Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder: Beautiful, cool, iconic and desirable.

The 250 GT California Spyder came about when (1957) Ferrari’s US distributors persuaded Enzo Ferrari to build an open version for sale in the US.  While Europe wanted the road and track capability offered by 250 GT Tour de France, America wanted more style and niche than outright performance. This was 250GT California Spyder. Mechanically it was mostly the same, including the 240hp V12, but it got a bodywork designed and built by Scaglietti.

After building 49 Californias in LWB form (2600mm), Ferrari changed its chassis to the stiffer and more agile SWB version (2400mm) like the SWB Berlinetta. It also received disc brakes and a higher compression, 260hp engine. 54 SWB cars were made.  Production ran from 1957-1963.  Top speed was around 145 mph, while 0-60 mph could be done in 7.0 seconds.

Despite of its niche appearance, the California Spyder was also used for motor racing. Ferrari built a lightweight Competizione version using aluminum bodywork and the 280hp version V12 from the SWB Berlinetta. Of course, on race tracks it could not match the success achieved by SWB Berlinetta.

So is the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder the most beautiful car ever?  If not, is it the most beautiful Ferrari 250 GT of the series?


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6 comments on "Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder: Beautiful, cool, iconic and desirable."

  • Will Wynn says:


    You are right there seem to be more and more car events year on year, with most getting bigger and bigger each year. You do have to choose carefully.

    The Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ is a beautiful car, of that there is no doubt.

  • Trevor says:

    Can’t wait to read your post on the 250 Testa Rossa. I’d love to get over to Paris to see the Ralph Lauren collection, but there are only so many car shows you can go to and afford, but from what I’ve heard it’s supposed to be very special.

    DB4 Zagato, damn forgot that one that is a stunning car. In fact anything Zagato is right up there, Alfa Zagato TZ-1 springs to mind.

  • Will Wynn says:


    I love the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa also, and I’ll have a post on that later in the year. You know my thoughts on the most beautiful car ever, the Aston Martin DB4 Zagato, but I also love the Maserati 250F (who couldn’t). If you love the Bugatti type 57SC Atlantic, you should get yourself down to Paris to see the Ralph Lauren motorcar collection. Might not get a chance to see again for quite a while.

  • Will Wynn says:


    You are correct. The ginger wonder splashed out £5 million on an immaculate 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder back in May 2008.

    For those real Ferrari nuts, did you know it was the thirteenth of just 56 built?

    The man is Ferrari mad. We salute you Mr Evans.

    PS.: Can we borrow one of your motors for the weekend?


  • Trevor says:

    Nope, nice car but not the most beautiful car or even Ferrari ever. I personally love the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa but I’d probably say the most beautiful car ever is the Bugatti type 57SC Atlantic.

  • David Wilce says:

    Isn’t this the same model Chris Evans bought recently? Such a jammy bugger!

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