A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta has now become the most valuable car to be sold at auction in history, finishing up at an eye watering $38,115,000 (£22,843,633). The new record was set by the prestigious auction house Bonhams last week at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California. The car was one of only 39 ever made.
Bonhams did not dethrone anyone from top spot in the process though, as the previous record was theirs too, achieved when they sold an ex-Fangio 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R for £17.5 million.
The car was originally owned by Fabrizio Violati, a giant in the Ferrari world, he bought the car for just 2,500,000 lire which works out at about £20,000 in today’s money, a bargain! He did not just buy it and keep it locked away in the garage though, he used it for nearly 40 years! Racing it in classic car events all the way into the 2000s, this obviously resulted in part changes and rebuilding and some had feared this would bring the auction price down but evidently not.
The GTO was part of the Maranello Rosso Collection until Fabrizio unfortunately passed away in 2010. The collection was formed when Enzo Ferrari personally tasked Fabrizio with the job of creating the Italian Ferrari Owners Club and due to the friendship between them Enzo allowed him to use the distinguished name for his collection.
The Chairman of Bonhams, Robert Brooks, spoke about the auction “It’s been a genuine privilege to represent this outstanding car and we are absolutely delighted with today’s results. We’ve always maintained that we would exceed the current world record and that the car would bring between $30 million and $40 million and today the GTO did just that.”
It is a stunning car with an equally stunning price tag but we hope that, despite the price paid for it, the GTO will still see some action on the track and not end up locked away forever!