Chassis No. 2917GT served as the Prancing Horse marque's centerpiece at the 1961 Paris Motor Show, where it was displayed in light blue. Its first owner, however, only owned black cars, so he had it repainted. It changed hands a few times over the years, and was repainted in classic red somewhere along the way. That's the color it remains today.
Its current owner is described as a well-regarded collector living in the Brittany region of France and has reportedly taken exceptional care of it, driving it regularly and bringing in the best mechanics to service it. But after nearly half a century in his care, he's letting it go.
Artcurial will be handling its sale during the Le Mans Classic on July 9. We're waiting on word regarding how much the auction house expects it to sell for, but the records at Sports Car Market have similar examples selling in the past couple of years for upwards of $10 million. Given the apparent condition of this particular specimen, we don't doubt that it'll fetch top dollar.
– LE MANS CLASSIC, SALE 9 JULY 2016 –
Paris – Artcurial Motorcars has raised its international profile in recent years by offering some of the world's rarest and most valuable cars at auction. The top ten most expensive cars ever to sell at auction include two cars from each of Artcurial Motorcars' last two Retromobile sales: the ex-Bardinon 1957 Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti that sold on 5 February 2016 for 32.1M€ / 35.7M$ – a world record price (in € and £) for a car sold at auction – and the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider from the Baillon Collection that fetched €16.3M / 18.5M on 6 February 2015.
Artcurial Motorcars is also known for consigning important cars that are new to the market, a key feature of the star car in the next sale at Le Mans Classic on 9 July. The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta #2917GT has been in the hands of the present owner some 47 years, and has had just five owners from new.
This remarkable car was displayed new at the 1961 Paris Motor Show, presented in a light blue Azzuro. The first owner, a collector who only owned black cars, acquired #2917GT from the stand of the importer Franco-Britannic and had the car sent back to the Carrosserie Chapron to be re-liveried in black. Sometime before the current owner acquired the car in Monthléry in 1969 it was painted red - the colour it remains today.
This matching numbers car is in fantastic condition. Since buying the car 47 years ago, the present owner, well known in Ferrari circles, has driven it regularly and ensured the highest level of maintenance, instructing Pozzi to send a truck and mecanics to Brittany to carry out regular servicing work.
This may be the last 250 GT SWB to have been preserved in the same ownership for nearly half a century. Driven regularly on the back roads in France, this carefully preserved car has spent its entire life in France, out of the public eye. It presents an extraordinary opportunity when it comes under the hammer at Artcurial Motorcars' next sale, which takes place on 9 July 2016 at Le Mans Classic, one of the world's most prestigious historic motorsport events.
After a record year in 2015 featuring the remarkable Baillon Collection, Artcurial Motorcars has confirmed its own status and that of Paris as a venue for collector's car sales with this year's Retromobile sale. Totalling 56.1M€ / 62.6M$ including aftersales and up 21 % on last year, the 2016 edition of the sale attracted buyers and sellers from around the world. The very last Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta offered at auction during Retromobile 2016 was sold after the sale to an European collector for 8.1 M€ / 9.2 M$. International collectors are increasingly selecting Artcurial Motorcars as the leading auction house to buy and sell the most important cars.