Center Console, Ferrari, and North Carolina

Ferrari GTB Nart spider

the $25,000,000 Ferrari going across the auction block

The father of a top shelf 2014 model year Center Console boat builder had a Ferrari as his one luxury in life. Mr. Smith Sr.’s first Ferrari was a used 250 GT SWB California Spider, which he bought from Luigi Chinetti in Greenwich, CT. His first new Ferrari was a 275 GTB / 4 Berlinetta. He picked that Ferrari up at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy, although he bought it in the U S. via Luigi Chinetti, the U S Ferrari Importer.

Soon after Mr. Smith Sr.’ s new car purchase, Chinetti then asked Enzo Ferrari to build him some Spiders (convertibles) closely based on that same model. Those Chinetti inspired and ordered Ferraris were named world-wide as the Ferrari 275 GTB/4NART Spider. The original order talked about was for 25 cars but only 10 were made in the initial (and as it turned out only) production run.

To promote his new Ferrari model, Chinetti had one of these NART (North American Racing Team) Spiders raced by the driver team of Denise McCluggage and Pinkie Rollo at Sebring. They drove the car to a 17th overall finish.  This all-female driving crew added to the notoriety of the NART Ferrari effort.

Their racer was then repainted and loaned to Steve McQueen for his movie, The Thomas Crown Affair. After the movie, McQueen bought one of these NART Ferraris for himself. Other car owners included Stroll, Beecham, and Moores, (who bought two). Even with this marketing effort, Luigi Chinetti had trouble selling his first 10 cars. Thus there was no re-order for more cars.

Why?

First, the Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider was priced by Chinetti at $14,400, while he sold the Berlinetta version of the same car for $8000. The Berlinetta was sold by Ferrari dealers world-wide and Ferrari factory set that price. Chinetti, however, set the price for the GTB/4 NART Spider. He had it exclusively; one could not buy it from any other dealer.

Second. While this car was more a street cruiser Ferrari and not a racer Ferrari, her engine was specially tuned for performance, even more so than the 275 GTB/4 Coupe (Berlinetta). For instance, the six carbs on the 12 cylinder car tended to load up at lower RPM. Owners/ drivers had to “regularly clear them out” via high rpm acceleration runs. Then, the profiles of the four cams delivered power best from 5,500 RPMs and on up to the red-line of 8,000 RPMS. This is not the best RPM range for a daily driver sports car.

The earlier model NART entry that Seabuddy saw Pedro Rodriguez win with at Bridgehampton in 1962 did about the same thing. About half way through that race his car lost its crisp level of tuning. First, it only showed up as he decelerated, and then, late in the race, it did it pretty much at all times. He did beat the fast Birdcage Maserati in that race, though.

Why am I writing about this car now? OK, here is the headline for why now. The $14,400 Ferrari was sold for $25,000,000 when Smith Senior died. All of that $25,000,000 was donated to charity by the heirs of Eddie Smith, Sr. It was sold for a total of $27,500,000 with the auction fees added to the hammer price.

Eddie Smith Jr. and all his brothers and sisters wanted the car to go a good home and the money from its sale to help charity.

So, how is this a boat story? Fair question to ask, folks. Eddie Smith, Jr., the son of the Ferrari owner is known in boating circles as the owner of Grady White boats in North Carolina. Grady is one of the storied center console boat brands in the world. Eddie made his company, himself, with his boat building team. Dad was not a boat builder, nor was Dad even in the same town. Eddie is a self-made man.

Grady White is an award-winning brand of fish boat. A successful fiberglass boat builder today; Smith started out making wooden boats, years ago. For a write-up on a wooden Grady White boat, see…  http://www.seabuddyonboats.com/boats/best-of-show-outboard-%E2%80%93-grady-white-wins-the-award/

 

center console grady white fiberglass boat

Fish ready Grady White Center console fiberglass battle wagon

 

2 Responses to “Center Console, Ferrari, and North Carolina”

  • ckm:

    I see you watched the (repeat) episode of Chasing Classic Cars this week. Same story was rebroadcasted the other night. I watched it again too. Beautiful car.

  • Yup. Do you think my connecting that broadcast and other resources to the center console boats aspects of this sale was not worth you reading it?

Leave a Reply