Ferrari GTO sells for world record $48.4 million at Monterey auction

Ferrari GTO sells for world record $48.4 million at Monterey auction

Sale marks a new high for most expensive car sold at a public auction

After an opening bid of an astounding $35 million, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was hammered sold for $44 million at the RM Sotheby’s auction Saturday night in Monterey, California, setting a world record for the most expensive car ever sold at a public auction. The final price with buyer’s fee is $48.405 million.

Called the Holy Grail of collector cars, this Ferrari is loaded with racing provenance, including drives by legendary racers. It has never been crashed and was presented on the block in immaculate condition.

The winning bid | Bob Golfen photo

Chassis 3413 GT is one of just 36 built (plus three subsequent 330 GTOs). The car is considered among the greatest and most beautiful competition machines ever constructed, as well as the most glorious of all Ferraris.  Powered by booming 3.0-liter V12 engines, the GTOs were highly successful racers, admired and collected throughout their existence: all 36 examples still exist.

The 250 GTO comes from long-term ownership of well-known collector and vintage-racing enthusiast Greg Whitten, the chairman of Numerix and former chief software architect at Microsoft, where he was an early employee. A video supplied by RM Sotheby’s shows Whitten driving the car on a private race course, accompanied by the spirited music of the high-performance V12 engine, which is original to the car.

Chassis 3413 GT was the third Series 1 GTO produced, with a known history of factory racing exploits and subsequent ownership.  After its competition introduction at the 1962 Targa Florio road race, driven by Phil Hill, the GTO went on to claim the 1962 Italian National GT Championship, winning nine of 10 races, and first-in-class victories at the 1963 and 1964 Targa Florio races.

After its racing successes – and this GTO never failed to finish a race – the car was updated with a Series II body created by Sergio Scaglietti while keeping all of its original mechanical parts.

“A rare case and incredible feat for any race car, it retains its original engine, gearbox, and rear axle, as well as its factory Series II body, in which it was clothed by Carrozzeria Scaglietti in 1964,” according to the RM Sotheby’s description.

The sale comes on the heels of a private deal in June for a 1963 250 GTO for a world-record $70 million, making it the most expensive automobile sold in known history – private or otherwise. Chassis 4153 GT was reportedly purchased by an American businessman. 

The last time a Ferrari 250 GTO was sold at auction was 2014, when a 1962 example sold for $38.1 million during Bonhams’ sale at the Quail Lodge in Monterey, California, setting the mark for the highest-priced collector car sold at auction.

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5 Comments

  • PAUL DINATALE
    August 26, 2018, 2:09 AM

    NUTS!!!!! BUT I HAVE DECIDED THAT MONTERAY IS THE BEST AUCTION TO SELL A CAR WITH ALL THE RICH LEFT COAST PEOPLE THERE. SOME GOOD DEALS WERE AVAILABLE TOO.

    REPLY
    • Mike Paull@PAUL DINATALE
      August 26, 2018, 9:26 AM

      I wish they’d have a vehicle auction for regular folks. Although fun to watch, It gets a little depressing sometimes watching multi-millionaires play all the time.

      REPLY
      • Randy R@Mike Paull
        August 27, 2018, 6:04 AM

        There are lots of lower level auctions, Mecum, GAA, Silver, Vicari, Leake, Auctions America, Vanderbrink, there are lots, you just have to get out there. Mecum runs an auction about every month now. Great event.

        REPLY
  • Bruce Sanborn
    August 26, 2018, 6:11 PM

    Ahhh-I would presume that whomever had 50 million or so(at this level, the exact amount is immaterial)to buy a car that will undoubtedly be driven
    about 10 miles in the forthcoming decade, would probably not be interested in a substantially less expensive way to make me smile. But, for nothing, you have produced dreams-thank you.

    REPLY
  • ian Ball
    September 2, 2018, 5:05 PM

    The gto. Ferrari record sale at auction . Just think how meny exact replicas you could build for that kind of money. And how meny people are on the streets. Starving to death. Now i’am not saying about the cost paid. I’am thinking of all thevother people who bid for it. If they all got together and used that kind of money .the weston world would have no poverty no bad housing conditions etc. The could even set up a international factories to make replica cars. That over time will be collecable in there own right. Irs time to change the rules back. After all there only make up by the top car makers. Yes you add saftey items. But the rest . More so in the uk. They bring out rules that in all reality are by people who really have no interest in had built vehicles and incl motor cycles. This needs to change fast. Electric cars are a con. Tgere nit going to be goid enough for atleast 65 years. And the extea power stations

    to meet demand. You would have to build at least 20 .000 more. And the cost of electric we say no more. E for your house oiffice. work shop home . Or run the vehicle. You will have to make a choice as costs are going up fast. Plus the costs to the planet. . Crazy con.

    REPLY

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