Dramatic find by RM Sotheby’s boosts value of Ferrari race car

Dramatic find by RM Sotheby’s boosts value of Ferrari race car

The 275 P endurance racer won Le Mans two years in a row, not just once, according to factory documents uncovered by the auction company

Editor’s note: Follow all of the action and updates on our special Monterey Car Week page.

As if offering the “world’s most-valuable car to ever come to auction” 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was not enough, RM Sotheby’s will have at its Monterey sale another Ferrari competition car of unimaginable  value – and an astounding new piece of historic evidence about that car could boost its significance and value even more.

The car is a 1963 Ferrari 275 P driven to overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But as it turns out, not just once but twice in a row, in 1963 and 1964.

As such, it could be considered among the most-important Ferrari works race cars in the world, a one-of-one piece of triumphant motorsports history that is likely worth tens of millions of dollars.


Team drivers Jean Guichet and Nino Vaccarella celebrate the Ferrari’s 1964 Le Mans overall win

This mid-engine endurance racer will not be auctioned, however, but is being offered for outright sale by RM Sotheby’s Private Sales Division. The car will be on display at the Monterey Conference Center, where RM Sotheby’s is holding its auction August 24 and 25 during Monterey Car Week.

The history of 275 P, chassis No. 0816, was apparently wrong when the car last surfaced in February; it was consigned for auction in France but then pulled before the sale.

Ferrari chassis No. 0816 is not a 1964 racer but a 1963 car, and it did not only win the 1964 Le Mans as previously believed, according to an RM Sotheby’s news release. This 275 P also raced and won the 1963 Le Mans race, making it the only Ferrari to achieve back-to-back victories in the legendary endurance competition.

Jean Guichet and Nino Vaccarella

Ferrari chassis No. 0816 leads a 250 GTO and another 275 P in the 1963 Le Mans

“What makes this Ferrari all the more special is the recently revealed fact that it also took victory in its very first factory outing a year earlier in 1963,” RM Sotheby’s says in the news release.

The surprising new historic record was uncovered while the Private Sales Division was doing research on the car for Ferrari Classiche certification, according to the release.

“It has been confirmed via factory documentation that chassis No. 0816 is also the overall winner of the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it was driven by Ludovico Scarfiotti and Lorenzo Bandini,” the release says. “This new information makes chassis No. 0816 the one and only Ferrari to have won the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans twice, placing it amongst a mere handful of race cars to have done the same.”


The 275 P is in largely original condition

That is quite a discovery and could potentially vault the 275 P above the projected value of the 250 GTO.

The Ferrari 275 P has been in the late Pierre Bardinon’s world-famous Mas du Clos Collection in France since 1970 and remains in highly original, unrestored condition with all matching-numbers components, RM Sotheby’s says in its description.

The 275 P had been scheduled for auction in February at Artcurial’s sale at Retromobile, but it was pulled by the Bardinon family because of a supposed dispute within the estate. That apparently has been smoothed out.


The historic Ferrari is being offered for private sale

“This 275 P is without question the most historically important sports racing Ferrari campaigned by the works team, and we are tremendously honored to offer the car for private sale on behalf of the Bardinon family,” Augustin Sabatié-Garat, European auction manager and car specialist for RM Sotheby’s, said in the news release.

“As the pinnacle of the Scuderia works cars, the 275 P offers the perfect juxtaposition to the 250 GTO on offer in our Monterey auction – which represents the pinnacle of Ferrari’s privateer GT cars. The other three 1963 Scuderia cars remain in long-held, significant private collections, and this is certainly the most important of the four built, making RM Sotheby’s presentation of the 275 P truly a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

But if you’re thinking of making an offer, know that the estimated value of the Ferrari 275 P is somewhere in the vicinity of $35 million to $40 million. At least that was the estimate back in February, before the remarkable history of chassis No. 0816’s twin victories at Le Mans was discovered.

For more information about RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale, visit the auction website.

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