What's Your Eleanor? – If You Have the Means Edition

The year was 1986 and a plucky young Matthew Broderick decided it was time for his high school student character to take a day off. Along with his girlfriend and depressing best bud, Ferris Bueller took the city of Chicago by storm. His chariot of choice that day? A gleaming red 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. The motion picture stole the hearts of millions, but the real star of that film is and always will be that classic Italian super model.
Yes…I know the car in the movie is not an actual Ferrari but a tarted up MG MGB. However, the styling is spot on and the visual cues are all that I needed at the early age I first spotted this vehicle.

In real life, the short-wheelbase 250 GT California Spyder is a very rare car and incredibly valuable. As most of you know, the example pictured above recently sold for nearly eleven million dollars.
I would imagine that even finding one in terrible shape would still have me staring at a car I may never be able to afford. This is a problem for me because this car represents the vehicle that forged my love of cars. I wanted to hop over the door with Sloane waiting in the passenger seat. Pressing my foot to the floor would produce an exquisite tone from the nearly 300 hp V12 engine. The wind would rip off my cap while Sloane and I leave that perverted principal in the dust, never looking back. The whole time I would have Beat City by the Flowerpot Men blaring on the radio.
[just press play, there is no video – only audio]
The Ferrari GT 250 California SWB was produced in very small numbers, around 55 or so total. I have only seen a replica in person and even that car was beautiful. I cannot afford a real one nor have I ever actually seen one in person – yet I want one…badly.
The Ferrari 250 GT California is my Eleanor…and if you know anyone who has the keys to one, please let me drive it – relax man…I’m a professional.

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  1. soo΄pәr-bādd75 Avatar

    Well, I think we have a winner for "Most unobtainable 'Eleanor' EVAH!".

  2. engineerd Avatar

    "I would drive it while wearing a diaper"
    Are you employed by NASA?
    Excellent choice, my friend. Truly rare enough to be pursued for a lifetime, but beautiful enough to make that endless pursuit a truly worthy one.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      well said

  3. joshuman Avatar

    Abe Froman to the courtesy phone please.

  4. Bret Avatar

    I saw one in person once. It was the late '80s and I was an apprentice mechanic in an East Bay Fiat/Alfa shop. I somehow managed to weasel my way into the good graces of Patrick Ottis (he restores Ferraris for folks who take them to places like Pebble Beach and the Mille Miglia). He was really nice and would patiently answer my questions about the various cars in his shop. I would marvel at the engineering beauty and the coachcrafting excellence of the cars with respectful awe.
    One day, a 250 GT California SWB was sitting in the entry to his shop, it was red, just like the Ferris Bueller car. There is something about the proportions of that car, it is truly a strike of lightning design. That car was so beautiful that I was struck silent for the better part of what felt like 5 minutes. I could have been five hours, the details of that shape are seared in my memory. The magnificence of this automobile was so stunning that I touched it to verify its existence
    This car is a masterpiece – you must see it in person to appreciate it. Photos do not do it justice.

  5. Dr_Dangerously Avatar

    Mmmmmmm, like butter on a hot pan

  6. muthalovin Avatar

    I just watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It really held up nicely over the decades. The Ferrari also did.

  7. Møbius Avatar

    Now that I have this car in my head, I am imagining life with it. And it would be truly fantastic. Be it cruising through South Kensington, driving over Tower Bridge, ripping down the motorway to and through France, pulling up at a 5-star hotel or a 3-star restaurant, or taking it for a spin (not literally, that would be baaaad) on the roads through the countryside, this car is just… everything you can every ask for. It is perfection.
    Now that I've thought about it, I don't really think I can live without it. Goodbye, cruel world.

  8. scroggzilla Avatar

    Bob Grossman's LWB California Spyder at LeMans, 1959
    <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2436/4047508496_c4646c5d70.jpg"&gt;
    The De Bonis/Fusina California Spyder at the '62 Targa Florio
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3607/3386394206_da0bd9165a_o.jpg"&gt;

  9. rik Avatar

    just go to the Ferrari museum in Maranello, Italy and enjoy a whole day of watching many beautiful ferrari models, including a swb 250 GT California Spyder in the same blue coloursceme as shown above. That is offcourse if it is still there. I've been there exactly one year ago.
    Grtz from another 250-GT-California-Spyder-as-my-Eleanor person