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250 GT SWB California Spyder Returns to the Classic

This 250 GT SWB California, s/n 2903 GT, has a long and interesting history, mainly because of an ownership chain that is unbroken, and which includes some of the foremost Ferrari collectors in the USA.

It was first displayed at the Paris Salon by Franco-Brittanic Autos in October of 1961, and was soon sold to Alain Cheuvrie of Geneva, Switzerland (via Garage de Montchoisy). By 1967, it was imported to the USA and found its way to Jim Selvidge of Seattle, Washington. Its colorful history began when sold to Hollywood actress Barbara Hershey, and there are many stories of wild doings with actors and actresses, with the California being the unwitting mode of transport.

Its glamour years came to an end around the mid-1970s, and it stayed hidden until the 1990s. After a restoration, it went through some of the foremost collections in the USA (and several auctions) and events (a visit to the 3rd Cavallino Classic in 1994), before landing with collector Michael Cantanucci (owner of New Country Auto, which owns Ferrari of Palm Beach.)

He sent it to the eminent Paul Russell for a detailed refurbishment, and the results were gratifying. The California was positioned on the upper lawn and it won a Platinum at the 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza at Cavallino 26, and then went on to win a coveted Major Award - the “The Excellence Cup – Recognition of Overall Excellence by the Chief Class Judges”.

Images from Michael Gregg.

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