1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider sells for $17.1m

A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider sold for $17.1m at Gooding & Company's Amelia Island auction on April 12.

The car was the 22nd California Spider ever built and has spent the majority of its life in Italy.

Ferrari California Spider
The California Spider originally belonged to Italian designer Gianfranco Frattini

In 1963 it featured in the Italian comedy Leri, Oggi, Domani (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow) starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni.

Company president David Gooding said: "With only three owners from new and a rich and fascinating history, this covered-headlight SWB California Spider has never before been offered for public sale and is being presented for the first time outside of Italy."

A 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder was another highlight, selling for $5.5m.

The history of the lot remains a mystery. It was bought from a Massachusetts car lot by a collector in the early 1960s.

It proudly displays original blue paint and a vinyl interior and has been an object of desire for Porsche collectors as long as it has been around.

The lot was one of several Porsches consigned by comedian and car aficionado Jerry Seinfeld, who commented: "You can't drive a sonnet by Shakespeare or a symphony by Beethoven.

"But this would be the automotive equivalent."

This year's Amelia Island sales in Florida have already brought in some impressive results, with a 1937 Bugatti type 57 sports tourer selling for $9.7m at Bonhams.

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