Perhaps Ferrari ought to consider going into selling classic cars. It seems this is an extremely lucrative business to be in at the moment, especially for the legendary Italian marque. Why just last year a rare 1961 250 GT SWB California Spider went for a record US$10.9 million in auction. Now another Ferrari in the body of a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa has gone under the hammer for US$12.1 million, thus setting a new world record for a car sold on auction. The auction was conducted at Ferrari's Maranello factory by RM Auctions in association with Sotheby's.
The 250 Testa Rossa wears the chassis number 0714TR. It is one of just 22 that were produced between 1957 and 1958. These cars won 10 of the 19 international races which they entered from 1958 and 1961. Chassis number 0714TR entered its first sanctioned race, the Buenos Aires 1,000-kilometre, in 1958 and came fourth. Soon after that it was sold to an American gentleman who frequently raced it during SCCA events.
Although Testa Rossa means "red head" in Italian, the record-breaking car is not red. In 1984 Ferrari built a new 319kW (434hp) Testarossa which became a sales hit. Only one of the almost 10,000 units made was an official Spider/ convertible and it too was not red but silver. The car was made specially as a gift for Gianni Agnelli, the late former head of Fiat.