Say hello to the most expensive car ever to be sold at auction.
This 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – just one of 36 in existence – sold for a record-breaking $48,405,000 (£37.5m) at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale in California at the weekend.
Dubbed the Holy Grail of collectible cars, it eclipsed the previous record – also held by a Ferrari 250 GTO made in the same year – of $38.1 million (£29.5m) to take the title of the most valuable motor to go under the hammer.
Most expensive car sold at auction of all time: Say hello to the most valuable motor to go under the hammer – a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that went at the weekend
The car was part of the same auction that included a 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype that we… – the third most expensive British car of all time – and raised a total of $157.6 million (£122.1m) in total with 124 vehicles changing hands.
At centre stage this year was the rare opportunity to add this stupendously valuable motor to a vehicle collection.
Chassis number 3413 GT is one of the earliest made. It was the third 250 GTO to ever leave the Maranello production line, though it’s widely believed that all 36 examples remain in existence today.
Each road-legal racer left the Italian factory with a 3.0-litre V12 engine under the bonnet that produces a quoted 300bhp.
That was good enough for a zero to 60mph sprint in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 174mph – enough for the 250 GTO to dominate the motorsport scene during its heyday.
The Ferrari was sold by RM Sotheby’s at the Monterey auction during Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California
The 250 GTO is one of 36 ever made. It was the third version produced and was used by the factory Scuderia Ferrari team as a test model
Under the bonnet is a 3.0-litre V12 engine under the bonnet that produces a quoted 300bhp
This particular model has a glittering racing past and – unlike others – can boast that it has never been spearheaded bumper first into a crash barrier during its circuit exploits.
During its early days as part of the factory Scuderia outfit, the 250 GTO was a used for testing.
It was then sold to its first owner – who happened to be one of Ferrari’s most favoured private customers – Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi who entered it into no fewer than 10 races in 1962.
It won all but one (in which he placed 2nd in class) and took Lualdi-Gabardi to the Italian National GT championship that year.
It went on to contest in a total of 20 races in 1963 and 1964, was never crashed and not once failed to see the chequered flag.
The Ferrari 250 GTO could accelerate from 0 to 60mph sprint in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 174mph. That was enough for it to dominate the motorsport scene during its heyday
This example was entered in 10 races in 1962, winning all but one (in which he placed 2nd in class) to take owner Lualdi-Gabardi to the Italian National GT championship that year
It now sports a factory Series II body created by iconic Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Scaglietti that was fitted back in 1964. Here it is pictured before the modification
As a result, many of the original components are in place today, including the engine, gearbox, and rear axle it left Ferrari’s production facility with 56 years ago.
That’s not to say it is totally unmodified.
It sports a factory Series II body created by iconic Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Scaglietti that was fitted back in 1964.
RM Sotheby’s said the 250 GTO has ‘passed through an unbroken chain of ownership’ since it hung up its racing tyres.
The car contested 20 races in 1963 and 1964, was never crashed and not once failed to see the chequered flag. That’s impressive reliability for a high-performance 60s racer
Having no major encounters with crash barriers, many of the original components are in place today. That includes the engine, gearbox, and rear axle it left Ferrari’s production facility with 56 years ago
The vendor was Doctor Greg Whitten, the former chief software architect for Microsoft who purchased the vehicle in 2000
The registered keepers list includes some of the most prominent Ferrari collectors in the world, with the vendor being Doctor Greg Whitten, the former chief software architect for Microsoft.
He purchased the car back in 2000 and has since allowed it to be competed in vintage events around the world, including four of the lauded GTO anniversary tours.
Whitten told CNBC that he bought chassis 3413 GT to race in events for vintage models – such as the forthcoming Goodwood Revival, believed to be the most expensive race on the planet featuring £200million worth of vehicles.
‘It’s a beautiful car, but it’s not whole until you are racing it,’ he said.
So why is he selling such an appreciating asset?
He claims the classic race scene was too dangerous to enter such a prized motor, and panic for its well-being had taken the fun out of using it in competition.
‘Some of these people don’t have respect for the car,’ he added. ‘If they crash it it’s not a big deal.’
The two most expensive cars sold at auction are now Ferrari 250 GTOs – cementing the model’s reputation as the most valuable vehicle of all time
Experts have estimated that Ferrari 250 GTOs could soon be changing hands for in excess of $100m before 2023
The RM Sotheby’s sale took place during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – a five-day festival of auctions, exclusive vehicle unveilings and invite-only parties for the deepest-pocketed car collectors on the planet
While the car has taken the crown as the most expensive car of all time to go under the hammer, it’s still well short of what’s believed to be the record fee paid for a vintage model.
If rumours are to be believed, a later 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for $70million (£52million) earlier this year.
Leading Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, who described the car as ‘one of the top three or four GTOs in the world’, confirmed it had been bought by an American businessman in June.
And he predicted the famed GTO could get pricier, with values expected to rise beyond $100million in the next five years.
You can read more about the expensive cars to sell at auction in our top 10 countdown of the most precious motors to ever go under the h….
The pevious record for an auction sale was $38.1m (£29.5m) set in 2014
Every Ferrari 250 GTO built by the Italian factory survive today, according to reports
Despite every model created living on, values are still soaring. That said, with just 36 in existence, the opportunity to own one doesn’t occur very often