Name: 1957 Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti
Year(s) Produced: 1957-1958
Number Built: 4
Class: Sports car
Body Type: 2-door sports coupe
Engine: 245.5 cu.in. Tipo 141 60 degrees V12
Power: 390hp @ 7400 RPM
0-60mph: 4.8 seconds
Top Speed: 186mph
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Wheelbase: 92.5 in.
Base Price: (?)
Highest Price: US$35.7 million
A 1957 Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti — which set a lap record at the Le Mans 24 hours race and competed in the original Mille Miglia rally — was sold for more than €32m, including taxes and the buyer’s premium, with auction house Artcurial giving it the title of the ‘Most Expensive Car Ever’, if the price is measured in Euros that is. Based on current exchange rates, even at US$35.7 million, the Ferrari 335 still came short against the top ranking Ferrari 250 GTO which was sold by Bonhams in 2014 with a staggering auction price of US$38million. The audience who witnessed the auction can feel the energy rising as two of bidders “battled for more than 10 minutes for the Ferrari 335 before the victor, said only to be an “international buyer” represented in the room, won out with a hammer price of €28m”, as reported by Andy Sherman, a Motor Industry Correspondent for FT.com.
Arcturial dubbed it as ‘one of the most iconic racing cars in motorsport’ – and for good reasons. Being one of only four 335 Sport Scaglietti ever made to come out of the Ferrari factory, the red speedster has an impeccable racing pedigree driven by racing legends in the likes of Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn and Wolfgang von Trips.
Fitted with a 4.1 liter engine that kicks in 400 horsepower and capable of outrunning other cars at an impressive 186.5 mph, it is no wonder that Matthieu Lamoure, managing director of Artcurial Motorcars, hailed it as “both a work of art and the queen of speed”, with its strength and power perfectly balanced by its “undeniable aesthetic appeal”.
Its provenance, or traceable history, also plays an important role in placing value on this classic. Other than its admirable racing history, this Ferrari 335 was owned and maintained by the late Pierre Bardinon, known as one of the most prolific car collectors in the world. Of course, the name Ferrari itself is enough to inspire and swoon any serious car connoisseur. “It’s got the right name on the nose,” said James Knight, director of the motoring department at Bonhams.
Perhaps the most important reason of all for betting on the Ferrari 335 is the fact that it is relatively unaffected by the high and lows of the classic car market. Knight explained, “If you’re looking at the market in general terms you could say that it’s letting off a bit of steam, [but] if you offer a 335 Ferrari, it ought to be market immune. It’s a fabulous car.”
Like any other multi-million investment, the 335 will most likely not touch the concrete pavement of the streets. Even with such power in it, it will probably be locked up similar how gold bars are kept secure in a vault. Simon Kidston of Kidston SA, a boutique advisory firm for classic car collectors, wants to have it otherwise. He points out that “Cars as an investment are all well and good, but that’s nothing compared to sitting behind the wheel with 400 horsepower under your right foot.”
Knight made an interesting and quotable point as well: “Buying this car and not driving it would be like marrying the world’s most beautiful woman and not going to bed with her.”
Watch the video of the highly charged auction of the Ferrari 335 courtesy of BBC News.