By Niki D’Andrea / Photos by Kimberly Carrillo
Some people keep photos of their families in their offices. Others hang their degrees and awards on the walls. Some might outfit their offices with microwaves and mini-fridges, maybe even a flat-screen TV.
Drew Alcazar has a Ferrari parked in the middle of his office.
The sleek black 1960 Ferrari 250 Cabriolet with the Pinin Farina body design is the closest he’s come to his dream car: a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder, regarded by many as the most beautiful convertible ever produced, and perhaps most well-known for smashing through its glass showroom doors and careening into a ravine in a scene from the 1986 hit film Ferris Buehler’s Day Off. One fully restored model sold for £12.5 million in 2015.
“I think the Holy Grail for most collector car enthusiasts is a Spyder California – the Ferris Bueller car,” says Alcazar, who co-founded the Russo and Steele collector car auction company with his wife Jospehine in 2001. “I knew I couldn’t afford a Spyder California… this was as close as I could get to my Spyder California dream.”
Alcazar found his dream car surrogate in a carriage house in Long Island, New York in 2003. It hadn’t been started since 1972, and sported blue paint with a vinyl blue interior and white piping. “You can’t get any more ‘70s,” Alcazar recalls of the color scheme. “I picture someone in bell bottoms taking it for their last ride in the ‘70s.”
The Ferrari needed extensive work to restore it to its original condition. But Alcazar saw the car’s potential, and went to some pains to purchase it. “Russo and Steele was just getting started,” he says. “It took every penny I had in the piggy bank and a few others. I had no idea how I was going to restore the car, but I knew I wanted to buy it.”
It took Alcazar eight years to restore the car. He owned five other Cabriolets throughout the process. “Every time I had some extra coin, I’d buy headlights or an emblem or a tail strip,” he recalls.
He eventually stripped the car down to metal. The color was important to him. “Almost everything in my collection is black,” he says.
Alcazar says the car is now “100 percent correct, down to the nuts and washers.” Such accuracy and authenticity was an integral part of achieving his longtime dream to show a car at the prestigious Concours d’Elegance event in Pebble Beach, California. “That’s the Super Bowl – crème de la crème, top of the heap,” Alcazar says. “You can’t just restore a car – it has to be over-the-top, not just in the restoration process but in the finish. You have to have all the proper components. You have to do a lot of research. Ferraris are all put together by hand. If you took the door off my car, it wouldn’t fit another car.”
The car was displayed at Pebble Beach in 2012. “Some people believe when you die, you get to live certain days over again. If I could, I’d live that day over again,” Alcazar says. “Getting to show at Pebble Beach was a day I’d live over again.”
Alcazar’s car also won a Ferrari Club of America International Meet Coppa GT award, another bucket-list accolade. After that and Concours d’Elegance, Alcazar says it just made sense to park the car on a rotating showroom platform in the middle of his second-floor office in Scottsdale.
“After you have a car that’s been everywhere and done everything, what do you do? I decided to put it in my office. It’s a satisfaction to sit and do business while looking at the car.”
Do you have a remarkable car with a story to tell? Share it with us, and you and your wheels could be featured in a future “My Ride” story. Send an email with the subject line “My Ride” to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.