Any time A Ferrari 250 GTO comes up for auction it’s an event. Not only is it one of the most lusted-after sports cars in history, it’s also one of the rarest. Only 36 were produced, all from 1962 to 1964—and amazingly, collectors can account for all of them. In August 2014, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO set a record at auction when it sold for $38.1 million. On August 24, another 1962 GTO—the third one ever built—is coming up for sale at RM Sotheby’s. In addition to a storied racing career, this Ferrari has an extraordinary provenance and is expected to speed past the auction record, with a presale estimate of $45 million, according to Forbes.
The final iteration of Ferrari’s 250 model, the 250 GTO was built to race but was also a road car—GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato, or Grand Touring Homologated. The body was essentially a 250 Testa Rossa and had a 3-liter V12 engine capable of 300hp. The price for such a beauty was $18,000 (about $150,000 today), and each owner was personally approved by Enzo Ferrari himself, according to Forbes.
Long before it was considered a classic, a 1962 250 GTO sold privately for a steal: $5,400, according to Forbes.
A year after Ralph Lauren bought chassis 3987 for $650,000, and with Ferrari fever raging, collector Frank Gallogly bought a 1962 250 GTO—which had rusted in a field for 15 years before being restored—for a then-record $1 million. Two years later, he sold it for $4.2 million, Forbes reports.
In a private sale reported to be worth $35 million, cellphone pioneer Craig McCaw bought a 1962 250 GTO originally owned by racing legend Stirling Moss, according to Forbes.
At Bonhams’ annual Quail Lodge auction, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO set an auction record, selling for $38.1 million to Carlos Monteverde, son of billionaire Brazilian philanthropist Lily Safra.
A 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO sold privately to WeatherTech founder and CEO David MacNeil for a reported $70 million, according to Forbes.
After a long racing career, chassis 3413—a 1962 250 GTO—was sold to jewelry heir Gianni Bulgari in 1963. Six years (and a few owners) later, billionaire Sir Anthony Bamford purchased it, and after changing hands a couple more times, the Ferrari was sold in 2000 to Greg Whitten, former chief software architect of Microsoft, for $7 million. Now he’s putting the car up for sale at RM Sotheby’s, where it is expected to shatter the auction record. “I’ve had the GTO a long time,” Whitten says of his decision to sell. “There are other cars I want to buy.”
By: Yankee Gorenstein