add
add
Menu

Ferrari California Special—A Short History

The driver’s seat of the Ferrari 250 sports car was a bit like sitting in a cockpit of an airplane. Power from the V12 power plant enhanced the feeling of flight. The 1961 Ferrari 250 California Special Spyder offered the same super-car performance, originally available as a convertible or the very rare hard-top.

L.U.C. Chopard Classic Weekend Rally 2012

All the bodies for the California Special were handmade, based on the 250 GT Cabriolet Series I,  but the Special differed slightly. The taillights had an upright configuration with covered headlights and a more raked look, and the interior was a bit more upscale. Although the interior wasn’t lavish by anyone’s standards, a small heater was the only stock luxury item, while the neat, but plain, fabric top had no inside liner. The most attractive features about this car were its rarity, beautiful styling, responsive handling, and V12 race-tuned engine, which could launch the car to 140 mph (225.3 km/h).

Virtually all of the 250 versions released had either a 2400 mm (94.5-inch) short wheelbase (SWB) on mostly convertible models or a LWB of 2600 mm (102.4 inches). The V12 was in most models, and the highest rating for this engine was 296hp (221 kW; 300 PS) with all versions hundreds of kilos (pounds) less weight than any of its competitors on the track.

The Ferrari 250 series debuted in 1959 with a shorter wheelbase, disc brakes, more streamlining, and a larger, more powerful V12 engine than its predecessor, the LWB. However, Ferrari designed both, as is Ferrari tradition, with competition in mind. This was the company’s most successful automobile to date with  all 250 having the same 180-cubic-inch engine putting out 296hp (21 kW; 300 PS). The competition in its class was formidable; it faced vehicles such as the Jaguar straight six, but the 250 was half the weight of the Jag. The Jaguar was a bit faster, but the 250 made up time on the hills and on curves, turning in first-place finishes in a large number of races.

There was a Ferrari 250 California Special that sold in 2008 for $11 million in Maranello, Italy, on May 18, 2008. It once belonged to actor James Coburn who appeared in more than 70 feature films and 100 times or more on television.

Some history leading up to the Ferrari 250 California Special    

The S version was on an 88.6-inch (2250 mm) wheelbase weighing in at 900 kg (1,884 pounds), and the V12 with three Weber 36DCF carburetors put out 227hp (169 kW; 230 PS). The engine coupled to a five-speed standard transmission in this model. The suspension had a double wishbone, had worm-sector steering, with double longitudinal semi-elliptic springs locating the rear live axle, and had drum brakes.

The 250 mm had the V12, producing 237hp (177 kW; 240 PS), and it bolted to a four-speed standard transmission. This beautifully styled Ferrari did not fare as well on the racing circuit but did produce a fourth place in Mille in 1954.

The Monza was on the SWB, first with a four-cylinder engine, but in 1954, Ferrari marketed a V12 hybrid until 1956.This version did not do well in competition, and the manufacturer discontinued it after two years of racing.


4 thoughts on “Ferrari California Special—A Short History”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Most Recent Facebook Posts


Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

3 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

A few of Frank's Field of Dreams car in Michigan 51 Ford & 52 Olds left to sell ...

Comment on Facebook

Cassandra Ramirez

LIKE the FORD !!

Thanks, all sweet

I LIKE THE GREEN OLDS.

View more comments

3 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

About 60 vintage Vintage parts cars for sale in Michigan after stay at home Cadillacs, Olds... ...

Comment on Facebook

Where is this at ?

Ed dowell

Lea Jean Ferris

Cadillac Joe Lasko III

Any 68, 69, or 7 Dodge Chargers?

What's that Renault doing in there.

55-56 Caddi front bumpers...what do you want for those?

Probably all washed away by the dam breaks and the flood...

Sad that no one took care of them

Where? Website?

Sorry none

😍😍😍👍👍

View more comments

4 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

1928 Chevy truck pulled from the garage after 40 yrs ...

Comment on Facebook

Floor Jack would of worked better

Disappointing

Who filmed this?

View more comments

4 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

1949 Chevy from Arizona 85,000 miles lots of chrome ...

Comment on Facebook

Curb finder

Curb feeler

Cassandra Ramirez

Mirko Wiesner

These old 6-bangers really had a nice sound when converted to twin carbs and split exhaust

Year I was born

Nice

Nice

View more comments

4 days ago

Muscle Car Fan

How NOT to load a classic car with a 3 on the tree. Recent car hauler experience caught on camera. ...

Comment on Facebook

I would tell him to GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE WHILE I STILL HAVE A CLUCH...

Sad to watch this... I think he had it in third in the beginning.

Doesn’t surprise me

View more comments

Load more