How To Get An Almost-New Historic Ferrari

Images: Courtesy GTO Engineering

The Ferrari California Spyder from 1960, in short wheelbase (SWB) form has been a favourite of all Ferrari fans. Ferrari produced a total of 106 California Spyders in SWB and LWB (long wheelbase) guise, making it one of the rarest models to be made. Today, the original vehicles that remain are invariably only found at the highest level of specialist collections, rarely seen on the open road or unchanged from their original factory specifications.

GTO Engineering 250 SWB California Spyder Revival
Even if it is a faux Ferrari 250 SWB California Spyder, it looks beautiful nonetheless

An affordable alternative though is available now. GTO Engineering, UK-based company, are building new re-creation of the SWB California Spyder, using an original Ferrari 250 base and mechanicals. GTO Engineering prefer calling it a masterful interpretation, “which will be a reincarnation of one of the most iconic Ferraris ever made, available to be customised by each client to their exacting specification.”

GTO Engineering 250 SWB California Spyder Revival
Dead front, the Perspex-covered headlamps dominate the face of the car

The hand-built, tool room copy based on the 1960 SWB California Spyder made its global debut at the recent Goodwood Revival on GTO Engineering’s ‘Over the Road’ stand. The California Spyder re-creation is the third model in GTO Engineering’s Revival series and is being badged as the California Spyder Revival. The other two “models” that GTO Engineering has already launched are the re-creations of the Ferrari 250 SWB and the 250 Testa Rossa.

Originally designed by Pininfarina, but with the bodies constructed by Scaglietti, the California Spyder is arguably one of the most beautiful and desirable of all the Ferraris from the pre-Fiat era.

GTO Engineering 250 SWB California Spyder Revival
Even from the rear the design of the 250 SWB California Spyder remains a classic Pininfarina design

The California Spyder Revival by GTO Engineering, incidentally, can be customised, whether that is upgraded engines, gearboxes, or interior and exterior colour options. GTO Engineering’s California Spyder Revival will feature either a standard 3.0-litre, upgraded 3.5- or 4.0-litre engines, mated to either a standard four- or optional five-speed manual gearbox.

GTO Engineering 250 SWB California Spyder Revival
Standing still, the sense of movement remains

The level of quality and attention to detail (one hears) is also indicative of GTO Engineering’s knowledge and specialist experience, with each vehicle built by hand using components manufactured by the team, a process that takes over 1,500-man hours.

It’s this experience that also sees thoughtful and in-keeping upgrades such as tortional rigidity enhanced through strengthened sills due to its soft-top nature as well as giving it greater stiffness than the original.

GTO Engineering 250 SWB California Spyder Revival
The lamps within the tailfins were standard issue Italian appendages from then

However, keen historians and Ferrari fans will note that the California Spyder is not just about speed but also glamour and comfort. GTO Engineering’s interpretation of the legendary car, in its Revival format, is one the team apparently deliberated for some time, choosing to revive the iconic and rare 1960 SWB specification.

GTO Engineering 250 SWB California Spyder Revival
Classical dashboard with full instrumentation

The body, like that of the original, will be in hand formed aluminium, manufactured with GTO Engineering’s own tooling, as well as the interior, which can be finished in a range of luxurious leathers and optional smaller, vintage-style wooden steering wheel fitted with an original style horn.

GTO Engineering 250 SWB California Spyder Revival
High quality leather interiors recreates the Ferrari look from the 1960s

Mark Lyon, Founder and Managing Director of GTO Engineering said: “It’s very exciting to be able to start talking about our latest addition to the Revival series: the California Spyder Revival. It is one of, if not, the most iconic Ferrari road car from the 60s and it’s something we’ve worked hard over recent years to develop, following on from the success of the 250 SWB Revival and 250 TR Revival models. The feedback from both previous and new Revival-series customers is encouraging and we’re looking forward to work with more owners to create their dream car.”

GTO Engineering 250 SWB California Spyder Revival
That engine in there is genuine Ferrari, but customer can order bigger displacement versions

Pricing of the GTO Engineering California Spyder Revival is indicated between £750,000 - £850,000 (Rs 7.5-8.5 crores) depending on donor vehicle and final specification. Each California Spyder Revival can be tailor made to each owner’s specific requirements, with first customer deliveries scheduled at the end of 2021.


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