In a Recent Record-Breaking Auction, a Ferrari California Spider Bought For $2,400 In 1972 Was Sold For $18M


The $2,400 purchase of a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider in 1972 turned into a $18 million goldmine for two car enthusiasts this year at auction.
Photo byGooding and Company

In 1972, Charles Betz and Fred Peters bought a damaged 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider for $2,400, but little did they know that it would become one of the most valuable cars in the world, selling for an eye-watering $18,045,000 at a recent auction.

The History of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

The Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider is part of the Ferrari 250 series of sports cars built by Ferrari from 1952 to 1964.

The 250 GT California Spyder SWB is an extraordinary car with a wonderful story of how it came to be in California.

In the 1960s, Ferrari produced it with the US market in mind and built both long and short-wheelbase versions. Because of its handling and performance, collectors particularly seek the short-wheelbase version.

Unfortunately, Ferrari produced only 106 units of the 250 GT California Spider, making it an extremely rare car.

The Journey of the Chassis 3099 GT
Photo byGooding and Company / YouTube

This particular car at the auction Chassis 3099 GT and is among the rarest and most valuable Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spiders ever made.

It was the only one finished in a particular shade of Azzurro Metallizzato and one of just 37 with covered headlights.

After being displayed at the New York International Auto Show in 1962, it was shipped to California and lived in Hollywood for several years.

Unfortunately, it crashed into a curb in the 1970s, damaging various suspension, brake, and exhaust components.

Charles Betz and Fred Peters purchased it in 1972 for just $2,400 and promptly repaired it.

The Restoration and Sale of Chassis 3099 GT

Under the ownership of Betz and Peters, Chassis 3099 GT underwent a comprehensive restoration in the early 2000s.

It was later granted a Ferrari Classiche certification and won numerous concours awards over the past two decades.

In addition, at a recent Gooding & Company auction, the car fetched a staggering $18.045 million, more than 1000 times what Betz and Peters paid for it in 1972.

According to a Carscoops website: "$2,400 in 1972 is worth the equivalent of $17,177 today, meaning the two owners sold the car for more than 1000 times what they paid for it."


From a damaged and neglected Ferrari to a highly valued and sought-after vehicle, it is a story of perseverance, dedication, and good fortune. This remarkable journey serves as a reminder that sometimes, the most lucrative investments are often ones that come from the heart.

Your thoughts

What do you think about this? What would you do if you had the chance to buy a damaged Ferrari for a fraction of its value? Have you ever restored a classic car? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below and share with your friends and family if you like.

Disclaimer: This article is only for educational and informational purposes.

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