Monterey Car Week, one of the most prestigious gatherings of sensational machinery and top-level collectors, saw RM Sotheby’s auction a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO which, as had been predicted, promptly broke all classic car auction records by selling to a mystery bidder for no less than £37.5million ($48.4million at the time of writing).
This had been the most hotly anticipated auction of the season, and frantic bidding over the telephone escalated the price of the Ferrari over ten tense minutes to what now stands as the price to beat – although it is difficult to imagine a more valuable and unique vehicle than this.
As with all classic Ferrari’s of this era, this particular 250 GTO – chassis 3413 – boasts an illustrious competition history, and was notably driven by American Phil Hill, sports care expert and 1961 F1 World Champion for Ferrari. As a practice vehicle on the 1962 Targa Florio, before enjoying much local success in Europe in the hands of a succession of owners.
Latterly owned in the USA by former Microsoft engineer Greg Whitten – a noted Ferrari collector – the car is one of only 36 built by the factory and wears a series II Scaglietti body, and also has its original engine, gearbox and chassis, making it extra-appealing to the collectors, three of whom bid for it by phone.
New World Record
The previous world record for a classic at auction was also held by a Ferrari 250 GTO, which was sold by Bonham’s in 2014 for £29.5million ($38million), yet bidding for this example began at £27million, so it was clear the record was always under threat.
The buyer remains anonymous, but we can rest assured it will have gone to one of a handful of dedicated Ferrari collectors who are committed to keeping these fabulous and important machines in top condition.