Most expensive Ferrari ever auctioned fetches $51.7 million

A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, the most valuable car ever offered at auction, is displayed at a preview at Sotheby's in New York on November 2, 2023. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

The 1962 250 GTO is one of only 39 examples made by Ferrari.Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty ImagesCNN — 

A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO has sold for $51.705 million, becoming the most expensive car from the Italian manufacturer ever sold at auction.

The record-breaking sale took place at Sotheby’s in New York on Monday as the car was offered publicly for the first time in 38 years.

Gord Duff, RM Sotheby’s Global Head of Auctions, said the sale “highlights the unparalleled stature of this Ferrari as one of the world’s most desirable objects.”

“This transaction adds a new chapter to a vehicle with an unmatched legacy,” Duff said in a press release.

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Now, it ranks among the most expensive cars sold at auction, a true testament to its singular place in history,” he added.

Only 39 examples of the 250 GTO were built by the legendary Italian marque between 1962 and 1964, and it’s extremely rare for an owner to part with one at any price.

This example, chassis number 3765, is one of only 34 built with Tipo 1962 coachwork, and the only one of these raced by the Scuderia Ferrari racing team, featuring in races such as the Le Mans 24 Hours.

“Claiming unique build provenance and a remarkable in-period racing pedigree, this spectacular GTO is among the model’s most singular examples,” the auction house wrote in the listing, which billed the sale as “an extraordinary chance to acquire the Holy Grail of the sports car pantheon, one that should be relished for the opportunity it is.”

Its rarity means it has featured in several Ferrari-focused magazines over the decades, and Sotheby’s suggests that “the public availability of such a singular GTO may never repeat itself within our lifetime.”

While 3765 is now the most expensive Ferrari ever to sell at auction, another 250 GTO holds the record for most expensive Ferrari ever sold.

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Renowned car collector David MacNeil, founder and CEO of automotive floor-mat company WeatherTech, bought chassis number 4153 GT for $70 million in 2018.

At the time, James Knight, group motoring chairman at UK auction house Bonhams, likened 250 GTOs to some of the most exclusive artworks in the world.

“The Ferrari 250 GTO is the motoring market’s equivalent of Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ and a talisman for any top-end collection,” said Knight. “And the GTO that recently sold is one of the best five extant.

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