This is What a $13 Million Ferrari Looks Like
Loads of classic cars have a provenance and pedigree that earn seven-digit figures at auction, but few have the certain x-factor that adds another digit to a treasured classic car’s value. This 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta is one such car, however. It’s known as a “Tour de France” model. In fact, this is the actual car which earned that moniker for its long-wheelbase sister cars. It also earned a jaw-dropping $13,200,000 winning bid when it crossed the block at RM Auctions’ Monterey event this past weekend. And there’s a good reason for that high price. RELATED: Take a Closer Look at the 1956 Ferrari 250 GT "Tour de France" Cars
The man who originally purchased this car was nothing short of motor racing royalty—storied Spanish playboy and sports car pilot, Alfonso de Portago. Portago picked up motor racing rather late at the age of 25 after a chance run-in with U.S. Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti. No less than two years later, Portago finished the 1955 Venezuelan Grand Prix in second place, behind none other than five-time Formula One world champion Juan Manuel Fangio. His style was aggressive, and exceedingly quick.
That speed was overtly apparent at the 1956 Tour de France Automobile, a six-day series of auto racing competitions, which included hill climbs, drag races, and circuit racing. At the end of the event, which spanned 3,600 miles, Alfonso de Portago came away with the victory in this car. The “Tour de France” name became engrained with the rest of these Ferrari 250 GT competition coupes, which were bodied by Scaglietti.
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Unfortunately, the brightest stars burn out the fastest, and the dazzling Portago did just that. The racer passed away at the age of 28 during a crash the 1957 Mille Miglia, which signaled the end of the event in its contemporary format. This Ferrari 250 Tour de France, was then returned to Ferrari’s factory in Maranello, Italy, after which it was sold off to a friend of Portago’s in England. Eventually the car, which sports a 260 horsepower 3.0-liter V12, made its way to an esteemed collection in Mexico, where it has resided ever since.
Though today it has a new owner, the result of spirited bidding at RM Auctions’ Monterey sale, and it set a new world record price for a member of the Ferrari “Tour de France” family of cars.
Photo Credit: RM Auctions
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