A legendary Ferrari 250 GTO Series 1 made history at an RM Sotheby’s Auction this week by selling for a staggering $51,705,000—making it the most expensive Ferrari ever sold in a public forum.
The record-setting New York sale edged out a previous 250 GTO sale record, also set at an RM Sotheby’s auction back in 2018, when another model sold for $48,405,000.
Road & Track has further details on the provenance of the rarefied race car that traded hands at Sotheby’s latest blockbuster auto auction:
This 1962 Ferrari 330 LM / 250 GTO is a particularly special example of the unrivaled sports racer, thanks in no small part to its factory use under Scuderia Ferrari. The car is also the only GTO to receive a larger 4.0-liter variant of the Colombo V-12 engine, which it campaigned successfully in its early career. The car would secure a class win at the Nurburgring 1000 in 1962, before going on to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that same year with drivers Lorenzo Bandini and Mike Parkes at the wheel.
Despite battling back from an early race mishap with a sand trap, the car would ultimately retire from the event during hour six due to a sickly engine. In May 1963, the car would return to Ferrari for a conversion back to 3.0-liter GTO specification before being sold on to Pietro Ferraro. Ferrari would take the racer back in on trade in 1967, where it would quickly find its way to the States. After bouncing around for a few years, it would come into the possession of an Ohio-based collector in 1985. That’s where the car has remained in the decades since, coming out with relative frequency for concours events and tours.
But even though it set a record for Ferraris sold at public auctions, the hammer price of this particular Ferrari 250 GTO was somewhat less than expected. Sotheby’s had previously estimated that it would sell for $60 million or more, and R&T referenced a rumor that another 250 GTO had supposedly sold for more than $70,000,000 via private sale in 2016.
All of Maranello’s top moneymakers have so far been left in the dust by the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, which RM Sotheby’s sold for a truly absurd $144 million in 2022.
In other recent Ferrari news, this bonkers $20 million Miami mansion comes with a Ferrari built into its movie theater.