The only factory-owned Ferrari 250 GTO Series 1 has just made history at an RM Sotheby's Auction, with a final sale price of $51,705,000 making it the most expensive car from Maranello to ever sell in a public forum.
The recent sale in New York has surpassed the previous 250 GTO hammer record by a slim margin, a record that was also set at an RM Sotheby's auction back in 2018. That particular example, which was the third GTO built in period, traded hands for $48,405,000 at that aforementioned Monterey, California auction.
This 1962 Ferrari 330 LM / 250 GTO is a particularly special example of the unrivaled sports racer, thanks in no small part to its factory use under Scuderia Ferrari. The car is also the only GTO to receive a larger 4.0-liter variant of the Colombo V-12 engine, which it campaigned successfully in its early career. The car would secure a class win at the Nurburgring 1000 in 1962, before going on to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that same year with drivers Lorenzo Bandini and Mike Parkes at the wheel. Despite battling back from an early race mishap with a sand trap, the car would ultimately retire from the event during hour six due to a sickly engine. In May 1963, the car would return to Ferrari for a conversion back to 3.0-liter GTO specification before being sold on to Pietro Ferraro. Ferrari would take the racer back in on trade in 1967, where it would quickly find its way to the States. After bouncing around for a few years, it would come into the possession of an Ohio-based collector in 1985. That’s where the car has remained in the decades since, coming out with relative frequency for concours events and tours.
Despite setting a record for Ferraris at public auctions, the hammer price on this particular car was not quite what we expected. Sotheby’s estimated the car would sell for over $60,000,000, which isn’t unreasonable given its significance. In fact, it’s been rumored that another 250 GTO previously traded hands for over $70,000,000 all the way back in 2016. It is somewhat shocking that this example couldn’t command similar money, but the general market tension at the moment certainly doesn’t help. The hammer price is also still dwarfed by that of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, which RM Sotheby’s previously sold for an Earth-shattering $144 million. You know deep down that bugs the folks in Maranello. We’re sure the seller is more than happy however, considering they reportedly purchased the car for the equivalent of $1.4 million today’s money. As it turns out, ultra-rare and significant Ferraris with race heritage are a decent investment.
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