Learning Solidworks is part of my job so I decided to model every part on a 1961 Ferrari California 250GT.
This is going to be a long and labor intensive task. Finding all the correct dimensions, parts information and other materials will be difficult. Most of the Italian cars from the fifties and sixties had little documentation put to paper. These were hand built cars and no two were exactly alike. If you have any information you would be willing to share please contact me via this website.
Have you seen the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? If you have, I’ll bet you remember the red Ferrari that went off a driveway and crashed at the base of a hill. Well that was a replica of a 1961 Ferrari 250GT California. Ferris and his friend Cameron looked rather stunned when they watched this car become airborne. As did all Ferrari lovers. Why was a replica used? It could have been because only 55 of these cars were made, and it is considered one of the most beautiful examples of the car maker’s art.
There are really two different 250GT California cars. The first one produced from 1957 to 1960 was based on the Ferrari 250GT Tour De France, which had its top removed, and a coupe became a convertible. Pinin Farina designed these spiders and they were built by Scaglietti built them. The initial request came from Ferrari’s North American importer. This run of 49 cars are now referred to as the LWB or long wheel base models.
The Ferrari 250GT SWB (Short Wheel Base) California was built from 1960 to 1963. It is considered one of the most desirable and beautiful cars ever made. How desirable? At the RM auction on May 18, 2008 a 1961 model sold for $ 10,894,900, setting a new record. The car had been owned by actor James Coburn, which may have helped a little in the final price.
From a mechanical standpoint the 250GT SWB was powered by a V12, rated at 280bph. Top speed was about 145mph. A little unusual was a four speed manual gearbox rather than the five speed. These particular cars now had disc brakes front and rear. The purchaser had a choice of either an aluminum or steel body.
While the 250GT series of cars set international racing records throughout the early 1960’s most of the competition was done in the coupes rather than the California models.
When the average non Ferrari owner thinks of a Ferrari, chances are this is one that comes to mind, or perhaps the 308GTS shown in the Mannix TV show.
Dennis Dater has been involved with cars for over 50 years. His first love was sports cars when he drove a 1952 MG to high school. He has produced over 40 articles for ezineseeker on cars, and almost a hundred on his web sites. His two web sites are designed for Honda Accord aftermarket accessories.
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Ferrari’s modern entry-level car, if there is such a thing, is the California. This is an entirely new concept for the Italian manufacturer, and is the first front-engined V8 in the entire history of the company. A 2+2 with a metal retractable hard top, it was allegedly originally intended to be badged as a Maserati.
Behind the front seats, buyers can choose either a bench with luggage straps, or a ‘2+’ seat configuration, with ISOFIX and seatbelts. Behind this is a roomy boot, offering up to 340 litres of storage space. All this, combined with the car’s superb road manners, mean it marks a new era for Ferrari, broadening its appeal a lot. Ferrari is winning over new fans with this car who previously wouldn’t have considered the Italian brand.
Those who may have been looking at a Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG or an Aston Martin DB9 Volante now suddenly find this is on their list of potential cars too – and it is a tantalising proposition that is winning friends. Don’t think it has gone soft, though. The wailing 460bhp engine can still hit 60mph in under 4 seconds, and it goes on to a maximum of 192mph… it’s every inch the genuine high performance Ferrari, with sublime handling that ensure it’s a true thoroughbred to drive. The brand knows from the past how not quite doing a complete job can dent reputations – and has made no such mistakes here.
New California List is from £145,000. A bargain when compared with the £182,500 ‘base price of an automatic Aston Martin DBS Volante! There are few Californias actually on the market for sale. A random look online found less than 10 real cars for sale across the UK. These ranged from a 15,000 mile good spec 2009 at £145,000 to a pre registered brand new car for £167,000. With the scarcity of samples I cannot offer graphs of data because there is little. As the market matures there will be more hard core data to analyse. If you wish to contact me directly to find out about value of a specific Ferrari California please do by emailing me at email@example.com.
Although completely different in character a used Ferrari 599 can be bought for less than a Ferrari California and to the unitiated this would look very tempting until you factor in the folding metal convertible roof, the token rear seats and the 7 speed DSG transmission.
The California is a new Ferrari that retained its super-premium market status for only five minutes before being eclipsed by the announcement of the Ferrari 458 Italia. It is too early to get a precise feel on longer-term values though, as it is still finding its feet in the marketplace.
It is not worth over list now, but not easily found and will be in demand for the summer. Now, at last, Ferrari has dropped the F1 transmission in favour of the superb seven-speed dual clutch DSG box. This is much more in keeping with the experience those attracted to the California will expect. I’m keeping my eye on the California over the next few months, as it will be interesting to see what effect so few in the marketplace will have on prices.
The California has settled into the wider niche that it shares with the Aston Martin DBS Volante and the Bentley Continental GTC Speed. The Bentley is the more practical, offering real four seat capacity, while most would agree that the DBS Volante is the best looking. Yet the Ferrari adds the intangible element of the forbidden fruit appeal of the Ferrari brand.
The above is extracted from a 68 page luxury car market report that can be found on www.clivesutton.co.uk.
We at Clive Sutton offer a wide range of new and used Ferrari cars for sale. We deal across the UK and can look after your Ferrari car buying or selling requirements wherever you are located.
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