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Ferrari 250 GTO fetches more than $50 million at auction – DW – 11/14/2023

A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO on Monday became the second most expensive car ever sold at auction, reaching $51,705,000 (around €48,300,000) at Sotheby’s in New York.

The classic scarlet chassis, once a Ferrari factory race car but later refitted for road use, had been owned by an American collector for 38 years.

RM Sotheby’s, the auction house’s luxury car subsidiary, expected a slightly higher sale price of around $60 million.

He did not identify the buyer Monday of a car billed as “a speed machine so famous it is considered the very definition of a legend.”

Sotheby’s predicted an even higher sale price of around $60 million.Image: Angela Weiss/AFP

Scuderia factory model, raced at the Nürburgring and Le Mans

The car, chassis number 3765, was originally built for the circuit by Ferrari and fitted with a larger experimental 4-litre engine.

“As one of 34 GTO examples built with a 1962 Tipo body, and the only example originally equipped with a 4-liter engine, chassis number 3765 has been featured several times in publications dedicated to Ferrari. Prancing Horse And Cavallinoand his racing career has been documented in magazines like Sports car graphic, Road and trackAnd Sports car”, Sotheby’s said of the lot.

It finished second in the 1,000 km endurance race in 1962 at Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, and also took part in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans that year, when the team had to withdraw due to ‘an engine failure, according to RM Sotheby’s..

Chassis 3765, with Tipo bodywork by Scaglietti, was later restored and converted to a road version with a standard 3 liter engine when sold to a private owner in the United States.

It changed hands several times before ending up with a collector in Ohio, Monday’s seller, Sotheby’s said.

The 1960s battles between Ferrari’s 250 GTOs and Ford’s GT40s at Le Mans became a legendary endurance racing story of the era and partly explain why the car is still so expensive in the United States and Europe .

The fame of the 250 GTO was also enhanced by the popular Hollywood film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, in which a model featured prominently.

The owner of the 250 GTO in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” never drove it, but occasionally wiped his precious car down with a diaper.Image: photo-alliance/United Archives/IFTN

It’s not the most expensive auction ever, but…

For decades, the 250 GTO was widely considered the world’s most expensive car, although many recent sales have been private with prices only announced or rumored.

But that record was obliterated last year by the auction of a 1955 Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupe.

The Uhlenhaut sold for 135 million euros, or $144 million at the current exchange rate, at least $60 million more than any previous private car sale.

However, the very unique nature of the model in question – a result of its starring role in the deadliest racing accident of all time – explains the skyrocketing sale price in this case.

Only two road-ready 300 SLR Uhlenhaut coupes were made. A racing model was involved in a major accident at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans. It catapulted into the spectator area, along with its engine and other large debris, killing more than 100 spectators and injuring many others.

Mercedes then canceled plans to build more than 300 hardtop SLRs for the road following the tragedy, and never sold the two road models it had made – until the shock auction and confidential from 2022.

The most expensive car in the world – Mercedes 300 SLR

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The 250 GTO, meanwhile, can continue to boast of being the most expensive road car ever put into production and sold to the public. Another sold at auction for around $44 million in 2018 and private sales reportedly reached $60 or $70 million.

msh/dh (AFP)

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