Among the richest collections of contemporary Italian super cars ever offered will hit the auction dais this month, and its biggest prize could fetch $2.5 million.
Gooding & Company will preside over the event on Jan. 21 in Scottsdale, Ariz. The 11 cars include a 2005 Maserati MC 12, a 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo and eight Ferraris, including a 2006 FXX Evoluzione: only one of 30 made and, until the 599XX dethroned it earlier this year, the fastest Ferrari to circle the brand’s test track.
The collection belonged to Benny Caiola, a Sicilian-born Manhattan real-estate magnate who, before his death last spring, was an enthusiastic presence at Ferrari heritage events and rallies in his adoptive country and around the world.
Mr. Caiola reportedly befriended Ferrari’s founder, Enzo Ferrari, after ordering a green 512 BB to complete his collection of the coupe in the colorway of Italy’s tricolore flag.
Whereas many of his fellow collectors coveted vintage berlinettas from Ferrari’s 1950s and ’60s racing heyday, Mr. Caiola distinguished himself by preferring new cars, usually purchased directly from the brand’s Maranello factory. “Would you like to have an old lady or a young girl?” he quipped in 2009 to Matt Farah, an automotive journalist, at Palm Beach’s Cavallino Classic Track Day, by way of explanation.
According to Gooding, Mr. Caiola’s FXX arrived in New York in 2006, before the $300,000 Evoluzione package had been conceived by Ferrari. It was later shipped back to Maranello and fitted with the kit, which raised peak output from the car’s 6.2-liter V-12 engine to 860 horsepower — 70 more than the FXX. Gear ratios were also recalibrated to provide faster shifts via the car’s Formula One-style paddles.
Gooding sold a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione for $7.26 million during last August’s Pebble Beach auctions. Even relative to vintage Ferrari collections that the house has auctioned, Gooding expects the Caiola collection’s vehicles to collectively produce a record price — aided in no small part by the FXX Evoluzione’s expected $2.5 million sale.