When Ferrari replaced their 250 Cabriolet Series I with a more luxurious Series II version, Luigi Chinetti convinced Ferrari to continue on with a more sporting version called the California Spyder. Despite the new name, almost everything from the Series I Cabriolet was used, with only minor details such as larger rear taillights and an optionally-available hard top. Under the Pinin Farina body, little changed. The car retained the long-wheel-base 250 GT chassis with the Tipo 128D engine.
Designed for export to North America, the 1957 250 GT California Spyder was Scaglietti' s interpretation of an open-top 250 GT. Aluminum was used for the hood, doors, and trunk lid, with steel elsewhere for most models. Several aluminum-bodied racing versions were also built. The engine was the same as in the 250 Tour de France racing car with up to 240 PS (237 hp; 177 kW) @ 7000 rpm and a maximum torque of 265 N⋅m (195 lb⋅ft; 27 kg⋅m) @ 5000 rpm, from a 2,953 cc (3.0 L; 180.2 cu in) naturally aspirated SOHC 2 valves per cylinder 60º Ferrari Colombo V12 engine, equipped with 3 Weber carburetors. All used the long 2,600 mm (102.4 in) chassis, and Pirelli Cinturato 185VR16 tyres (CA67) were standard.
A total of fifty LWBs were made before the SWB version superseded them in 1960. One example sold at auction on August 18, 2007 in Monterey, California, for $4.9 million. This car was also in Ferris Bueller's Day Off in 1986. UK radio host (and former Top Gear presenter) Chris Evans bought one for $12 million in 2008.
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