1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder

Owner: Lady Bamford Hosted by: Crémieux

The California Spyder was a car Enzo Ferrari was loathe to build – he was quite happy with the 250 GT Pinin Farina, which was popular in Europe. However, US appetites for sporty convertibles prompted the brand’s US importers to consider the idea – in Italy at the time, a racy convertible was a bit of an ideological block.

Under the skin, the California used a mechanical set-up derived from Ferrari’s sportiest members of the 250 series clan – initially the 250 GT ‘Tour de France’, and then the 250 GT SWB. The short-wheelbase (SWB) version appeared in 1960, with the aim of improving handling and performance; the wheelbase was reduced to 2.4 metres. The car was built at Scaglietti, which was more used to producing Ferrari’s competition machinery at the time.

This example, the 26th SWB built, was originally specified with a steel body, covered headlights, side vents, bonnet scoop and no bumpers. It was repainted red early in its life, and until 2000 called France and Italy home. In the care of its current owner, the California was restored to its original colour of Bianco, by DK Engineering.

Power: 276bhp | Top speed: 157mph | 0-60mph: N/A