A Ferrari 250 GTO already holds the record as the most expensive car ever sold at auction by bringing in $48.405 million in 2018. Soon, a very special example of the valuable car is coming up for sale from RM Sotheby's on November 13, 2024, and the machine could go for even more because of its history.
This was one of 34 GTOs with the Tipo 1962 coachwork. The 250 GTO generally came with a 3.0-liter V12 making around 300 horsepower. However, this one originally received a 4.0-liter V12 to take advantage of new competition rules in 1962. Rather than selling it immediately to a privateer racer, this was the only example that Scuderia Ferrari used for the in-house team.
Gallery: 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Auction
This machine's first race was the 1962 Nürburgring 1,000 Kilometers where the GTO scored first in class and second-place overall. Ferrari readied it for the 24 Hours of Le Mans by fitting a more powerful engine making around 390 horsepower and adding small driving lights below the turn signals on the fenders, which are still present today.
There were struggles at Le Mans, though. The car qualified fourth place, but the engine overheated during the race.
Ferrari then converted the vehicle to standard 250 GTO specifications and sold it to a privateer. The work included switching the engine out for a 3.0-liter unit, which is still under the hood.
After passing through several owners and eventually coming to the United States, an owner in Ohio acquired the special car in 1985. He used it for vintage racing and attending shows, including the Best-of-Show award at the 2011 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Now, he has decided to put the special machine up for auction.
This is the first time the special 250 GTO has been available in 38 years. The RM Sotheby's sale includes factory records, including the build sheets for the preparation for the Nürburgring and Le Mans races, in addition to the later 250 GTO conversion.
In addition to the example that sold for $48.4 million, other 250 GTOs have brought high amounts at auction. Bonhams got $38.115 million for one in 2014.
The Ferrari 250 GTO started as an evolution of the 250 GT Short Wheelbase Berlinetta (SWB). The swoopy, new bodywork featured wind-tunnel-honed styling. The 3.0-liter V12 received dry-sump lubrication that allowed for placing the engine lower beneath the hood. Despite being larger than the SWB, the GTO was about 250 pounds lighter.