When Ferrari replaced their Series I 250 Cabriolet with the plusher Series II in ‘58, American enthusiast, Luigi Chinetti, convinced Ferrari to build an even more glamorous version. The result was the beautifully named, beautifully styled and beautiful-to-drive California Spyder.
The Cal Spyder kept lots from the Series 1 Cab, like the 250 GT chassis and Tipo 128D engine and the only differences were larger rear lights and optional hardtop. But it was that sensuous, slippery Pininfarina – designed and Scaglietti – built body that made the Cal ragtop an instant legend. In its day the original California was seriously hot and it’s stayed seriously hot ever since. Only 100 were built and you’ll need around ten million pounds to own one now. One of the most desirable road Ferraris ever, the Cal Spyder is a gilt edged, copper-bottomed, Ronsealed investment that will just carry on going up and up. Sadly, only the seriously well heeled need apply.
In 2014 enthusiasts hearts missed a beat when a previously unknown Cal Spyder was found languishing in a barn in France complete with a pile of dusty car magazines strewn across its faded bonnet. Part of the famous ‘Baillon Collection’ – 100 classics secretly stashed away by shipping magnate Roger Baillon in the 50s and 60s.
The same unrestored Spyder sold after our show was broadcast for $23 million making it the fifth most expensive car ever sold at auction. And it still needs £400k of restoration! We did warn you, Cal Spyders were hot!