A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3413 GT, sold for $48.4 million at the 2018 RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction, held August 26th during Monterey Classic Car Week. The Ferrari is now the most valuable car ever sold at auction, eclipsing the $38,115,000 paid for another 250 GTO, chassis 3851 GT, at the Bonhams Quail Lodge sale in 2014.
There were cheers and applause when five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell stepped out of the car after driving it across the auction block in front of an overflowing salesroom, followed by gasps as auctioneer Maarten ten Holder opened the bidding at the unprecedented level of $35 million. Three collectors bidding via telephone competed for the car, sometimes moving in million dollar increments before it hammered after nearly ten minutes for $44 million, or $48,405,000 with fees.
The numbers-matching Ferrari 250 GTO was offered with its original engine, gearbox, rear axle and factory Series II body after two decades in the collection of Gregory Whitten.
“My journey with the 250 GTO has come to an end, but I am excited to see how this fantastic car is enjoyed by the new owner. They will have seen the seemingly unbelievable list of superlatives that are used to describe it — legendary, historic, holy grail — but I can assure them that once they get behind the wheel, they will understand that every one of them is true,” said Whitten.
The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3413 GT, is the third of a mere 36 examples built. The GTO began its life as a Series I automobile and was used as a test car by Phil Hill for the 1962 Targa Florio road race, before proceeding to win 1st in class at the event for the next two years. This led the car to claim the 1962 Italian National GT Championship, with victories in 9 out of 10 races.