There’s no doubt any Ferrari 250 GTO is in with a shout of being among the most desirable cars in the world, let alone those produced in Maranello. It’s no surprise that one particularly special example just became the most expensive Ferrari ever sold at auction, then.
This Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis 3765, was the only 1962 Tipo fielded by Scuderia Ferrari. That alone is pretty special, though better still it went on to win its class at the Nürburgring 1000km in the same year while taking 2nd overall in the event.
Originally, this GTO proved a test bed for an experimental 4.0-litre V12 - the first from the factory to have it. However following a retirement at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year from overheating, it was swapped out by Ferrari for a 3.0-litre unit as part of its refurbishment for customer sale.
In private hands, chassis 3765 would continue to be raced, notably finishing as runner-up in the 1965 Sicilian Hillclimb before finding its way to America to live a more sedate life. In the time since, it’s been formerly owned by a chairman of the Ferrari Club of America and has won several awards, as well as finishing 2nd in the GTO class at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance out of 23 entrants.
That brings us to today (well, yesterday), with RM Sotheby’s auctioning the 250 GTO with a final sale price of $51,705,000 (approx. £42m). Despite falling short of its $60m estimate, it’s the most a Ferrari has ever been auctioned for - though a 250 GTO did once trade hands privately for $70m (approx. £57m).
It’s still some way short of the most expensive car ever sold at auction, mind. That’s held by the Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe that went for €135m (approx. £118m) last year.