1961 Chaparral 1 Chassis 1-003

By their very nature, rare classic Ferraris draw big headlines when they're about to cross an auction block. Take, for example, the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM that we wrote about last month or the record-shattering 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider that sold for $27.5 million at the 2013 RM Auctions at Pebble Beach. But every so often, a car from the good ole' US of A pops up that looks capable of drawing similarly large bids at auction. Cars like this 1961 Chaparral 1.

For those not in the know, Chaparral Cars was a manufacturer of racecars during the 1960s; cars renowned for their advanced features and cutting-edge technologies. While cars like the 2J - affectionately known as the "sucker car" for its two, rear-mounted 17-inch fans, which were used to create a ground effect that gave it incredible aerodynamic grip at any speed - draw all the attention, it was the Chaparral 1 which started everything off.

Unlike other Chaparrals, the 1 was not particularly cutting edge. It was a pretty racecar, but it lacked the aerodynamic and technological features of later models, instead taking advantage of a 318-cubic-inch Chevrolet V8, a low curb weight and a fully independent suspension. Only five Chaparral 1s were built which adds to the rarity. Of those five cars, two were owned by company founder Jim Hall (no, not this Jim Hall). This is one of those cars.

Chassis 1-003 took a class win in its first outing at the 1962 12 Hours of Sebring, and then captured an overall win at the Road America 500. Its third and final appearance was at Sebring in 163, although it failed to finish. This particular car has had a series of owners since then, and was most recently sold in August 2004 for $1.1 million. It'll cross the block again this January, at RM Auctions' Scottsdale event, where it's expected to bring in anywhere from $2.25 to $2.75 million.