520K Goes to New Ferrari California

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The first public example of the Ferrari California came under the hammer during its American unveiling in at the private airport in Santa Monica last week, garnering a top bid of $520,000. The event was attended by a handful of Hollywood celebrities, and even the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, dropped by. Half a million can buy you a lot of car, and the California is expected to retail for about a third of that amount, but of course that’s not the point: proceeds from the sale will go to the After-School All-Stars charitable foundation (an association that engages middle-school kids in activities that increase confidence and encourage success in all areas of their lives). The Ferrari California world premiere saw more than 1,000 guests from all over the world at Los Angeles and Maranello. Meanwhile, the Ferrari California was presented at Maranello by Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, together with the Scuderia Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, who drove the car inside the new factory building, planned by the brilliant French architect Jean Nouvel, surrounded by images from the history of the Prancing Horse. Michael Schumacher, involved in the development of the new Granturismo from Maranello, underlined the sporty qualities and flexibility of the new California. Offered only as a folding hardtop convertible, the California aims to sate the desires of the ultrarich who crave both open-air and Grand Tourer experiences. Powering the California will be Ferrari’s familiar 4.3-liter, flat-crank V-8, here with direct injection and mounted in a front-mid position and producing 454 horsepower at 7500 rpm, down from the 483 and 503 in the mid-engined F430 coupe/Spider and F430 Scuderia, respectively. The chassis and body panels will be crafted-as is the case with all Ferraris-in aluminum, and Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes will be standard. The event was broadcasted on www.ferraricalifornia.com, where as of now the most significant images of the events are recalled.

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