It has been described as "the world's most important, desirable and legendary car". It was of course the people who sold it, but the hyperbola must have worked that way, because this 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was the most expensive car ever sold at auction this weekend on a RM Sotheby sale during the Monterey Car Week. The price tag: a staggering $ 48.4 million.
Only 60 people in the world can buy this Ferrari 250 GTO
Gran Turismo Omologato is a series of Italian gobbledygook for most but to the automotive industry.
Read more Read  The auction store does not tell who bought it (was it? You were, was not it? Nice.) But the seller was Greg Whitten, an early Microsoft employee who is now a bit richer than he was on Friday. Bloomberg reports this Ferrari destroyed the old auction record, which was for a 1963 250 GTO sold for 38.1 million dollars four years ago.
Nearly $ 50 million for some cars is a shocking number, but 250 GTO is no ordinary car. As auctions house notes, only 36 were made and this one chassis 3413 was one of only four upgraded at that time by Scaglietti and one in only seven who had this more aggressive coachbuilt body. From the listing:
Designed by Pininfarina, this improved bodywork was lower, wider and shorter, with a more aerodynamic, steep raked windshield, larger tires, wider grooves and the engine seated lower, all aimed at improving handling and balance – a critical assessment of the curves and shorter stretches through the towns and coastal hills along the Sicily coast.
It was run by Phil Hill, one of America's biggest racing drivers, in Targa Florio in 1962, and first entered his class in the Targa Florio events the following two years. It comes from the golden age of modern racing, its 3.0-liter V12 engine and stunning design that help make Ferrari the legend it is today. This particular car's history in both racing and private ownership is very much worth reading. It came in and finished 20 races in its career and stays quite periodically correct today.
The 250 GTO regular commands are probably the highest prices for any sold cars. Earlier this year, a 1963 GTO sold for a record of $ 70 million in a private transaction, and in 2013, another GTO sold for 52 million dollars in another private sale. (The former car was allegedly purchased by the founder of WeatherTech, so do not let anyone tell you that the floor mat is not lucrative as hell.)
Anyway, congratulations to the new owner. I'm looking forward to seeing it on a car and coffee somewhere.