$8.8m '58 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider highlights RM's Arizona auction

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
All manner of vehicles change hands at the annual auction extravaganza in Arizona, but never has one sold for as much as the Ferrari you see here. The car in question is an (obviously) eminently desirable 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider, one of only 50 ever made and purring onto the stage in flawless red over black livery with matching numbers of the coveted covered headlights straight from the factory.

When we reported on the car's consignment in anticipation of this weekend's sale, it was expected to bring in between $7 and 9 million – and it's done just that, coming in near the top of its valuation with a winning bid of $8.8 million. That makes for a lot of zeros, but while it set a new record for the Arizona auctions, it hardly makes it the most expensive in the world. That honor still belongs to the Mercedes-Benz W196 that sold last summer for nearly $30 million. Nor is it the most expensive Ferrari ever sold at auction, an honor which still belongs to the 250 Testa Rossa that sold for over $16 million in 2011. Heck, it's not even the most expensive 250 California ever sold, coming in behind the SWB example that sold for nearly $11 million in 2008. All of which only goes to show just how insane the collector classic car market has grown in recent years.

The California was undeniably the highlight of RM's two-day sale, but was joined by several other seven-dollar lots, including a 1961 Porsche 718 ($2.75 million), a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso ($2.44 million), a Duesenberg Model J convertible ($2.2 million) and several other million-dollar Ferraris, Mercedes and a '35 Hispano-Suiza. A 1961 Chaparral 1 failed to reach its reserve price despite a high bid of $1.75 million, neither did a 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera 6 at $1.18 million or a Ferrari 275 GTB/4 at $2.85 million. RM Auctions did, however, manage to sell 85 percent of those lots consigned to bring in a massive two-day total of $45.56 million in sales, details of which you can read in the press release below.
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- RM Auctions 15th annual Arizona sale generates more than $45.5 million in sales with 85 percent of all lots sold
- Two-day sale features exceptional offering of 125 automobiles, one boat and one motorcycle
- Ten automobiles achieve million-dollar plus results with multiple new auction records set
- Top-seller: 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider sells for an outstanding $8,800,000
- Full results are now available online at
- RM continues its 2014 auction calendar with its debut sale in Paris, France, February 5 during the world famous Retromobile week

PHOENIX, Arizona (January 18, 2014) – RM Auctions, the world's largest collector car auction house for investment-quality automobiles, kicked off its 2014 auction season on a fantastic note once again this week, realizing an impressive $45,563,450 million in sales* with 85 percent of all lots sold at its 15th annual Phoenix, Arizona sale.

Within a beautiful setting and stunning presentation at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, the results represent a new high for the international auction house in Arizona. The two-day sale saw ten million-dollar-plus transactions and numerous auction records set, headlined by the top-selling 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider. Reflecting RM's international clientele and the global appeal of the well-established event, bidders hailed from 20 countries around the world.

"RM Auctions continues to prove that the combination of great cars, knowledgeable clients and a beautiful auction venue is a winning formula for both buyers and sellers," says Ian Kelleher, Car Specialist, RM Auctions. "This year's two-day sale was an unqualified success and set a terrific benchmark for the entire Arizona auction week, not to mention a fantastic start for the 2014 auction season."

Top sale honors went to the highly desirable 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider, chassis 1055 GT with coachwork by Scaglietti, selling for an incredible $8,800,000 before a packed auction room, making it the most valuable car ever sold in Arizona auction week history. The 11th of only 50 long-wheelbase California Spiders ever built, 1055 GT goes to its new owner in remarkably well-preserved condition. Continuing RM's outstanding track record for the sale of important Ferraris at auction, additional Ferrari highlights from the two-day sale include: the beautifully restored 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L 'Lusso', chassis 5215 GT, which sold for $2,447,500, setting a new record for the model at public auction; a wonderfully preserved 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB, chassis 8349, which sold for $1,815,000; and a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS, chassis 08353, which sold for $1,485,000.

Additional impressive million-dollar-plus sales include the brilliantly restored, ex-Bob Donner and Don Wester 1961 Porsche 718 RS 61 Spyder, taking the number two spot at $2,750,000. Representing the diverse roster of automobiles, a 1930 Duesenberg Model J 'Disappearing Top' Convertible Coupe, offered for public sale for the first time since new, sold for a fantastic $2,200,000.

RM Arizona 2014 - Top Ten Sales:

1. Lot 112
1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider

2. Lot 51
1961 Porsche 718 RS 61 Spyder

3. Lot 89
1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L 'Lusso'

4. Lot 22
1930 Duesenberg Model J 'Disappearing Top' Convertible Coupe

5. Lot 100
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB

6. Lot 104
1995 Ferrari F50

7. Lot 110
1966 Ferrari 275 GTS

8. Lot 83
1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing

9. Lot 99
1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet deVille

10. Lot 20
1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster

Further notable sales from the Arizona auction include:
Lot 21 – 1958 Bentley S1 Continental Coupe - $511,500 (Record for a Bentley S1 Continental at public auction)
Lot 18 – 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL 'Pagoda' - $165,000 (Record for a Mercedes-Benz 280SL at public auction)
Lot 43 – 1986 Toyota Celica IMSA GTO - $242,000
Lot 88 – 1961 Bentley S2 Continental 'Flying Spur' - $297,000 (Record for a Bentley S2 Continental 'Flying Spur' at auction)

RM Auctions continues its exciting 2014 calendar with its debut sale in Paris, France, February 5 at Place Vauban. Held during the world famous Retromobile motoring week, the sale will present a spectacular selection of more than 50 automobiles from all sectors of the collector car market. The Paris sale is closely followed by RM's 16th annual Amelia Island, Florida sale, March 8, the official auction of the renowned Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.

Full results from RM's Arizona sale along with details on upcoming events are available online at

*Please note, results are in USD and are inclusive of a 10 percent buyer's premium on automobiles and 15 percent on all other lots.

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