RM Sotheby’s 2023 Amelia Island auction — the company’s final sale at the location — is just weeks away. This 24th iteration is set to be the auction house’s most diverse since its inception. Held at a new location this year on Lynndale Road, the 88 vehicles on offer will cross the block on Saturday, March 4.
“With 24 years of tireless effort at Amelia Island and countless successes, we are preparing for our most memorable Amelia auction yet. We’ve brought over $75 million of the absolute best cars the market has to offer as our ‘farewell’ to the event that Bill and Jane Warner founded in 1996. This sale is a culmination of the talent, drive, and creativity that defines RM Sotheby’s as the world’s greatest automotive auction house. We have shaped the car auction world for decades and will continue to do so, just like we did with our Miami 2022 sale, which was just the beginning of our plans in Florida and our vision for the future of collector car auctions. We are honored to recognize the founders of the Amelia Island Concours weekend, Bill and Jane Warner, at this year’s event,” said Gord Duff, RM Sotheby’s Global Head of Auctions.
Leading the charge is a Classiche Certified 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider retaining its matching-numbers engine, gearbox and rear axle. Number 17 of 50 LWB Cal Spiders produced, this car — chassis 1203 GT — is one of 30 steel-bodied cars finished with covered headlights. Furthermore, the Ferrari was fitted with the more-potent competition engine with high-lift camshafts and cold air box with velocity stacks.
Upon completion, chassis 1203 GT was invoiced to Luigi Chinetti who would sell it to its first owner, Harvey Schur of New York. Mr. Schur would soon lend the Ferrari to “Sports Car Illustrated” magazine, which compared it to a Tour de France Berlinetta in the resulting article that was published in the September 1959 issue. Subsequently passing through the hands of multiple American owners over the years — a few of which kept it for more than a decade — the car made appearances at various concours d’elegance events and was featured in the April 1972 issue of “Prancing Horse.”
In the care of new owners Nigel and Sarah Allen of Surrey, England in 2011, the Ferrari was comprehensively restored. The mechanicals were overhauled by Ian Barkaway with the body and interior refinished by O’Rourke Coachtrimmers. During this time, the Allens were able to connect with the Ferrari’s first owner, Mr. Schur, who sold them the original owner’s manuals for the car that he had retained. Chassis 1203 GT was Red Book certified in 2013 and then shown at the Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance that same year, followed by the 2014 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
Purchased by the consignor in 2017, the California Spider has since been shown at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering of 2017. It was also displayed at Casa Ferrari in conjunction with the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Ferrari. Since purchasing the car, the current owner has only driven it some 500 miles while keeping it impeccably maintained by leading specialists including Motion Products in Wisconsin, Chris Dugan of California and Mark Allin’s Rare Drive in New Hampshire.
A few of the many other star lots headed to Florida are a 1931 Duesenberg Model J “Disappearing Top” Convertible Coupe by Murphy, a 1953 Maserati A6GCS/53 Spyder by Fantuzzi and 1934 Packard Twelve Sport Coupe by LeBaron. Representing modern halo cars is a 2010 Pagani Zonda R Evolution, 1995 Ferrari F50 and a 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO.