A rare iconic Ferrari which cost its owner just £5,000 is expected to sell for £10 MILLION at auction – with the entire proceeds going to charity.
The Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S NART Spyder was bought new in 1967 by US businessman and philanthropist Eddie Smith.
It was the must-have sports car of the time and Ferrari only built ten of the convertibles which helped add to their desirability.
They were so sought-after at the time that notorious car fan Steve McQueen owned one and requested another be used in 1969 film The Thomas Crown Affair.
Mr Smith owned the sports car up until his death in 2007 and his kind-hearted family, which has held onto the car, has now decided to auction it off and donate the proceedings to charity.
The Ferrari has attracted so much interest among collectors that experts are predicting it could fetch £10 million ($15m) when it goes under the hammer – making it one of the most valuable auction cars ever sold.
Ferrari only built the Spyder after US dealer Luigi Chinetti persuaded them to manufacture it in limited numbers.
The result was a stunningly attractive sports car with exceptional performance courtesy of its 330bhp V12 engine.
It boasted a top speed in excess of 160mph – a fantastic figure for a 1960s convertible.
And when it was test-driven by the Road and Track magazine, journalists described it as “the most satisfying sports car in the world”.
Eddie Smith Jr wants to sell the NART – North American Racing Team – so it can be appreciated by someone else.
He said: “In making the difficult decision to part with the NART Spyder, we wanted to do something that would have brought a smile to my dad’s face.
“He owned Ferraris for all the right reasons and loved driving and enjoying them in the company of fellow enthusiasts.
“We feel that it needs to be enjoyed and driven by someone who will appreciate the car with the same passion as he did.”
The news that such an iconic 1960s Ferrari is coming onto the market for the first time has created a buzz among fans, with many enthusiasts disappointed Ferrari only built ten in the first place.
James Cottingham, vehicle acquisition specialist at Hertfordshire-based DK Engineering, said: “It is a very special and exciting car and it is the car which Ferrari should have built hundreds of.
“I think it is one of the greatest all-round Ferraris of the 1960s. It is a fabulous car and looks absolutely to die for.
“All the big collectors would like a NART Spyder so the sale will attract loads of the ‘big hitters’.
“Everyone would like to be the second owner of the Ferrari and the current market suggests it is worth around $10 to $13 million but I wouldn’t be surprised if it went for $15 million.
“It is a wonderful road car and Steve McQueen, who owned one, chose the NART Spyder for The Thomas Crown Affair.”
The car, known as 10709, will go under the hammer at RM Auctions’ ultra-posh sale in Monterey, California on the weekend of August 16/17.
Rob Myers, boss of RM Auctions, has described the sale as a “double honour”.
He said: “To be able to offer a car as rare as a single-owner 275 GTB/4*S NART Spyder is incredibly historic, but to be entrusted with offering such a tremendous car in a way that will be of immeasurable benefit to good causes and of special sentimental value to the family, is an amazing thing.
“Add to that 10709’s exceptional purity, matching numbers, and, most importantly, the fact that it has been owned, cherished, and enjoyed in the same good home from the day it was picked up at the factory by its first owner, then, for the true Ferrari enthusiast, 10709’s offering at auction is quite simply an unrepeatable opportunity.”