Friday, May 23, 2008

James Coburn Ferrari sets record auction price 10.9 million USD

Above image via:

Above 3 images are from "Sumflow" who very nicely out of the blue emailed them to me to share with all of you

A 42 yr old British multimillionaire television and radio personality bought the 13th of 56 built '61 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder for $10,894,900, the highest price ever paid for a vintage car at auction, according to RM Auctions and Sotheby's, the companies that organized the sale.

Coburn (who died in '02) bought the car second-hand in 1964, shortly after completing "The Great Escape." Coburn had this car tuned up by Max Balchowsky at Hollywood Motors. Balchowsky was a successful racing driver famous for his homebuilt Old Yeller racing cars. His garage was a popular hangout for Hollywood’s “genuine car guys” as Steve McQueen, James Garner and Coburn. Throughout Coburn’s ownership, he repainted the vehicle three times, first in dark blue, followed by silver and finally burgundy. The car appeared on the auction block in its original Nero black.

It may well have been Steve McQueen’s influence that sparked Coburn’s interest in fast cars. McQueen already owned a 1958 Porsche Speedster 1600 Super and a 1957 Jaguar XK-SS. He would go on to own a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso and a stunning 275 GTS/4 NART Spyder.

Between 1959 and 1960 James Coburn co-starred with him in three episodes of “Wanted Dead or Alive” (they shared the same manager). The McQueen family and James Coburn would remain friends for life. They co-starred together in their first feature film, “The Magnificent Seven” in 1960 and another iconic picture “The Great Escape” in 1963 where they were joined by friend James Garner.