The California Spyder is, in the words of Stanley Nowak, author of Ferrari Spyder California, ‘An outrageous and delightful anomaly… and one that almost all Ferraristi covet!’ The Spyder, or open sports racing car, is very much within Ferrari’s DNA as a genre. In its first and second years of existence (1947 and ’48) the Prancing Horse built nothing but Spyders, making the category an established part of the Italian marque’s past and future.
The California Spyder was designed specially for the US market and was the culmination of an idea developed over several years. Although early prototypes were made, its real introduction came in June 1958 and production continued until 1962, with a total of 106 cars built over that four-year period. This example, chassis 1011 GT, was the tenth of fourteen cars made in 1958 and features the 7x32 rear axle ratio, which was fitted to several cars in that year to produce the maximum acceleration from a standing start. Right from birth, 1011 GT was designed to invite maximum attention.
A very attractive car, this California Spyder is steel bodied – as in period – with covered headlights and drum brakes. A left-hand drive example, 1011 GT has a 128D inside plug engine which uses six port heads and hairpin valve springs, producing a compression ratio of 8.8:1.
1011 GT’s first owner was the Ferrari Representative of California who duly sold the car to Hal Baud Esq of San Francisco. At this time the car was red with black upholstery and, in August 1965, Mr Baud entered it at the Pebble Beach Concours. Twelve years later, in 1977, 1011 GT was bought by San Rafael, CA, resident Herb Gordon before being sold in 1990 to David Livingson, also of California. Following a brief sojourn the car moved to Germany after being purchased by Volker Graul of Burgholzhausen. Then, after another change of ownership, 1011 GT was acquired by Juergen Jaudzims of Hamburg who had it completely restored.
In January 2006 Thomas Bremen took ownership and re-clothed the car in black paintwork with tan upholstery. Later that year the engine was overhauled and in 2011 1011 GT was finally purchased by its current owner who campaigned it with great enjoyment at various Nurburgring track days and a Ferrari Concours event (Class 1).
Infinitely beautiful, this car needs no introduction to the Ferrari aficionado and represents an incredibly rare opportunity to acquire one of the most significant Ferraris in the world.