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1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider stars at RM's 15th Annual Arizona Sale
1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider. Photo: Patrick Ernzen © 2013 Courtesy of RM Auctions.

BLENHEIM, ON.- RM Auctions, the world’s largest auction house for investment-quality automobiles, announced additional premier highlights for its highly anticipated annual Arizona sale, January 16 – 17, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Celebrating its 15th year, the well-established sale is set to kick off the company’s 2014 auction calendar on another strong note, featuring more than 120 exceptional motor cars, led by a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider, chassis 1055 GT.

The 11th of only 50 long-wheelbase California Spiders ever constructed, this matching numbers and factory covered headlamp example was delivered new through famed importer Luigi Chinetti Motors and sold to Fawcett Motors in Lubbock, Texas, where it was purchased by its first private owner, a local attorney, in 1959. In its only competitive outing, the Ferrari placed first in class at the SCCA 1962 Osceola Grand Prix in Geneva, Florida, with Ross Durant at the wheel, and eventually passed through the hands of Ferrari Market Letter founder and publisher Gerald L. Roush in the early 1970s. Following a full restoration in the early 1990s, 1055 GT placed first in class at the 1994 Cavallino Classic III Concours d’Elegance and appeared at the Concorso Italiano, the Ferrari Club of America International Concours and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in that same year. More recently, the California Spider has received an engine rebuild by Roelofs Engineering in the Netherlands, along with a fresh service by Ferrari of Newport Beach, and is offered for sale in remarkably well-preserved condition in its original color of Rosso Rubino with a black top and black leather interior (Est. $7,000,000 - $9,000,000).

“The Cal Spider is amongst the most highly prized of all road-going Ferraris,” says Shelby Myers, Managing Director, RM Auctions – California. “Produced in exceedingly low quantities, the long wheelbase covered headlight model, such as the one we have the pleasure of offering in Arizona, is arguably the most beautifully proportioned of all Ferrari Spiders. It radiates elegance and performance while encapsulating everything that open-air motoring is intended to be.”

The California Spider is joined in Phoenix by an ACD Club Category One certified 1930 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ Convertible Coupe, engine J-357, known to enthusiasts as “Melvin’s Murphy”. The Murphy Convertible Coupe is one of only approximately 25 built with the famous “disappearing top,” making it the most desirable iteration of the most iconic convertible Duesenberg. J-357 was collected new at the Duesenberg factory in Indianapolis by West Virginia coal and lumber baron, Doran Hinchman, who kept the Model J until 1946, when it entered the ownership of Melvin Clemans, a renowned enthusiast who would keep, care for, and lovingly drive it for over 50 years. Melvin passed the Duesey on to its own mechanic, Harry Van Iderstine in 1998, who mechanically restored the car, leaving the majority of its original paint, upholstery, chrome, and all of its original body wood intact. The exceptionally original and immaculately pure Duesenberg has been driven and enjoyed for all of its 83 years; its presentation in Arizona marks the first time that is has ever been offered for public sale (Est. $2,000,000 - $2,400,000).

“The outstanding Duesenberg offered in RM’s Arizona sale is emblematic of many of the consignments featured at this annual event,” says Ian Kelleher, Car Specialist, RM Auctions. “As a company and as a team we constantly strive to set new benchmarks in the collector car auction industry and without question, the best way to elevate ourselves is to feature the most desirable, most interesting and most unique motor cars available. We are thrilled to present such a diversified and unique offering of consignments for the 2014 sale.”

Additional notable highlights slated for RM’s Arizona auction podium include:

· a very well documented 1929 Bentley 4 ½-Litre Tourer, chassis NX3467, one of the most original and authentic unrestored examples in existence (Est. $1,800,000 - $2,200,000);

· the famed “Siata-Ford”, a well-documented, matching numbers 1953 Siata 208S Spyder, chassis BS509, formerly owned by the Doheny family, Kent Wakeford, and Dan Rowen (Est. $1,300,000 - $1,600,000);

· a 1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet deVille, chassis 13506, with stunning coachwork by the Rippon Brothers, also offered with known ownership history, its original chassis, engine, and body and the recipient of a show-quality restoration along with recent extensive sorting. A fantastic example, the Hispano-Suiza is eminently eligible for any number of tours or automotive events around the globe (Est. $1,000,000 - $1,300,000);

· an award-winning and professionally restored 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Ventoux, chassis 57664, supercharged and ready to shine at both driving and concours events (Est. $800,000 - $1,000,000); and

· a beautifully and recently restored 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, chassis 198.040.6500052, the 1956 Turin International Automobile Salon car (Est. $1,100,000 - $1,400,000).

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