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Got $20 million? 4 'very important' Ferrari cars to go on block

July 19, 2012|By Jerry Hirsch
  • The Wolf collection of rare Ferrari cars is expected to bring $20 million.
The Wolf collection of rare Ferrari cars is expected to bring $20 million. (Gooding & Co. )

A rare collection of four Ferrari cars is expected to sell for a combined $20 million or more at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance next month.

Santa Monica auction house Gooding & Co. landed the Ferrari collection, which was the property of Sherman Wolf, a Boston paging service and amphitheater entrepreneur who died earlier this year.

“It is a very important collection of cars,” said David Kinney, publisher of the Hagerty Price Guide for collector cars.  “This is causing heartburn for some of the other auction companies that Gooding has grabbed this very important collection.”

PHOTOS: Rare Ferrari cars from Wolf collection

The rarest vehicle in the collection is a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Alloy California Spider Competizione. Gooding & Co. said it is one of only nine alloy-bodied LWB – long wheel base - California Spiders ever built and is expected to sell for $7 million to $9 million.

The other cars include a 1953 Ferrari 340 MM Competition Spider, a 1957 Ferrari 500 TRC and a 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO.

“The Gooding sales have always been high-end and they seem to bring the right buyers to the room. The estate of Mr. Wolf will do very well,” Kinney said.

Although the GTO is fairly new by collector car standards, Kinney said its stature has grown, in part because not many were made.  It could sell for close to $1 million. The other vehicles are expected to go for $3.75 million to $6.5 million each.

Ferraris are among the hottest part of what has become a strong collector-car market over the last year.

An index of rare Ferrari values calculated by the Hagerty Insurance Agency has risen 16% to $3.5 million as of April from the same month a year earlier.

Wolf was well-known in classic car collector circles, both for his collection and for his mechanical ability.

Jon Shirley, the former president of Microsoft and a collector, remembers meeting Wolf at Ferrari rally in Colorado in 1995.

Shirley was having trouble getting his 1951 Ferrari to run properly at the high altitude.

“He went over to his Ferrari 340MM Spyder and pulled out more tools and small parts in carefully marked plastic cases than I thought possible to store in a Ferrari,” Shirley said.

Wolf tinkered with Shirley’s Ferrari, tuning it “by ear until the car sounded quite good” he recalled.

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