Rare Ferrari fetches record auction price


Among the many things that Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll owns is a race track. That’s handy because the Quebec entrepreneur has more than 20 Ferraris, including a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider that he purchased at auction last month for $27.5 million.

The final price, which included commission, makes the red roadster the most expensive road car ever sold at auction.

N.A.R.T. stands for “North American Racing Team,” a Ferrari-backed venture created in the late 1950s to promote the brand in the US.

One of only 10 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spiders ever built, it had been owned by the same family since its creation – that of former Lexington, N.C., Mayor Eddie Smith, who died in 2007.

The single-family ownership increased interest in the car, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Smith bought the car for $14,500 when it was new. Despite its rarity, he enjoyed driving it regularly and was known throughout the small town of Lexington for giving kids a ride in the car so they should share the experience, according to the Times.

Since Smith’s death the Ferrari has been stored in a specially built garage. Proceeds from the sale were to be given to charity, according to Smith’s son.

“This is a bittersweet moment for us,” Eddie Smith Jr. told a packed crowd before bidding began Saturday. “Ferraris came and went, but this one never went, thank God. We enjoyed it as a family for 45 years.”

Stroll earned his wealth helping develop the Tommy Hilfiger clothing brand in the 1990s. He later bought a majority stake in fashion house Michael Kors, according to The Financial Post.

The auction price paid for the car is second only to the nearly $30 million paid in July for a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 raced by Juan Manuel Fangio.

The 275 N.A.R.T. Spider is among the most attractive Ferraris ever made. A bright-red version was featured in the 1968 film “The Thomas Crown Affair,” which starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.

The 275 N.A.R.T. Spiders boast a 3.2-liter V-12 with six Weber carburetors, producing  300 horsepower.

The engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission and four-wheel independent suspension. The car also has taller gear ratios than other Ferrari 275 models, to accommodate the longer straightaways of US tracks, the Times reported.

(Top: The 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider sold by the family of Eddie Smith Sr. of Lexington, N.C., to Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.)


8 thoughts on “Rare Ferrari fetches record auction price

    • If it was a red 1951 Mercury Monterey coupe, you would be sitting pretty. Not so much with a ’91 Tracer.

      On a serious note, how Ford managed to screw up its Mercury franchise, GM its Oldsmobile franchise and Chrysler its Plymouth franchise is something that I still shake my head over. Idiots, all of them.

      • Consolidating the divisions sliced labor, management and supply chain. What better way to stoke profits with the bodies of employees? And think Lincoln, a prestige and demonstrable difference was melted down for the same profit model. No hit against the Monterey but the 1951 Cosmopolitan Convertible really went places in design.

      • It’s staggering the array of designs and styles that American automakers turned out in the ’50s and ’60s, isn’t it? Even stodgy manufacturers such as Studebaker could come up with Hawks and Avantis.

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