I Witnessed the Ferrari N.A.R.T Spider Go for 27.5 Million
When I began my internship at Petrolicious and screened the footage of the ’67 Ferrari 275 N.A.R.T Spider video that we shot, I could hardly wait to meet the Smith family. Eddie Smith Jr. tells the story of his father with such admiration. I felt I could imagine his father driving the car down the same roads on which Petrolicious had filmed the car. Our team had become close with the family and really understood how close this Ferrari was to the family. After learning I would be heading to Pebble Beach where I would see the car be auctioned off, I knew it was in for a memorable experience.
At 8:35 in the evening, the conference room lights of the Portola Hotel dimmed in anticipation. An engine roared at full volume, and the video we’d shot of the Spider appeared on screen demonstrating the car’s beauty and pure power as it roared down a North Carolina road at over 100 miles an hour. I sat rapt as owner, Eddie Smith, Jr., drove the car for the last time onto the auction block—the crowd applauded.
Eddie and his sister gracefully approached the podium. They radiated with emotion as Eddie gave a heartfelt speech about his dad’s love for the car and his family’s reasons for bringing it to auction. When Eddie mentioned that the proceeds from the car would be going to charity, I heard gasps from the audience which led to murmuring and then more applause. Everyone was thinking, “This car is estimated to sell for 14–17 million dollars, and the family is donating it all to charity?” I could almost tangibly feel the respect and admiration the audience had for the car and the family in the room. In that moment, I knew that the car would demand well over 17 million dollars.
The bid started at 10 million dollars and was immediately raised to 16 million. After that, 17 and then 20! In a short time the bid was double the opening bid. There was an electric buzz in the room, and I absorbed every bit of energy as I began to realize I was witnessing a historic moment. The auctioneer took his time as the price crept up and up, a million at a time until it finally reached a whopping $25,000,000 ($27,500,000 including the buyer’s premium). When the auctioneer slammed the hammer, the crowd gave the family a standing ovation. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. Having met with the family on multiple occasions over the weekend, I had heard history and stories, and I had developed an emotional connection with the car, so watching the family embrace was a special moment. I know the family is very happy to have raised so much money for charity, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Eddie called to check up on the car once in a while
Photos courtesy of RM Auctions