£42 Million Sale of 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Shatters Auction Record

Sit down if you’re of a fragile disposition, as we’re about to talk about one of the most expensive cars ever sold. We’re talking about the Ferrari 250 GTO, a rare and remarkable automobile that has captured the imagination of car enthusiasts worldwide. This specific model is the only GTO Tipo 1962 raced by Scuderia Ferrari, the brand’s racing division, making it even more special. After 38 years of continuous ownership, this iconic car was auctioned by RM Sotheby’s, offering a unique opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to acquire a piece of motoring history.

What a history this car had. Car number Nine (of 36) with ‘chassis number 3765 is a rare bird, being the only Works GTO example that was originally equipped with a 4-litre engine. The build sheets detail the Colombo-style architecture of the 3.0-litre short-block V12 engine in the other examples, which had increased displacement here, converted to dry sump lubrication, and tuned with special carburettors and camshafts. This car was the 14th of 34 250 GTOs to be built with Tipo 1962 coaching, and it finished its racing debut at the Nurburgring 1,000km in second spot.

Scuderia Ferrari hoped to achieve success at Le Mans, the ultimate ambition, but the GTO overheated and retired early. The car was then bought by a privateer racer, modified, and test driven by John Surtees, a renowned motorcyclist. Successive owners raced the car in various challenges around Italy until it was exported to the USA in 1967 to strut its stuff. Rumour has it that this car, with its exceptional provenance, could potentially raise the benchmark again, having already won numerous awards and been often profiled in the media.

1962 Ferrari GTO (side rear right)

On sale for the first time in 38 years (and kept in rude health in that time), Sotheby’s didn’t say how much it reckoned the GTO would go for, but previous 250 GTOs have commanded a price north of £40 million at auction, just not as north as this one.

The hammer fell at a price that made this GTO the most expensive Ferrari of all time (if you don’t count private sales). While £42 million is an eye-watering number, it isn’t actually the most expensive 250 GTO ever. That accolade goes to another that changed hands in a private sale in 2018, when it was bought by an American businessman for £52 million.

The bidding war that went down at RM Sotheby’s, seeing bidders going head-to-head for this iconic car, pushed the final price far beyond what anyone expected. It’s a testament to the car’s rarity and the desire among collectors to own a piece of automotive history. It’s a rare and remarkable automobile that has a rich history, racing pedigree, unique design, and a rarity that, as this auction proved, made it a highly sought-after car among collectors and enthusiasts. The jaw-dropping sale price is a testament to the enduring appeal of the 250 GTO badge and the car’s unique place in automotive history.

So, if you’re looking to own a piece of automotive history, you might want to start saving up. Or, you know, buy a lottery ticket and hope for the best. Either way, the Ferrari 250 GTO is a car that will continue to captivate car enthusiasts for generations to come.


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