You might have read that this 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is the most expensive car. Well that is partially right and partially wrong. The world of classic cars is engulfed with superbs and anecdotes, with a large dose of hyperbole thrown in. Read closely to understand more about the Ferrari 250 GTO.
Ferrari 250 GTO – Most Expensive
Let’s cut to the chase. This specific model of the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti as of now is the most expensive car ever bought at a public auction. Period. Now as we previously covered, there is another Ferrari 250 GTO that is generally thought to be the most expensive car purchased but it was a private sale and the exact details are not a public record-yet.
Ferrari 250 GTO – In Demand
So many might ask what causes these models to be so expensive. Well like many classic cars, price is determined by rarity and provenance or background. The Ferrari 250’s are in demand because they are rare with only 36 made in various versions and iterations. Plus these cars were specifically designed and intended for racing.
Ferrari 250 GTO – Racing History
The Ferrari 250 GTO was designed in a wind tunnel to compete for the International Championship for GT Manufacturers. The hood was lowered and the windshield raked back for better aerodynamics. This specific car won the 1962 Italian GT Championship and won several class first place finishes between 1962-1965. It last raced in manufacturers racers in 1965 when it won the Redex Trophy at Brands Hatch. Though it then continued racing in smaller club races and changed hands often. Strange that these beasts were raced extensively and yet all survived and are accounted for.
Ferrari 250 GTO – Vintage
The race car was entered into numerous vintage races over the years. Eventually Dr, Gregory Whitten in 2000 purchased the car. Whitten is able to collect vintage historic collector cars as he was an early employee at Microsoft and was their chief software architect.
Ferrari 250 GTO- Condition
It is interesting to note that this race car came with the original engine, already pulled and preserved for historic purposes and fitted with an additional 250 GT engine block (V-12 with 3 liter displacement producing 300 HP) that was upgraded to GTO specs.
Ferrari 250 GTO – Sold
At the Monterey Auction for RM Sotheby’s the car sold for $48,405,000 (including commission) after an opening bid of $35 million. In ten minutes it was gaveled sold to an undisclosed buyer. Allegedly Whitten had bought it for less than $5 million, proving that his doctorate degree in Mathematics from Harvard wasn’t a fluke!
Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s