It’s not every day that a Ferrari 250 GTO – one of, if not the, most iconic Ferrari’s of all time – comes to light in a dispute over inheritance taxes, but that is what happened with regard to the wealthy Bardinon family in France, who own the luxury leather goods brand, Chapal.
This truly legendary road and racing car found itself at the centre of an ongoing family dispute, the outcome of which has yet to be reached. French inheritance taxes are notoriously high, so Patrick Bardinon – one of three siblings in line to inherit the Chapal brand – opted to sell the car himself to rid the family of the debt.
It was sold, reports at the weekend claimed, to a Taiwanese businessman for 38million euros – but this was four years ago. The details are emerging now as Patrick’s sister Anne and brother Jean-Francois are suing him over the ownership of the car.
While Patrick insists the Ferrari was given to him by his late father, his siblings claim that Patrick removed the car without their knowledge or approval from the family collection, and sold it from under them. The court has not named the businessman said to have bought the 250 GTO, and nor is it clear if it has been removed to Taiwan.
The story goes that the Bardinon’s father bought the Ferrari 250 GTO, undoubtedly one of the greatest cars ever built, in 1978 for the equivalent of 700 Euros (equivalent to £630 or $800 at the time of writing) and had to spend twice that amount again to get it back to road-going condition.
The family fortune is estimated at between 250million and 400million Euro (at least £225m or $280m), and a ruling on the case is not expected until March, 2019.