[Source: Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance]
In 1958, Ferrari began production of a race-inspired convertible named after its best-selling market – the Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California. Only 105 "Cal Spyders" were manufactured overall. In addition to the prototype, there were six variants-long and short wheelbase models with differing headline treatments and competition versions.
Six of these now iconic roadsters will be displayed among the world's elite vehicles at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 17.
"The Spyder California exemplifies Ferrari's unrivaled racing heritage and matchless individuality," said Sandra Kasky Button, chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, "This is the first time that six variations, including the prototype, will appear together in one place. Once again automotive history will be made at Pebble Beach."
According to Ed Gilbertson, Chief Judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and a Ferrari expert, "The Spyder California was a factory-built road car that you could drive to the track and race. We're bringing together examples from around the world – from people who don't often show their cars – to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime display of Ferrari legends."
After the prototype's completion in 1957, coachbuilder Carrozzeria Scaglietti began handcrafting the open-air Spyder California based on the long-wheelbase 250 GT platform, with models featuring both open and closed headlights. In 1960 Ferrari moved to a shorter wheelbase, again with open and closed headlight variations. Twelve of the 105 Spyder Californias were built specifically for competition, utilizing all-aluminum bodywork, a larger gas tank and a more powerful engine, and racing triumphs added to the Spyder California's lore.
"Ferraris with competition pedigrees are always the most revered," said Gilbertson, "and the Spyder California earned top finishes at some of the biggest races. We'll have one of the most desirable Ferraris of all on display at the Concours – the closed headlight, alloy-bodied, short wheelbase Spyder California that raced at Le Mans and Sebring."
The Concours will also showcase the only Ferrari 400 Superamerica built by the factory with Spyder California coachwork. Its Pebble Beach appearance in the GT Class marks the first showing of it anywhere in the world.
"This Superamerica is the only one of its kind, and looks just like a pregnant Spyder California due to its bigger chassis and engine," said Gilbertson. "Although it's not truly a Spyder California, it's certainly a close cousin and looks just like the exceptional beauty that it replicates.
"The 2008 Pebble Beach Concours will be a rare opportunity for spectators, especially Ferrari aficionados, to see six types of Spyder Californias together and, just steps away, be able to compare it to the only 400 Superamerica of its kind; something that is unlikely to happen again for a very, very long time."