The highest-valued car at Arizona Auction Week hit a speed bump on Friday night. A 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet with a pre-sale estimate of $6M–$7M couldn’t quite find a buyer at RM Sotheby’s.
Bidding on chassis #0913 GT reached $5.5 million but stalled before reaching the reserve. A 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet carries an average value of $7.5M in in #1 (concours) condition and $7M in #2 (excellent) condition, and since another 250 GT Series I Cabriolet sold for $6.8M in Pebble Beach last year, expectations were high for the RM car. A sale just never materialized. Yet.
“You can assume they’re so close that they still may be able to make a deal,” said Hagerty Price Guide publisher Dave Kinney.
Hagerty valuation specialist John Wiley said that after more than 20 years of ownership, the seller is in a great position regardless of the sale price. “We all get caught up in the recent market turbulence, but in 20 years of ownership he’s gotten the best of both worlds—the car has appreciated, and he’s driven it and taken it to events and enjoyed it. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
The first-series 250 GT cabriolet was one of the last models constructed in Pinin Farina’s boutique workshop prior to the coachbuilder relocating to a larger factory in Grugliasco, Italy. While 250 GT bodies were consistent from car to car, the interior details and trim were customized to order. It is believed that no two were ever produced exactly alike.
Chassis #0913 GT was sold new in Italy and originally finished in Grigio Metallizzato (gray metallic) before receiving a red repaint in the 1980s. It was completely restored in the ’90s. The car received a replacement 250 GT block, but a few years ago the original block underwent a $95,000 rebuild and made its way back into the car, which has been with the same collector for more than two decades.
The stars seemed to be aligned for the car, and prior to the auction, Hagerty auction editor Andrew Newton explained why. “A Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet is a dream car in any configuration, but this car ticks the most desirable boxes,” Newton said. “It’s a Series I car, which is particularly rare, with about 40 built compared to 200 Series II versions. It also has covered headlights, which are far more attractive than the open-headlight versions and far more expensive—those little headlight covers can add $2M or more. Finally, this one has a documented history, the right paperwork, and its original drivetrain, chassis, and body.”
It wasn’t enough for the car to sell on the block, but it likely won’t have to wait long to find a new home.