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1961 Ferrari Breaks World Record at Auction

By May 22, 2008

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1961 250 GT SWB California SpyderThe 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder, formerly owned by Oscar winning actor, James Coburn for over 25 years, is the most expensive vintage motor car ever to be sold at auction. The winning bid was impressive $10,894,400 at RM's Ferrari Leggenda e Passione Auction in Maranello, Italy this passed weekend .

The record breaking Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder, chassis number 2377 GT, is the thirteenth of just fifty-six built. It was completed on March 5th 1961 and sold new to its first owner Fredy Damman. In 1964 it was sold to actor James Coburn of Hollywood, California. This would have been shortly after the end of filming “The Great Escape.” Coburn had this car tuned up by Max Balchowsky at Hollywood Motors. Balchowsky was a successful racing driver famous for his homebuilt Old Yeller racing cars. His garage was a popular hangout for Hollywood’s “genuine car guys” as Steve McQueen, James Garner and Coburn.

Additional notable sales included: a stunning 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder for an impressive $3,659,837; a legendary 1971 Ferrari 512M sports racing car for an exceptional $3,234,275; and a rare 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso "Comp" for an excellent $1,702,250. Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the Ferrari Daytona, an ultra-collectible, award-winning 1971 Ferrari GTS/4 Daytona Spyder crossed the block for $1,489,468.

All of the sales results for RM's Ferrari Leggenda e Passione Auction can be found on their website.

Photo © RM Auctions

May 23, 2008 at 7:58 pm
(1) Michael Davidson says:

I was under the impression that Tom Monaghan (Domino’s Pizza) bought a Bugatti Royale for over $12 mil back in the ’90s.

May 24, 2008 at 2:53 am
(2) classiccars says:

If you’re speaking of the 1931 Type 41 Bugatti Royale, one of only six ever made and had been Ettore Bugatti’s personal car until his death in 1947, Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, bought it for a reported $8.1 million making it the most expensive car in the world until now.

In 1991 Monaghan sold this Royale, apparently for slightly less than he paid for it and the car has since been sold again. It’s now reportedly in the hands of a Korean owner.

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