Chassis: 1011GT (Tipo 508D)
The Californian Spyder is, in the words of Stanley Nowak, author of Ferrari Spyder California, ‘An outrageous and delightful anomaly…and one that almost all Ferraristi covet!’ The spyder, or open sports racing car, is very much within Ferrari’s DNA as a genre. For the prancing horse’s first and second years of existence (1947 and 1948) Ferrari built nothing but spyders, making the category an established part of the Italian marque’s past and future.
The Californian Spyder was designed specially for the US market and was the culmination of an idea developed over several years. Although early prototypes were made, its real introduction to the market was in June 1958 and production continued until 1962 – a total of four years and 106 cars. This example, chassis 1011GT, was the tenth of fourteen cars made in 1958 and features the 7 x 32 rear axle ratio, fitted to several cars in that year to produce the maximum acceleration from a standing start. Right from birth, 1011GT was designed to attract maximum attention.
A very attractive car, this California Spyder is steel bodied, as in period, with covered headlights and drum brakes. A left-hand drive example, 1011GT has a 128D inside plug engine which uses six port heads and hairpin valve springs, producing a compression ratio of 8.8:1.
1011GT’s first owner was the Ferrari Representative of California, Hollywood, CA USA, who duly sold the car to Hal Baud Esq. of San Francisco. At this time, the car was red with black upholstery. In August 1965, Mr Baud entered the car at the Pebble Beach Concours. Twelve years later in 1977, Herb Gordon of San Rafael of California bought the car before being sold in 1990 to David Livingson, also of California. After a brief sojourn, the car moved to Germany, Europe having been purchased by a Volker Graul of Burgholzhausen. After another change of ownership, 1011GT was acquired by Juergen Jaudzims of Hamburg following which it was completely restored. In January 2006, Thomas Bremen of Germany took ownership of the car and reclothed it in dark blue paint with tan upholstery. In 2006, the engine was overhauled and in 2011 and in that year it was campaigned with great enjoyment at various track days at the Nurburgring and also entered a Ferrari Concours event (Class 1). 1011GT’s current owner has had the Ferrari comprehensively restored under the auspices of classic Ferrari specialist, Joe Macari.
Infinitely beautiful, this car needs no introduction to the Ferrari aficionado. A well-turned out and sound example, 1011GT will surely be popular with the organisers of some of the world’s most prestigious rally, touring and concours events.