The 250 GTO is a rarity even among its kind, with an engine only present in three models and a history of being only one of two models that the Scuderia Ferrari team raced.
One car may soon break records as the most expensive vehicle sold at a public auction. The automobile in question is a red, 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. It will be going under the hammer on November 13, during Sotheby’s marquee sales of Modern and Contemporary Art.
The rare and exquisite Ferrari is expected to fetch an estimated $60 million in auction. However, Greg Stanley—a representative of the auction house’s car division, RM Sotheby’s—believes the figure may increase to over $80 million.
“You can’t drive the Mona Lisa, you can’t drive a Monet, but this is like a rolling piece of sculpture that has so much fun, incredible history. It’s something that’s literally unrepeatable,” Stanley shared in a statement. “It will be the most expensive car sold at a public auction ever. Period.”
Vintage Ferrari cars are already among the most sought-after collector’s cars in the world—and the 250 GTO is a model that tops all others in terms of value. In fact, many car enthusiasts call it the “billionaire’s Ferrari,” as some of the world’s wealthiest individuals either own one or are seeking one out to add to their collection.
Rarity and Prestige
Generally, factors like the rarity and provenance of a vintage car can greatly influence its price in the market. Ferrari’s first series of 250 GTOs tick off both items in this list: only 34 models exist and many have won championship races, as per the Wall Street Journal.
This is why, the last time RM Sotheby’s sold a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO in 2018, it fetched around $48 million. WeatherTech CEO, David MacNeil, reportedly bought another 60s 250 GTO in the same year for $70 million. However, news outlets are unsure of whether this transaction happened through auction.
The 1962 250 GTO that will be going under the hammer in Sotheby’s upcoming sale is one of, if not the most, precious among the existing collection of models for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it’s only one of two Series I GTOs that Scuderia Ferrari—the carmaker’s official team—raced. A feature from Fortune reports that the car raced in the 1962 Le Mans tournament, finished second overall in the 1962 Nurburgring race, and was a runner-up in the 1965 Sicilian Hillclimb Championship. On top of all that prestige is the fact that a former Ferrari Club of America chairman once owned it.
What’s more, of the 34 models produced, this car is only one of three that possess a big engine given by the factory itself, according to Greg Stanley of RM Sotheby’s. So even among the collection of one of the world’s rarest cars, this specific 250 GTO stands out as a coveted and inimitable piece.
A Historical Racer
The exquisite Ferrari was first sold for $6,000 in 1964, the equivalent of around $59,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. Its current owner—Jim Jaeger—then purchased it for $500,000 in 1985, which is roughly $500,000 today. At the time, Jaeger was looking for the “ultimate Ferrari” and eventually found the coveted 250 GTO in Detroit, which was just four hours away from his Cincinnati home.
Since then, Jaeger has kept the car safe in his garage for 38 years (save for the occasional car show), as per Fortune. With the vintage car market showing no signs of slowing, now would be a good time to sell the valuable Ferrari model to someone who’s looking to bolster their automobile collection.
Banner photo from the RM Sotheby’s website.