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Preview: RM Auctions, Arizona, 16-17 January

Published 11 December 2013

RM Auctions is pitching up at its first sale of 2014 with an impressive lot-list topper - a 1958 Ferrari 250GT LWB California Spider. It tops the 120-car sale, the 15th time RM pitches up for the Scottsdale week - its sale taking place at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix on 16-17 January.

The headline Ferrari is the 11th of 50 long-wheelbase California Spiders. The matching-numbers and factory covered headlamp example was delivered new through Luigi Chinetti Motors and sold to Fawcett Motors in Lubbock, Texas, where it was purchased by its first private owner, a local attorney, in 1959.

In its only competitive outing, the Ferrari placed first in class at the SCCA 1962 Osceola Grand Prix in Geneva, Florida, with Ross Durant at the wheel, and eventually passed through the hands of Ferrari Market Letter founder and publisher Gerald L Roush in the early 1970s. Following a full restoration in the early 1990s, 1055 GT placed first in class at the 1994 Cavallino Classic III Concours d’Elegance and appeared at the Concorso Italiano, the Ferrari Club of America International Concours and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in that same year.

RM Auctions Arizona _1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider _Patrick Ernzen (c ) 2013 Courtesy Of RM Auctions _3

More recently, the California Spider has received an engine rebuild by Roelofs Engineering in the Netherlands, along with a fresh service by Ferrari of Newport Beach, and is offered for sale in remarkably well-preserved condition in its original colour of Rosso Rubino with a black top and black leather interior (estimate $7,000,000-9,000,000).

'The Cal Spider is amongst the most highly prized of all road-going Ferraris,' said Shelby Myers, Managing Director, RM Auctions – California. 'Produced in exceedingly low quantities, the long wheelbase covered headlight model, such as the one we have the pleasure of offering in Arizona, is arguably the most beautifully proportioned of all Ferrari Spiders. It radiates elegance and performance while encapsulating everything that open-air motoring is intended to be.'

The California Spider is joined in Phoenix by an ACD Club Category One certified 1930 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Convertible Coupe, engine J-357, known to enthusiasts as 'Melvin’s Murphy'. The Murphy Convertible Coupe is one of only approximately 25 built with the famous 'disappearing top', making it the most desirable iteration of the convertible Duesenberg.

Additional notable highlights slated for RM’s Arizona auction podium include:

  • A 1929 Bentley 4 ½-Litre Tourer, chassis NX3467, one of the most original and authentic unrestored examples in existence (estimate $1,800,000-2,200,000).
  • The Siata-Ford, a well-documented, matching numbers 1953 Siata 208S Spyder, chassis BS509, formerly owned by the Doheny family, Kent Wakeford, and Dan Rowen (estimate $1,300,000-1,600,000)
  • A 1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet deVille with coachwork by the Rippon Brothers, also offered with known ownership history, its original chassis, engine, and body and the recipient of a show-quality restoration along with recent extensive sorting (estimate $1,000,000-1,300,000);
  • An award-winning and professionally restored 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Ventoux, chassis 57664, supercharged and ready to shine at both driving and concours events (estimate $800,000-1,000,000)

RM Auctions Arizona _1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider _Patrick Ernzen (c ) 2013 Courtesy Of RM Auctions

All images: Patrick Ernzen © 2013 Courtesy of RM Auctions.

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