A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is set to smash the record fee paid for a car at auction when it goes under the hammer next month.
Experts have estimated that it will sell for around $45 million (£34 million) when it appears at the world’s biggest collectible car sale in California in August, which would overtake existing record of $38.1 million set in 2014.
However, despite costing more than anything else sold with four wheels at auction, it might just be the steal of the year…
Record setter: This 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is widely predicted to become the most expensive car to sell at auction
The Ferrari 250 GTO is the third example built by the Italian factory in 1962 and is just one of 36 in existence.
Dubbed the Holy Grail of collectible cars, a 250 GTO is already the current record holder for the priciest vehicle sold at auction.
That mantle current lies with a model sold by Bonhams in 2014, which tops the list of the top 10 most expensive classic cars ever bought at an arranged sale.
However, even this record £38.1 million fee is a snip of what someone paid privately for another example last month.
According to leading Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, a 250 GTO that won the 1964 Tour de France was purchased by an American businessman for a stomach-churning $70 million.
It’s the third Ferrari 250 GTO ever made. Just 36 were created by the Italian factory and all remain in existence today
The stunning racer might be estimated to sell for $45million next month, but that could be a steal. Experts estimate that Ferrari 250 GTO values will rise beyond $100million in the next 5 years
The blue bucket seat and harness seayt belts showcase the Ferrari 250 GTOs racing background. As does the fire extinguisher in the passenger footwell
Under the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO bonnet is the gorgeous 3.0-litre V12 engine that produced 300bhp
And the Italian Stallion boffin reckons prices are likely to soar higher in the coming years.
Massini predicted that 250 Ferrari GTO values would rise beyond $100 million in the next five years.
That makes the $45 million estimate for this car a bargain, if you consider it could more than double in value by the time 2023 rolls along.
Back in the day, Ferrari said the 250 GTO could accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 6.1 seconds and had a top speed of 174mph – considering the incredible value, we wouldn’t want to test those figure out today
Ferraris dominate the list of the top 10 most expensive cars to sell at auction, and the record holder placed at number one is a 250 GTO (though it is likely to be dethroned by this one)
While this car has been heavily competed, both in the 1960s and in classic race events in recent years, the 250 GTOs interior is still sublime
Chassis number 3413 GT is the third of the 36 examples to ever leave the production line of which all 36 remain in existence today.
Each road-legal racer left the Maranello factory with a 3.0-litre V12 engine that produced 300bhp.
That was good enough for a zero to 60mph sprint in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 174mph.
The 36 Ferrari 250 GTOs recorded an unpresedented 300 victories worldwide during its heyday, according to reports
This 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO has plenty of racing heritage too. During Ferrari factory use it was a test car driven by Phil Hill for the 1962 Targa Florio road race
A selection of black and white photos sold with the vehicle show it competing back in the day
The fact all the example still remain today is no small feat considering they competed in back-to-back races throughout the ’60s, recording an uncharted 300 victories worldwide during its heyday.
This one has plenty of racing pedigree too.
During Ferrari factory use, this 250 GTO was a test car driven by Phil Hill for the 1962 Targa Florio road race.
This 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO won all but one race (in which he placed 2nd in class) in the 1963 Italian National GT championshp in the hands of Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi
The car has been owned and maintained by some of the biggest Ferrari collectors around the world, says RM Sotheby’s
The auction house said the Ferrari 250 GTOs history is well documented by an ‘unbroken chain’ of owners
The car was then sold to its first owner – who happened to be one of Ferrari’s most favored privateer customers – Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi who entered it into no fewer than 10 races in 1962.
It won all but one (in which he placed 2nd in class) of those events and took Lualdi-Gabardi to the Italian National GT championship that year.
It went on to contest in a told of 20 races in 1963 and 1964, was never crashed and not once failed to see the chequered flag.
This Ferrari 250 GTO contested a told of 20 races in 1963 and 1964, was never crashed and not once failed to see the chequered flag
This cars dominance on track – mainly in Italy – helped in part to cement the Ferrari 250 GTOs legendary status that exists today
In 56 years it hasn’t been crashed and retains many of the original parts. That includes the engine, gearbox and rear axle
In fact, this cars incredible domination on track helped to cement the 250 GTOs legendary status that exists today.
Having never been clattered into a barrier in its racing life, many of the original parts remain 56 years later.
That includes the same engine, gearbox, and rear axle it left Ferrari’s production facility with in 1962.
Then and now: The Ferrari 250 GTO might be half a century old but it still looks as glorious today as it did 56 years ago
Also original is the factory Series II body created by iconic Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Scaglietti in 1964
The current vendor Doctor Greg Whitten, the former chief shoftware architect for Microsoft. He has allowed the car to be raced in heritage events over the last two decades
It also has its factory Series II body created by iconic Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Scaglietti in 1964.
RM Sotheby’s said the 250 GTO has ‘passed through an unbroken chain of ownership’ since it hung up its racing tyres.
The registered keepers list includes some of the most prominent Ferrari collectors in the world.
The Ferrari 250 GTO will be offered at the Monterey Sale in California taking place on August 24 and 25
With Ferrari 250 GTO prices expected to surpass $100million by 2023, this one could turn out to be a real bargain
If this Ferrari 250 GTO does reach the $45million estimate it will be joined by 5 other Ferraris in the list of most expensive cars to ever sell at auction
The last of these is current vendor Doctor Greg Whitten, the former chief software architect for Microsoft.
He purchased the car back in 2000 and has since allowed it to be competed in vintage events around the world, including four of the lauded GTO anniversary tours.
RM Sotheby’s says the car is ‘wonderfully maintained in highly original condition’ and is ‘ the most valuable motor car ever offered for public sale’.
It will be offered at the Monterey Sale in California – which is attended by the deepest-pocketed collectors from around the world – taking place on August 24 and 25.
The beautiful images taken on behalf of RM Sotheby’s shows the stunning detail of the 1962 gem
This is the original engine the Ferrari left the factory with in 1962. It still looks incredible today
RM Sotheby’s says the car is ‘wonderfully maintained in highly original condition’ and is ‘ the most valuable motor car ever offered for public sale’
Chassis and engine numbers prove that this is the third Ferrari 250 GTO produced in 1962 by the iconic car manufacturer
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