this car will fetch up to $18m – or just over £11.5m. Eighteen million dollars. We don’t need to remind you what this sort of money can buy you. All five of the world’s finest current hypercars with change to boot. Or a three-door, brand-new VW Golf R every day for a year, with a handful left over to distribute amongst friends. You get the point.

Obviously, we realise that a car is worth exactly what somebody is prepared to pay for it. But is $18m just too much for a 1960s Ferrari? Or is there no upper limit on something this rare, this gorgeous and this desirable?

Over to you.

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