1962 Ferrari 250 GTO fetches US$51.7 million at New York auction, becoming second most expensive car sold

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1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. Picture credit: Sotheby's.

14th November 2023 – (New York) A Ferrari 250 GTO from 1962 commanded a staggering price of $51.7 million at an auction in New York on Monday, marking it as the second highest-priced car ever sold at auction, according to Sotheby’s.

The vibrant red two-seater had been in the possession of an American enthusiast for nearly four decades. Its sale price was only eclipsed by a Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, which garnered a spectacular 135 million euros in 2022, equating to roughly $144 million at the current exchange rate, the auction house relayed.

The Ferrari 250 GTO was auctioned off on Monday evening following a short bidding session. However, the final sale price fell slightly short of the over $60 million anticipated by RM Sotheby’s, the premium car division of the auction house. The identity of the successful bidder remains undisclosed by Sotheby’s.

This iconic Scuderia sports car—known by its chassis number 3765 and boasting a four-litre engine capable of generating 390 horsepower—dates back to 1962. According to RM Sotheby’s, it secured second place in a gruelling 1,000 km endurance race on Germany’s Nurburgring circuit and made a notable appearance in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it was forced to retire due to engine complications.

After competing for several years on the Italian mainland and in Sicily, the car was sold off and transported to the US in the late 1960s.

Undergoing both restoration and modification, the 250 GTO changed hands amongst American owners on multiple occasions, ultimately ending up with a “committed collector” in Ohio in 1985, who parted ways with it on Monday.

“This exceptional GTO presents its new owner with opportunities for further touring, participation in vintage races, or showcasing at major concours d’elegance and brand gatherings globally,” stated Sotheby’s.

The record-breaking Mercedes 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, which sold for 135 million euros in 2022, is one of only two models of the sports car. It was auctioned off in a private sale at the German manufacturer’s museum in Stuttgart and holds the title as the priciest car ever sold globally, be it at auction or in a private sale, a spokesperson for RM Sotheby’s confirmed.