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Classic Cars

Porsche and Ferrari Rarities Highlight January RM Auction

A Ferrari 250 GT LWB and Porsche 718 RS top the estimates

 
 
Slideshow
Both the 718 and 250 GT were sold as customer racers

Two very rare PorschePorschePorscheGermany, 1931 > present43 models
4655 photos
29 videos
and FerrariFerrariFerrariItaly, 1947 > present233 models
5146 photos
37 videos
models highlight RM Auctions’ January sale in Scottsdale, Arizona. RM has consigned a 1961 Porsche 718 RS 61 Spyder and a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider250 GT California SpiderFerrari 250 GT California...Italy, 1957 > 19592 photos
by Scaglietti, and both are expected to sell in the millions.

The Porsche 718 RS 61 Spyder718 RS 61 SpyderPorsche 718 RS 61 SpyderGermany, 1961 > present23 photos
was meant as the successor of the famous 550 RS Spyder550 RS SpyderPorsche 550 RS SpyderGermany, 1954 > present1 photo
. It is one of just 14 cars built that year. Like the 550, the 718 used a lightweight body and mid-mounted high-revving 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 178hp to be competitive against cars with much larger engines.

Also like the 550, they were meant to be a gentleman’s racer that could be bought, driven to the racetrack, raced and driven home. RM’s example finished 7th overall and 2nd in class at the 1961 12 Hours of Sebring.

The Porsche 718 RS is expected to sell for between $2.8 million and 3.2 million.

The other top car that RM will sell is a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Long Wheelbase California Spider by Scaglietti with a 3.0-liter Colombo V12 with 222hp, and it was the eleventh of 50 long wheelbase spiders built.

Like the Porsche, it was designed for the gentleman racer, although was a bit more gentlemanly than its German rival.

The genesis of the 250 GT California Spider comes from US Ferrari importers Luigi Chinetti and John von Neumann. They saw a desire among American fans for a convertible version of the 250 GT Berlinetta250 GT BerlinettaFerrari 250 GT BerlinettaItaly, 1963 > present1 photo
, which was Ferrari’s top customer racer of the day.

Chinetti and von Neumann special ordered the cars, and they became a hit on the roads and on the racetrack. A LWB California Spider won the GT class at the 1959 12 Hours of Sebring and took ninth place overall. Chinetti’s own North American Racing Team brought the California Spider to fifth place overall in the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans.

This particular car raced only once in 1962 at a regional racing event in Florida where it took first in class and second overall.

It is estimated to sell for between $7 million and $9 million.

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