Wed Aug 21 2013 01:03:09 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
A 1960s Ferrari convertible sold for a record $27.5 million in California, where classic-car sales were dominated by rarities from the Italian maker.
A 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spyder. One of only 10 made, was estimated at $14 million to $17 million in a two-day sale held by RM Auctions in Monterey, California, on Aug. 16-17. The car sold for $27.5 million with fees, the most paid at auction for the Italian carmaker anywhere in the world and the most for any car bought at a U.S. public sale.
“The NART Spyder is a very special car,” said the U.K.- based dealer John Collins, one of the underbidders at the RM Auctions event. “They’re so rare. They’re among the most beautiful of all Ferraris. Some of the biggest collectors in the world own one, and Steve McQueen tried to buy this one after he crashed his,” said Collins, of the Talacrest dealership.
Ferrari claimed the top three prices, led by the NART Spyder convertible. One of just 10 built, it sold to a buyer in the room identified by dealers as the Canadian fashion entrepreneur Lawrence Stroll. An after-hours call to Stroll’s New York office to confirm the purchase was not returned. Stroll built Tommy Hilfiger into a global brand in the 1990s.
Estimated by RM at $14 million to $17 million, the convertible had been entered for charity by family of the late North Carolina businessman Eddie Smith Sr., the car’s one and only owner.
“There are some serious collectors who own NART Spyders, and quite a few who don’t,” said Harvey Stanley, of the U.K.- based dealer DK Engineering. “If you didn’t buy that one, you won’t be finding another.” The Spyder was named after the North American Racing Team by Ferrari’s U.S. importer Luigi Chinetti.
Another example of the NART Spyder was described by McQueen as “one of those red Italian things” when it appeared in the 1968 movie “The Thomas Crown Affair,” co-starring Faye Dunaway. It would have cost about $15,000 when new, dealers said.
The price, which included fees, was the second-highest for any car at a public sale after the 19.6 million pounds ($29.7 million) given for a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 that Juan Manuel Fangio drove to two Grand Prix victories, sold by Bonhams in Goodwood, U.K., on July 12.