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Gold California

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by Bob Zambelli, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Bob Zambelli

    Bob Zambelli Formula 3
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    Nov 3, 2003
    2,478
    Manning, SC
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    Robert G. Zambelli
    Another story and absolutely true.
    Again, back to the late seventies - I was living in Rochester, NY and I heard a rumor about a California Spider in a barn in Honeyoe Falls, a village to the south. My investigation led me to a farmhouse and I knocked at the door and was greeted by a man, Doug, as I recall. I felt like a fool asking him if he had a Ferrari hidden in his barn - not for long however. He said that he did but did not seem anxious to let me see it - next thought was "sure, this guy has a Ferrari and I own the Mona Lisa!"
    I guess he had second thoughts because he decided to let me see it. Opening the barn door, there it was - the GOLD California that had been on the show tour in the late 50s or early 60s (accompanied by the model in the gold dress!). I actually thought I was going to pass out, the way my pulse quickened.
    The car was filthy and as I recall, well decorated with chicken sh**. The top was half up and there was a factory gold hardtop also. Wire wheels totally rusted. It appeared absolutely complete - the interior was actually not all that bad.
    It had not been started in many years and of course, I wanted it. The California (it was the SWB/covered headlight model) is my all-time favorite.
    As I recall, the car was once owned by a Mr Publicker.
    Of course, it was not for sale - I told the owner "name your price" and he said he would think about it - I stopped by many times but never could get him to sell.
    Then, one day, I was informed that a local bought the car for around $20k and that was the last I heard of it.
    OK, wizards - the ball's in your court!!!
    What can you tell me??????????
    Bob Z
    ps - I swear this story is true - every word of it.
     
  2. Boudewijn

    Boudewijn Moderator
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    May 15, 2003
    4,075
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    Boudewijn Berkhoff
    Robert Publicker, PA, USA, owned the red LWB #1699GT that he raced to 10th overall at the Sebring 12 hrs of 1960. This is a alloy competizione version with external filler cap. He also raced the white alloy SWB 2015GT at the Sebring 12 hrs of 1961 to 12th overall. This car was at that time owned by Jan de Vroom, a dutch american. Those cars are surely not the car you're looking for, but that's all I have for the moment.
     
  3. barchetta

    barchetta Formula Junior

    Nov 5, 2003
    623
    Not the car you are asking about, but I believe that Basil Shadlun's California Spyder was also purchased in upstate New York. Best person to ask would be Wayne or perhaps NNO can dig up the history of the car from the FML archives.
     
  4. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,607
    California
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    Carbon McCoy
    i saw the thread when Bob first posted; was gonna look into but got busy... i'm pretty sure i found a picture of the car but it bears no serial number; i'll post it momentarily, then i'll pillage the database for any information that might lead me to it... i suppose asking for the serial number it just out of the question, huh...? :) Bob can you give me anymore pertinent information on the car...? Gerald's not here so i'm "on my own" with this one... :)
     
  5. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,607
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    Carbon McCoy
    Ok, here's the picture with, what i believe to be, the factory gold hard top that Bob said the car came with... i'm gonna scour the database now to see if i can find more info on the car...

    Bob, is this it...?
     
  6. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    5,938
    USA
    Carbon is the man. :) I'm so jealous you have all this at your fingertips.
     
  7. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,607
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    ...and i'm so undeserving of it, too... It's useless if i can't find anything in it... i just read the notes we have on EVERY 250 GT SWB Spyder California; open headlight, closed headlight, steel body, alloy body, hard top-equipped, etcetera, and i can't seem to find this car... i saw one car that was depicted as being yellow and another depicted as being metallic brown; other than that, i have no idea... The picture i posted was in the general file, so i would think we would have at least SOME information on this car... i'll keep looking... i might go out for a while, but i'll just come back here and keep looking... If i have to, i'll check every individual file for every SWB Spyder California there is... If i find something, i'll post it; if anyone has any additional information on this car, please post it; it might help... Thanks...
     
  8. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
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    Aug 1, 2002
    17,948
    San Marino, CA
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    L. Wayne Ausbrooks
    Carbon, what do you have as far as early history on these?

    2161 GT
    2469 GT
    2591 GT
    3053 GT
    3099 GT
     
  9. dretceterini

    dretceterini F1 Veteran

    Apr 28, 2004
    6,415
    Etceterini Land
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    Dr.Stuart Schaller
    One of my favorite Ferraris, but the gold color does nothing for it..
     
  10. Glassman

    Glassman F1 World Champ
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    Apr 23, 2002
    12,576
    You must be joking!!
     
  11. vincent355

    vincent355 F1 Veteran
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    Apr 8, 2003
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    Vincent
    One of my favorite thing has got to be the tailpipes on these classics!!
     
  12. kare

    kare F1 Rookie
    Consultant

    Nov 11, 2003
    3,205
    1685GT. Clearly!

    Bob, I really like your ramblings as 98% of the details you give are absolutely correct! Keep your stories coming!

    1685GT was the New York Motor Show car in gold. Then sold as a new car via Publicker to Douglas Cox... (hold) in Honey Falls, New York (drum fill). Photo appearing in this thread was probably taken when the car was with Manfredo Lippman.

    And yes, SWB/LWB can be a pain to tell a part in photos. My advice is that never be sure unless you see either the hood scoop (proud for LWB vs. recessed for SWB) or side vent (4 piece for LWB/3 piece for SWB). In the photo you can see both details; the car clearly has a 4 piece side vent and on SWB the hood scoop would not extend beyond A-pillar seen from this angle!

    Best wishes, Kare
     
  13. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,607
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    Carbon McCoy
    Thanks, Kare...! You're right, it's listed as a LWB...

    Here's what we have:
    Owned 1976 by Joseph Nitti, Rochester, NY. Just purchased from the original owner, who had it in storage for the past ten years. Offered 1977 by him through B. B. Wilson, Fairport, NY. 1961 NY Auto Show car. Disc brakes, outside plug engine. 17,000 miles. In original condition. Both tops. (FCA News Apr 1977).

    Purchased 1961 from Ferrari dealer Publicker, Ft. Lauderdale, FL by Douglas Cox, Honeoye Falls, NY. Had been displayed at the 1961 NY International Auto Show. Purchased 1976 from Cox by Nitti. Purchased Apr 1977 from Nitti by Alex Dearborn, Topsfield, MA. Was gold at one time, has been repainted (badly) once, is missing mirror, but otherwise looks authentic. 17,000 miles. Dearborn intends to repaint it red. Offered 1979 by Dearborn. Red with original tan interior. Recent paint job & body overhaul. Late example with outside plug engine & disc brakes. Absolutely up-to-date mechanically. Complete ownership history. 21,000 original documented miles.

    Subsequent owners: Manfredo Lippmann (CO/NY/FL/Guatemala) & the infamous Swedish collectors. As of 1992 with Nick Harley, Great Britain.

    Offered 1993 at 46-40-115656 (Sweden). Red with tan leather. Recorded mileage 20,600. Late model, outside plug 280 hp engine, disc brakes. Superb original car.

    Purchased from above ad by ________, MI. Entered 1994 International Ferrari Concours, Monterey, CA, no award. Entered 1995 Meadowbrook Concours, awarded blue ribbon. Entered 1995 & 1997 Colorado Grand.

    This information has been provided by The Ferrari Market Letter.
     
  14. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,607
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Wayne, email me or give me a call at your convenience...
     
  15. kare

    kare F1 Rookie
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    Nov 11, 2003
    3,205
    So the Honeoye Falls isn't a typo! Always nice to get details right, however minor they may be.

    I think it was with Harley in 1988, then sold to Thulin and after bankcruptsy sold via Anders Bremer to current owner.

    Too bad it was repainted red. Without a doubt it will be restored in original gold sooner than later; now was there ever a better color for an expensive car?

    Best wishes, Kare
     
  16. Yquem

    Yquem Formula 3

    Dec 2, 2003
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    JR
    Great story, great job.
    Thanks guys.

    Cordiali saluti,
    Joren REMANS
     
  17. JMJ575M

    JMJ575M Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2002
    294
    Chain of Lakes Regio
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    J Michael Jordan
    Thanks all of you. I just love Ferrari stories such as this.


    JMJ
     
  18. dretceterini

    dretceterini F1 Veteran

    Apr 28, 2004
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    Dr.Stuart Schaller
    No, I'm not. I don't like the gold at all....

    I would much prefer a medium grey with a black top. I don't like bright colored cars. I have only owned 2 Ferraris, and they were gark green and dark blue...
     
  19. PWehmer

    PWehmer Formula 3

    Oct 15, 2002
    1,733
    Surrounded by Water
    Great story. Glad the car didn't rot away or get crushed.

    OK- so the gold isn't so great now- bet it looked stunning on the car show floor 40+ years ago.

    So it gets repainted red since that is now the expected color for a F-car. To maximize your resell value....
     
  20. Aardy

    Aardy F1 Rookie
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    Feb 21, 2004
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    #20 Aardy, Jun 6, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  21. Glassman

    Glassman F1 World Champ
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    Apr 23, 2002
    12,576
    I'm a big fan of the odd colors, especially on vintage cars. I'll take a Boxer with Dark Brown seats and Green inserts any day of the week.
    My car was originally white with a silver roof,( re painted in 1960 to all silver) if I ever restore it I will return it to the original colors.
     
  22. RenaissanceMan

    Aug 13, 2004
    26
    Nashville, TN
    Full Name:
    Adam Nitti
    134282, I realize this is an _ancient_ thread, but I was excited to stumble across it. My name is Adam Nitti. I'm the son of Joseph Nitti, who purchased this car from the original owner in 1976. As my father has owned so many incredible cars over the years, I am currently working on a video series documentary project that traces and tracks down some of his most significant restorations. In my opinion, this car was the 'crown jewel' of his past ownership experiences. I was only 6 years old at the time, but I vividly remember this car arriving at the house in the middle of a Rochester, NY winter. Does anyone know the current whereabouts of this car? I have attached a pic of me in the car at 6 years old just for fun. :) I have a bunch more pics of the car. Bob, I believe you knew my father when we lived in Rochester. Any info that could be provided would be greatly appreciated!

    Adam Nitti
    Nashville, TN


     

    Attached Files:

    colombo2cam, 375+, lgs and 5 others like this.
  23. 3COL

    3COL Rookie

    Jun 12, 2017
    39
    Looks like the car was just displayed this year at Cavallino Classic.

    For LWB, what defines the door handle type? Simply a change in production, or otherwise?
     
  24. RenaissanceMan

    Aug 13, 2004
    26
    Nashville, TN
    Full Name:
    Adam Nitti
    These pictures are interesting. Maybe it is a trick of the light, or just a filter that is on the shots, but the color hue of the apparent repaint is a little different than the original color of the car. Almost has a tinge of orange in it, looking at them on my computer monitor... Anyone know if the car resides in the US still?
     

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