1962 Ferrari 250 GTO
Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 14, 2014
Here it is. This is the car that everybody has been – and will be – talking about for some time. It’s the rarest, most desirable car on earth – and this is the first time one has come up for public auction in a long time. And it will sell, at no reserve. It will break every record on the book. Between private parties, 250 GTOs have reportedly sold for $50 million. Bonhams didn’t publish an estimate, but if you call the department for an estimate like they recommend, they’re well within their rights to laugh at you. You’re looking at a $30-$60 million car. The final price is anyone’s guess.
The GTO was a homologation model for the 250 to compete in the FIA Group 3 category. They were GT cars that put themselves on the podium at Le Mans in consecutive years, behind a single prototype entry (another Ferrari). The engine is a 300 horsepower 3.0-liter V-12. There were two types of 250 GTOs: those with the 3.0-liter engine, and those with the 4.0-liter engine (referred to as “330 GTOs”). This car was the 19th GTO built of 39 (this includes eight that have the re-designed 1964 body work and the three with the 4.0-liter engine). So 28 have this style body and a 3.0-liter V-12.
The original owner of this originally grey car was French racing driver Jo Schlesser. The competition history of this car is as follows:
- 1962 Tour de France Automobile – 2nd (with Schlesser and Henri Oreiller)
- 1962 Coupes du Salon – DNF (Henry Oreiller was killed when he crashed this car).
Schlesser took the car back to the factory and they rebuilt it for 1963 and sold it to a new owner, who used it in hillclimbs. That man sold it to another, who also raced it. Then, in 1965, he sold it to Fabrizio Violati for $4,000. It has been in Violati’s family since, and the centerpiece of his San Marino-based Maranello Rosso Collection. He used it regularly and the car has never really sat for that long. It’s great when someone acquires a car for a reasonable price and uses it, unafraid of the value at stake. Violati passed away in 2010 and the collection is, at least partially, being dispersed.
This is the 250 GTO that has been in one person’s possession the longest. These cars so rarely trade hands and when they do, the price is extraordinary. I just hope whoever buys it uses it and doesn’t lock it away hoping for a return on investment down the road. Sadly, that’s what the collector car market has almost become. Whatever the final price may be, Bonhams stands to make a killing on buyer’s premiums for this car alone. You can read more here and see more from Bonhams here.
Update: Sold $38,115,000.