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PLEASURES OF THE ROAD : FIT FOR A KING : This Ferrari, custom-crafted for a monarch to guide along the streets of California, is a limited-edition spectacular

March 12, 1989|Gordon Morris

Certain automobiles seem to radiate a sense of regality, a to-the-manor-born assurance that sets them apart from their more mundane relatives of the road. And no motorcars exhibit more regal grace than those bearing the name of the late Enzo Ferrari. The master craftsman's touch was much in evidence when he produced his 1958 250GT Series I. A mere 36 were built, each outfitted a bit differently by coach builder Pininfarina, and the client list was indeed royal. The V-12 cabriolet pictured here (yes, that's two views of one car, photographed at UC Irvine) was first seen at Italy's 1958 Turin Salon, where it caught the eye of Iraq's King Faisal, who purchased it and shipped it to the United States, planning to drive it on his visits to Southern California. However, Faisal was assassinated before he ever got behind the wheel and the car subsequently went through a series of owners. Today, it's the property of John and Linda Clinard of Irvine.

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