It was however tempting to push the California into the competition. Luigi Chinetti is acting between Ferrari and American customers. Having been at the origin of the California project, he obtains from Ferrari the delivery of aluminum alloy bodied spiders.
In 1959 the 250 GT chassis is still in its long version which will later be identified as LWB. For the 24 hours of Le Mans in that year Chinetti and his NART team enter three Ferraris : a 250 Testa Rossa, a 250 TdF and a California Spider.
Released from the factory under pressure from Chinetti five days before Le Mans with a simple flash of paint and a far from complete interior layout, this 250 GT LWB California Spider is the second of its kind in the Competizione configuration. Driven by its first owner and a co-driver, this brand new car ends the event with a very good result : 5th overall and 3rd in class. It was afterward honorably participating in various American competitions in 1959 and 1960.
This high-end car with a competition history is still more desirable since it was restored in 2011 by Motion Products Inc., the company of Wayne Obry. It is for sale by RM Sotheby's in New York on December 6, lot 141 estimated $ 14M.
One of the seven (or eight) other LWB aluminum bodied Spiders was sold for $ 18M including premium by Gooding on August 20, 2016. Ferrari and NART did not push this solution much further : only three SWB Spiders will be built for competition.
SOLD for $ 18M including premium