A matching-numbers 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is offered at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2018 sale – at $45 million it is likely to be the most-expensive car ever.
RM Sotheby’s announced that a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO will be its lead car at the annual Monterey Week classic car auctions at the end of August 2018. The car is expected to sell for in excess of $45 million, which will make it the most-expensive car ever sold at public auction. This matching-numbers 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO is in a highly original condition despite being raced extensively in period. The current record for the most-expensive car ever is $38 million paid for a 1962/3 Ferrari 250 GTO at the Bonhams Quail Lodge Sale in 2014.
RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2018 Sale
RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2018 classic car auctions are scheduled for 24 to 25 August 2018 at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, California, USA.
In 2017, RM Sotheby’s earned $132,993,810 with a sell-through rate of 88%. RM Sotheby’s sold 32 cars for over a million dollar. The top result was $22,550,000 paid for a 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 – a marque and British-made car record.
In 2016, RM Sotheby’s grossed $118 million from just over 100 cars – 21 cars were sold for over a million dollar including three that sold for over $10 million and setting new marque records: a 1955 Jaguar D-Type, 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B Lungo Spider and a 1962 Shelby 260 Cobra CSX2000 – the most-expensive American car ever.
The world’s single auction record remains RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2015 when three days of auctions grossed $172.7 million and million-dollar results for 35 cars.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO at RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2018
The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3413 GT, was the third of only 36 Ferrari 250 GTO cars ever built. A formal estimate has not been released yet other than the expectation that it will sold for more than $45 million.
Under Ferrari factory use, chassis 3413 GT was a test car driven by Phil Hill for the 1962 Targa Florio road race before being sold on to privateers, who raced the car with great success – see below for more details.
This Ferrari 250 GTO competed in 20 races in period, never failed to finish and was never involved in an accident. It retains its original engine, gearbox, and rear axle, as well as its factory Series II body, in which it was clothed by Carrozzeria Scaglietti in 1964.
After its racing career, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO had an unbroken ownership history and currently belongs to Dr. Greg Whitten, Chairman of Numerix, avid collector car enthusiast and former chief software architect at Microsoft. For nearly two decades, he maintained the car in perfect working condition and participated in numerous classic car and GTO events.
“We are thrilled at the rare opportunity to offer a legendary Ferrari 250 GTO at auction,” says Shelby Myers, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “Due to the evolution of technology and safety regulations that followed, the GTO was essentially the final true road racer, marking the end of an era when drivers really got their hands dirty. This was the last car that you could park in your garage, drive to the track, win the race, and then drive home.”
Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinettas at Auction
Only 36 Ferrari 250 GTOs were ever built – 33 Series I cars and 3 Series II (with a further 3 as 330 GTOs). At least four of the Series I cars were upgraded in period to Series II bodywork. All 36 are assumed to have survived with at least 32 well documented.
Ferrari 250 GTOs have reportedly been sold for prices as high as $70 million in private deals but only three have been sold at public auction this century, of which the most recent was the current record holder sold in 2014. In 2000, Whitman reportedly paid $7 million for the GTO on offer.
The most-expensive car ever sold at public auction is the 1962/3 Ferrari 250 GTO that achieved $38,115,000 at the Bonhams Quail Lodge 2014 sale. This 1962 car was rebuilt by Ferrari in 1963 following the fatal crash of Henri Oreiller at the Mothlhery Autdrome. It was the first car ever to sell for over $30 million and one of only two ever to have done so at public auction.
Several high profile cars failed to sell at public auction thus far in 2018 but a Ferrari 250 GTO is often considered the holy grail of classic car collection. RM Sotheby’s expects to achieve in excess of $45 million but only a sufficiently high bid will elevate the car from the most valuable car ever offered at public auction to the most-expensive car ever sold at public auction.
From the RM Sotheby’s Press Release:
Ferrari’s 250 GTO was effectively the final evolution of the marque’s famous 250 model, which debuted in 1953 and ended with the last GTOs in 1964. In total, a mere 36 examples of the 250 GTO were ever produced, all of which have survived. Widely considered the most beautiful Ferrari design, the model was one of the most successful road/racing cars that the marque ever built, claiming overall victory or 1st in class in nearly 300 races worldwide.
Decades down the road, the Ferrari 250 GTO has become the car collector’s “holy grail”, thanks not only to its incredible pedigree, but to a group of French collectors who organized the first gathering of GTO owners in 1982. Occurring every five years since its inception, the meeting is a glorious driving and dining tour across the country of their choosing, and the only entry into this exclusive club is ownership; making the GTO the hottest ticket in the collector car world.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3413 GT
The Ferrari 250 GTO on offer, chassis no. 3413 GT, is the third of the 36 examples built, and began its life as a Series I car. Under Ferrari factory use, the GTO was a test car driven by Phil Hill for the 1962 Targa Florio road race.
The car was then sold to its first owner, one of Ferrari’s most favored privateer customers, Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi. The Italian gentleman racer entered the GTO in 10 races in 1962, winning all but one (in which he placed 2nd in class) and securing him the Italian National GT championship that year. Lualdi-Gabardi’s incredible track success with the early GTO, right out of the gate, contributed significantly in cementing what would become the GTO legend and legacy as known today.
Mr. Lualdi-Gabardi received a second GTO in 1963 and sold chassis no. 3413 to then race car driver Gianni Bulgari, who went on to lead the renowned Bulgari jewelry company from the 1960s to the 1980s. Under both Bulgari and subsequent owner Corrado Ferlaino’s ownership, the GTO handily won its class in the 1963 and 1964 Targa Florio.
The car contested a total of 20 races in period, never involved in an accident, and not once failing to finish. A rare case and incredible feat for any race car, it retains its original engine, gearbox, and rear axle, as well as its factory Series II body, in which it was clothed by Carrozzeria Scaglietti in 1964.
Following its racing career, the GTO has passed through an unbroken chain of ownership that includes some of the most prominent Ferrari collectors in the hobby. In 2000, it was acquired by current owner Dr. Greg Whitten, Chairman of Numerix, avid collector car enthusiast and former chief software architect at Microsoft. Under Dr. Whitten’s ownership, the GTO has competed in vintage events around the world over the last two decades, as well as four of the lauded GTO anniversary tours. Wonderfully maintained in highly original condition, the GTO is estimated to achieve in excess of $45 million in Monterey, making it the most valuable motor car ever offered at auction.
Myers adds: “This marks just the third time that a GTO has been offered for public sale in the new millennium. I can think of no better place than our flagship Monterey event, an auction that has borne witness to the record-smashing sale of some of the most important cars in history, for the presentation of such an exceptional example of Ferrari’s most successful racer and the world’s most sought-after collector car, full stop. The fact that the GTO exists as it did in period, along with Dr. Whitten’s long-term, enthusiastic ownership, only adds to the car’s impeccable pedigree.”
More on Monterey Week 2018 Auctions
Bonhams Quail Lodge 2018:
- Golden Age Automobiles: 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport, 1931 Bentley 8-Liter Saloon and 1911 Mercedes 28/60 Tourer
- 1928 “W.O. Model” Bentleys: 6 ½ -Liter Open Sports Tourer by Barker & 4 ½-Liter Open Tourer by Vanden Plas
- 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta
Gooding Pebble Beach 2018:
- 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II: the only Ferrari factory team entry not to have raced in red!
- Unrestored Icons – the first production Bentley R-Type Continental, a Gullwing and garage-find Ferrari Lusso.
- Competition Ferrari Berlinettas: a 275 GTB/C, a 250 GT Tour de France, and a 166 MM/195 S Berlinetta Le Mans.
- 1935 Duesenberg SSJ – ex-Gary Cooper, ex-Briggs Cunningham
Mecum Monterey 2018:
RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2018:
- Pebble Beach Winners – 1934 Packard Twelve Individual Custom Convertible Victoria by Dietrich & 1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Roadster by Fleetwood
- 1956 Maserati A6G/2000 Zagato Berlinetta
- 1968 Porsche 908 K Works Racer
- 1966 Ford GT40 – third place at Le Mans
- 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – expected to become the most-expensive car ever sold at public auction
- 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype – possibly the most-expensive Aston ever.
Book Fun Tours and Adventures in the Monterey Region of California: