The Most Expensive Car Ever Sold: Will Another Ferrari 250 GTO Break Records?
Astonishing news has emerged in the world of luxury automobiles. A highly coveted Ferrari 250 GTO is set to go up for sale at RM Sotheby’s on November 13, 2024. This rare gem is expected to fetch an astronomical price, potentially surpassing the record-breaking $48.405 million brought in by a Ferrari 250 GTO at auction in 2018. What makes this particular car even more remarkable is its unique history and exceptional features.
Out of the limited production run of Ferrari 250 GTOs, this one stands out due to its Tipo 1962 coachwork. This model was specially equipped with a 4.0-liter V12 engine, differentiating it from the standard 3.0-liter V12 found in most 250 GTOs. The upgrade was made to comply with new competition rules in 1962. Notably, this specific car was exclusively used by Scuderia Ferrari, the legendary in-house racing team, instead of being sold to a privateer racer like other GTOs.
The journey of this remarkable machine started with its debut race, the 1962 Nürburgring 1,000 Kilometers, where it achieved an impressive first place in its class and second place overall. Its success prompted Ferrari to prepare it for the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race by fitting a more powerful engine, generating approximately 390 horsepower. The car was also adorned with small driving lights beneath the turn signals on the fenders, details that remain intact to this day.
However, Le Mans proved to be a challenging endeavor for this exceptional vehicle. While it qualified in fourth place, the engine faced overheating issues during the race. Ferrari subsequently transformed the car back to standard 250 GTO specifications and sold it to a privateer. This restoration process involved reverting to a 3.0-liter engine, which remains under the hood today.
Over the years, the car passed through various owners before ultimately finding its way to the United States. In 1985, an owner from Ohio acquired this extraordinary automobile and extensively enjoyed it in vintage races and prestigious shows. Notably, the car received the coveted Best-of-Show award at the 2011 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Now, after 38 years of cherished ownership, the current owner has decided to part ways with this illustrious machine and put it up for auction.
The RM Sotheby’s sale includes not only the car itself but also accompanying factory records. These valuable documents provide detailed insights into the car’s history, including the build sheets used during the preparation for the Nürburgring and Le Mans races, as well as the subsequent 250 GTO conversion.
The forthcoming auction has generated significant anticipation in the world of automotive enthusiasts and investors. Given the previous record-breaking sale prices for 250 GTOs, such as the $48.4 million in 2018 and $38.115 million in 2014, there is no doubt that collectors and enthusiasts will be eagerly bidding to add this prestigious vehicle to their collections.
The Ferrari 250 GTO was born out of the evolution of the 250 GT Short Wheelbase Berlinetta (SWB), featuring meticulously crafted, wind-tunnel-tested bodywork. The 3.0-liter V12 engine received dry-sump lubrication, allowing for a lower placement underneath the hood. Despite its larger size compared to the SWB, the GTO managed to shed approximately 250 pounds, enhancing its performance and handling.
In conclusion, the impending sale of this exceptional Ferrari 250 GTO is set to make waves in the automotive world. With its unique history as Scuderia Ferrari’s in-house racer, combined with the rarity and desirability of the 250 GTO model, it is projected to break records and become the most expensive car ever sold at auction. Collectors and enthusiasts worldwide eagerly await the outcome of this highly anticipated event, which will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on automotive history.