Six very special cars are headed to Scottsdale, Arizona, the city that accepts no lowballers for at least one week every year. At Gooding & Company’s part in the action is an annual two-day extravaganza. The guests of honor include four very special Ferraris, a Jaguar D-Type in British Racing Red (no, really), and the first Iso Grifo in the world. On the weekend of January 19, they’ll all go for big money. Here’s why they deserve it.
Pininfarina built only 41 cabriolet examples of the 250 GT, each one for Ferrari’s most special clients. The first to take delivery of this very special model, chassis number 1079 GT, was the prince of Saudi Arabia, who certainly counts as special. It remained with the same second owner (longtime Ford executive John Clinard) for over four decades, traveling from concours to concours, before a restoration to its original shade of Grigio Conchiglia—capped by a red interior, just like it looked at the 1958 Turin Motor Show.
In the early days of the marque, Alberto Ascari helped make Ferrari what it was. In the four-cylinder Ferrari 500, its engine designed by Aurelio Lampredi, Ascari utterly dominated the World Sportscar Championships. He won all but one race in 1952, missing the first race only because he was busy qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. A year later, he would win the first three races of the 1953 season, giving him nine consecutive wins in total, and went on to cinch a second title in a row. The Tipo 500’s 2.0-liter engine was eventually detuned for the car you see here, the 500 Mondial, named after the World Champion Ascari. Belgian racing driver Herman Roosdorp ordered this example new, racing it for two years before it went into the hands of various Ferrari collectors. With 170 horsepower at a little over 1,500 pounds, the Pininfarina-bodied Mondial Spider proved pretty damn sprightly.
What’s in a name? Between two little letters, apparently, there was a world of difference. Ferrari introduced the delicate 250 Europa at the 1953 Paris Motor Show, with a Lampredi-designed V-12 and a long wheelbase, all the better to fit that mile-long hood. It would be Ferrari’s first-ever proper Grand Tourer, more so than anything else with the 250 name. But a year later, the Europa GT would pack a different V-12—this time a lightweight 3.0-liter engine designed by Gioacchino Colombo. The power went up, the wheelbase was shortened, and if you were brave you could take a Europa GT up to 135 miles per hour. In fact, we hope that the auction winner of this Europa GT does exactly that; taking a $2 million car past triple digits sounds like a power move. Certain details distinguish this example, chassis 0379 GT: rectangular driving lights and some light smattering of chrome make it slightly more unique, as delivered new to a prominent Roman cinematographer.
Scaglietti may have built the 450 or examples of the Ferrari 275 GTB, but this is the only one built by Carrozzeria Pininfarina and commandeered by Battista Pininfarina himself as his daily driver. So proud was Battista of his baby that he took it on a tour across Europe, showcasing it at the Frankfurt, Turin, Paris, and Brussels Motor Shows, as well as at Pininfarina’s own press conference in Switzerland that year. Resplendent in delicate Acqua Verde Metallizzato, originally an Alfa Romeo color, you too would be proud to show it to the glitterati. Differences to the rest of the car are both subtle, and—if you’re fortunate enough to see it parked next to a plebian 275—glaringly obvious are a revised hood to accommodate the six carbs for the V12 engine, different headlight covers, a chrome strip out back, and custom window frames. The bespoke interior is finished in China Red leather with a well-worn driver’s seat and twin Heuer Rally-Master stopwatches. A legendary car owned by a legendary man—and bonus points for not being painted in Rosso Corsa.
The spectacular, invincible Jaguar D-Type won three consecutive victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1955 to 1957. This particular car, XKD 518, is just one of two D-Types delivered in red. As British race car driver Peter Blond told Motorsport Magazine in 2004, he was walking down London’s Warren Street in 1956 when he passed the car on the street, and he purchased it outright from none other than Bernie Ecclestone (well before Bernie became F1’s own Emperor Palpatine). Blond raced it across England, driving it to and from Goodwood, Snetterton, Aintree. “Once, we were returning from Silverstone to Bagshot in convoy at night,” he recalled, “going 100 mph uphill, when I saw some headlights going around and around. I realised that Duncan [Hamilton, legendary Le Mans winner for Jaguar] was spinning and jammed on my brakes. They pulled violently to the left and caused me to crash, too. Duncan was frightfully annoyed!”
The beautiful Giugiaro-designed, Corvette-powered Iso Grifo has experienced a decent boost in recent years, seeing a surge in values in 2015 and hovering around the $300,000–$400,000 level since. These are gorgeous, beguiling cars, deserving so much more than mere obscurity. This example will shoot right through those values: the original 1963 prototype by Bertone, as shown at the 1963 Turin Motor Show and the 1964 New York Auto Show. It features intriguing bodywork all to its own. There are subtle changes to vents, hood treatments, side pipe bulges, and the like, but the prototype also accentuates the Grifo’s outrageous lowness, and its oh-so-sleek roofline, lower than the production car—this time interrupted by a slick brushed-aluminum roll hoop. Inside it’s all wood and caramel leather, with a unique aluminum shifter and wood-capped steering wheel. This example passed through the hands of various collectors until receiving a full restoration in the late 1980s, just in time to win a Best In Class trophy at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It would win there again in the Nineties, too. As befitting a one-of-one prototype, the estimate for this is just slightly higher than a regular Grifo—about three times as much.