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  Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Competizione Spyder

  Article Image gallery (8) 2015GT Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1960
Numbers built:3 Alloy SWB
Designed by:Pinin Farina
Predecessor:Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder Competizione
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:August 14, 2006
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Click here to download printer friendly versionOn the insistence of North American distributors Luigi Chinetti and John van Neumann, Ferrari added a stripped down, high performance roadster to line-up early in 1958. Appropriately dubbed the 250 GT California Spyder, it was closer in design and specification to Ferrari's competition cars than the 250 GT Coupe and Cabriolet also offered at the time. The exception of course being the Pinin Farina styled and Scaglietti built roadster body.

Like all contemporary Ferrari production cars of the day, the California Spyder was built around an elliptical section steel tubular frame. Suspension was by double wishbones at the front and a live rear axle. Drum brakes were fitted on all four corners. Even though devoid of most luxuries, the California Spyder was built to order and among the options was a choice of engine tune. In 'standard' trim, the lovely V12 was good for around 240 bhp but full competition specification engines of 280 bhp could also be fitted.

As mentioned before, the roadster body was designed by Pinin Farina but like all Ferrari competition cars was constructed by Scaglietti. The elegant design could be ordered with covered or open headlights. While the first California Spyders were fitted with all-steel bodies, Scaglietti could also cloth the car in a lightweight aluminium coach-work. In this guise, the California Spyder was a formidable competition car as underlined by Richie Ginther and Howard Hively, who placed ninth overal and first in class at the 1959 Sebring 12 Hours.

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  Article Image gallery (8) 2015GT Specifications